Indonesia Eats

Salmon Head Tempura Recipe

Salmon Head Tempura
A Canadian adaptation of Japanese tempura. It’s often to be offered at Japanese restaurants and served with a special sauce.

Salmon heads and trims are common to be sold at the markets here.  At Asian markets, I often see salmon heads on sale.

Special for this tempura, the Japanese restaurants in town don’t serve with tentsuyu (Japanese: てんつゆ/天汁), regular tempura dipping sauce.  Hence, I re-created the sauce at home and perfect match to the one that I used to have.  It is a mix of miso, ginger, mirin, ground sesame seed, garlic, soy sauce and sugar. In this case I substituted for honey.

I figured out why they serve with this special sauce.  By dipping pieces of salmon heads tempura into the sauce, it reduces the odour of the salmon itself.   In this recipe, I specifically had to marinate them with minced gingers and garlics before dipping into tempura batter.

Finally, I found the perfect composition to what I tasted for the sauce. The batter’s recipe was adapted from Marc of No Recipes.

Salmon Heads Tempura

Ingredients:
2 salmon heads, halved of each head
minced garlic and gingers for marinating

Tempura Batter:
1 large egg white
1 cup ice cold water + 2 ice cubes
1 cup sifted unbleached flour put in freezer
1/2 tsp kosher salt

Dipping Sauce:
2 tbsp aka miso (red miso)
2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp mirin
2 tbsp honey
2 tsp ground sesame seed
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp minced ginger

Directions:
Prepare the Salmon Heads:
1. Rinse off halved salmon heads under cold running water. Rub minced garlic and gingers on, marinate for 20 minutes and keep them in the fridge.

2. Rinse them off once more and pat dry.

Tempura:
1. Get a wire rack ready for the tempura by covering it with a layer of brown paper bag.

2. In a heavy bottomed pan, add about 3 cm of oil. Heat the oil until it reaches 340 F then quickly make the batter. For the batter, you want to whisk the egg yolk into 1 cup of ice cold water then dump it all into the cold flour then gently stir. The key here is that everything is very cold and that you don’t stir it too much (having lumps is fine). The batter should be like thin pancake batter, if it’s too thick, add a few more tablespoons of ice water.

3. Use a fork, quickly dip each halved salmon head in the batter shaking off the excess and carefully drop into the hot oil.

Dipping Sauce:
Combine everything.

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24 thoughts on “Salmon Head Tempura Recipe”

  1. I know my husband will love to try this dish. He loves fish head unlike me … I'm scared to look at the head part hahaha 😀 Beautiful shoot, very unique dish!

  2. They use salmon head in fish head curry in some CA restaurants and I do not like it. But I think Salmon Head Tempura is perfectly fine for me, as a luxurious snack 🙂

  3. I know my husband will love to try this dish. He loves fish head unlike me … I'm scared to look at the head part hahaha 😀 Beautiful shoot, very unique dish!

  4. They use salmon head in fish head curry in some CA restaurants and I do not like it. But I think Salmon Head Tempura is perfectly fine for me, as a luxurious snack 🙂

  5. @Lia: so did my husband when the first time seeing the fish head, but now he enjoys the salmon head as a well.@Tigerfish: I heard about salmon head curry from a friend in Indonesia. he said he doesn't like it either.@Anncoo: you're welcome@Norma: if you enjoy fish head, I think you will enjoy the salmon head as well.@LCOM: I do enjoy fish head dish since I was a kid. My dad's food was fish head curry with cassava leaves. Salmon heads are pretty meaty on the cheeks.

  6. @Lia: so did my husband when the first time seeing the fish head, but now he enjoys the salmon head as a well.

    @Tigerfish: I heard about salmon head curry from a friend in Indonesia. he said he doesn't like it either.

    @Anncoo: you're welcome

    @Norma: if you enjoy fish head, I think you will enjoy the salmon head as well.

    @LCOM: I do enjoy fish head dish since I was a kid. My dad's food was fish head curry with cassava leaves. Salmon heads are pretty meaty on the cheeks.

  7. Xiaolu @ 6 Bitterswe

    I've never heard of frying salmon heads, but I love the idea of using all the parts. Thanks for the tips about reducing the fishiness, Pepy.

  8. Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets

    I've never heard of frying salmon heads, but I love the idea of using all the parts. Thanks for the tips about reducing the fishiness, Pepy.

  9. I LOVE tempura…:)!! But I don't think I would be able to eat salmon head (or simply fish heads in general….;))!!

  10. I LOVE tempura…:)!! But I don't think I would be able to eat salmon head (or simply fish heads in general….;))!!

  11. What to cook today

    I'll bookmark this recipe. I saw salmon heads before too at Asian grocery store but not sure what I can do with them, now, I know what to do with them. I'll try this recipe soon. Thanks.

  12. What to cook today

    I'll bookmark this recipe. I saw salmon heads before too at Asian grocery store but not sure what I can do with them, now, I know what to do with them. I'll try this recipe soon. Thanks.

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