Site pairs gourmands & fish heads
Sat, 15 Dec 2012 6:32p.m.
By Tony Field
ITM Fishing Show host Matt Watson has launched a project to encourage people to stop throwing away fish heads and instead give them away. He hopes the website freefishheads.co.nz will encourage better use of our fish stocks and create new friendships.
Watson would usually be out on the water on a summer's day, but he was on dry land spreading the word about his website today.
He says too many people dump their fish heads because they don't know what they are missing out on.
“I am an avid fish head eater and I was always disappointed when I’d see fish heads on the beach,” he says, “and just seeing mates, people I know, fillet their fish and see it go straight overboard, get buried in the garden.”
The idea of the website is to bring together people who want to give away fish heads with people who'd appreciate some.
At the Otara market there was plenty of support for the website.
“There is an obvious benefit, the fish itself,” says local board member Mary Gush. “But I also see it as a community builder.”
Maybe it's the way the heads look, but some people will need some convincing about the merits of fish heads.
Watson's friend Scott MacIndoe says before cooking the heads, you need to remove the scales.
“Do it right: teaspoon, hit the lawn,” says Mr MacIndoe. “Do it right. Do not do it inside – you will be in trouble.”
A quick wash, and the head can be put into a pot.
“Three snapper heads, a kingfish head, and shout yourself some onions.”
Ten minutes later, out come the fish heads.
“They are ready to yield the treats.”
There are a few more scales to remove, and then pull the flesh from the heads.
“The eyeball [is] an acquired taste – not something I go after as a rule.”
But if you're not into eyeballs, there's still a lot more tasty meat in the heads than you'd expect.
“I literally empty them onto some newspaper, and me and my kids just huck into it,” says Watson. “It's a great way to eat – just get in there.”
He found no shortage of people at the market keen to sign up for some fish heads, and he's encouraging more boaties to get involved as well. Watson hopes his website will not only encourage people to make better use of the fish, but will foster some new friendships as well.
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19/12/2012 6:24:18 p.m.
good stuff, love it, chuck the frame ''minus the tail and head'' on the bbq too, my kids fight over it, fish kebab lol, on ya matt
17/12/2012 10:07:26 a.m.
PI's love the heads and frames too!!
In the islands it was unthinkable not to eat the whole fish. And it's no coincidence that the matai (chief) and special guests are given the head of fish and pigs when cooked in the umu (island hangi).
Boiling up the heads and frames does make a good soup. Smoked albacore heads and backbones are up there with the best food on the planet.
16/12/2012 7:40:42 p.m.
craig smith wrote:
Long overdue! Congratulations Scott Macindoe and Matt Watson,lets all endorse this and reduce the unneccesary waste of good food, apart from the abundant flesh on a fish head, the juices created by cooking them combined with the flesh makes the base for wonderful fish soup, countless opportunites abound! And remember, don't forget to BBQ the back bones with some olive oil and parsley.
16/12/2012 6:39:48 p.m.
GREAT IDEA Matt!! Malaysians we loveeeeee our fish heads and we have wonderful dishes made with fish heads. i esp love those big eye balls!! hee hee. So def am gonna sign up and hope someone in Wellington has fish heads for me.
16/12/2012 3:17:11 a.m.
What a great idea, I never even knew you could eat fish heads once there cooked they look like some thing i could also enjoy eating, but ill pass on the eyeballs.
15/12/2012 9:50:10 p.m.
i dont eat the rest, let alone the head , but over fishing and waste etc..... wtf too many fish are caught for the demand ... ill suggest maybe a year of no fishing or more no fishing areas....the stocks are not unlimited!!!!
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