Recipe: Slow roasted fish heads

By Grant Allen

Add a comment
Slow roasted fish heads. Photo / Doug Sherring
Slow roasted fish heads. Photo / Doug Sherring

Anne says this is a popular Maori way to get their fix of nutrition. Some people boil them gently with onions, carrots and seasoning, but Anne's favourite method is to roast them. You can get fish heads at your local fish shop.

• ½ cup olive oil or ricebran oil
• 1-2 fish heads per person, heads, scales and gills removed
• Squeeze of lemon juice
• Flaky salt and pepper
• Sprinkling of favourite extra virgin olive oil
• Watercress garnish


1. Preheat oven to 160C

2. Line an oven tray with baking paper. Put the fish heads on it and douse the heads with the rest of the oil.

3. Roast for 20-30 minutes, depending on the size of the heads. When the eyes have become opaque and look cooked, the heads are done.

4. Finish off with a squeeze of lemon juice, salt and pepper and extra virgin olive oil.

Devour by picking through the head with a fork or clean hands and sucking the bones, inside the brain and the eyes (which for Maori are indisputably the best parts of the fish). Discard the eyeballs. These and the bones are the only inedible parts. Don't be afraid of making noise when sucking the heads - it's the only way to enjoy this dish.

- Herald on Sunday

Have your say

We aim to have healthy debate. But we won't publish comments that abuse others. View commenting guidelines.

1200 characters left

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf03 at 23 Nov 2014 00:47:04 Processing Time: 1010ms