Salmon Head Curry

Salmon Heads

If I showed you this picture, what comes first straight to your mind? If you’re thinking, “EWWWWWWWWWwwwww…”, then this recipe is clearly not for you. But if you light up and shout, “CURRY!?!”, you’re my kind of people and yes, I’m married to one too.

Let me explain that last sentence. I didn’t find these fish heads. My hubs did. We were out getting something and he wandered off. Moments later, he came back to me excitedly and insisted I followed him to see “something.” That “something” turned out to be two beautifully fresh salmon heads. I mean, look at the eyes! So clear and bright. We had to get them. We just had to. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t have forgiven ourselves. Hubs grabbed a pack of curry paste and off we rode into fish head curry sunset.

Or something along that lines. But it really felt so good walking out with these two treasures… like they were secret hidden treasures  that we both found in secret.

If you use prepacked fish curry paste, this is so terribly easy. If you want to make your own paste or spice blend, go right ahead. It might be even better. For this curry, we used:

Salmon Heads, Prepacked Fish Curry Paste, Coconut Milk, Onion, Ladies Fingers, Tomato, Fish Sauce & Water.Salmon Head Curry 1

I first gave the fish heads a blanch in some boiling water to get rid of surface slime and just to generally rid it of any unpleasant fishy smells. It didn’t have any of that but I wanted to do it in case. Always good to be safe.Salmon Head Curry 2

Once everything is cut up and prepared, we’re good to go!Salmon Head Curry 3

The first step is to sauté the onion petals in a little bit of oil. It’s really quite aromatic and sweet.Salmon Head Curry 4

Soon after, the other veggies go in as well.Salmon Head Curry 5

I like to let the curry paste fry a little as well just so the spices are awakened and become all fragrant and nice.Salmon Head Curry 6

Some water goes in to be the base of the curry sauce.Salmon Head Curry 8

Once the veggies are cooked and soft, the salmon heads go in with the coconut milk for not too long. They get cooked so fast. Nothing ruins a fish head curry than an overcooked fish head.Salmon Head Curry 11

I covered the pot and let it all bubble for a while until the fish is just cooked.Salmon Head Curry 12

Perfection!Salmon Head Curry 13

I had it with rice vermicelli while hubs had it with rice. Perfect mediums to absorb all that flavourful salmony curry sauce. Salmon Head Curry 14

I have to say though that this is best finished on the same day. Reheating the fish causes it to be overcooked. But leftover curry with vegetables would make a good lunch with rice the next day. We managed to scarf down both these fish heads. I have no idea how. We just did! And we enjoyed it all the way. I’d however advise you to serve this to 3-4 people. Salmon is a very rich fish.

I’ve never really cared for fish head curry… until now.





“All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made.” (John 1:3)

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Salmon Head Curry
serves 4 or more


350 gms (appx 3/4 lbs) Salmon Head (or any large meaty fish head)
1 Red Onion, peeled & quartered
3 Tomatoes, quartered
7-8 Ladies Fingers (Okra), tip removed & cut to 1 inch bias slices
1/4 cup Fish Curry Paste (I used Mak Nyonya brand)
1/2 cup Coconut Milk
3/4 cup Water
1 tbsp Fish Sauce, or to taste

  1. Bring a pot of water to boil. Meanwhile, remove gills and clean fish heads well. Turn of heat once water is boiling. Place fish heads in, 2 minutes per side. Remove and drain in colander gently to prevent skin and flesh from tearing or flaking.
  2. In a clean deep pot, sauté the onion for 1 minute.
  3. Add in ladies fingers & tomato with curry paste & fish sauce. Stirfry for 1 minute until fragrant.
  4. Pour in water and bring to a simmer for about 5 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.
  5. Stir in coconut milk and carefully place in fish heads. Bring to simmer & cover.
  6. Turn fish heads over after 2-3 minutes and leave to simmer for another 5 minutes.
  7. Ladle the fish head up from the pan into serving bowl. Again, be gentle as cooked fish head will fall apart. Pour the rest of the curry sauce and vegetables into the bowl.
  8. Serve with rice, rice vermicelli or even bread!


  1. Nami | Just One Cookbook says:

    We eat salmon head too, but mostly broiled. This curry must be so delicious!

    • I can see how broiled salmon would be delicious. Much like grilled fish even. I think that’s something I have got to try. Do you have a recipe on your blog?

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