What? Fish Head Curry you say? Well, to the uninitiated, fish head curry is one of the signature dishes that is available in Malaysia and Singapore.
This fish curry originated in the Kerala region of India and it was adulterated in Malaysia and Singapore to just fish head. Fish head is generally considered a delicacy in Chinese cuisine and one of the beauty of multicultural communities is the meshing of cuisines so this dish has evolved to become a much loved staple.
An authentic fish head curry is still traditionally prepared using Southern Indian spices and cooking methods. Did you know that different curries or spices are used for different cuts of meats and vegetables?
Here in the west, most people associate curry with that one bottle in your spice rack but you need to pair different spices to different cuts to maximize the flavors.
Traditionally snapper is used for this dish but I have tasted salmon fish head curry here in the US and it makes for a pretty good substitute. It is a very thick and spicy curry and sometimes tamarind is added resulting in a sweet and sour dish.
Fish head curry is considered costly in Malaysia but fish heads are not exactly a popular item here in the US, so fish heads (which you can find in Asian grocery stores) are quite inexpensive. Unfortunately it is not a common dish in Indian restaurants here so your best bet for trying one is in someone’s home.
What is there to eat on a fish head? Well, it’s meatier than you imagine and if you’re a real connoisseur, then you will probably relish those coveted eye balls. I have never tried the eye balls but I hear they’re delicious.
Growing up , eating fish head curry was always such a treat. It is fairly laborious to prepare so it was a special dish reserved for Sundays when my working mom had time off to cook her favorite dish.