Thursday, July 23, 2009

Roley Poley Fish Heads


Eat them up yum!

It's salmon time here in Kotzebue. The salmon start running usually about the first week in July and continue into August. Kotzebue mostly has chum salmon although we do get pinks and an occasional silver or king. Now don't go hating on the chums. Kotzebue Sound chums are firm and fat and good eating, not like the chums found in other areas of Alaska.

Every summer we spend a lot of time setting nets, filleting and packaging fish for the freezer. We also can and dry some. We eat a lot of fresh fish during the summer too, in many different ways...baked, fried, made into spreads and dips. Of all the ways to eat fish one of the local favorites is boiled heads.

You take the fish head and cut the jaws off right above the top teeth. Then you split the head in half between the eyes. Throw them in a pot of boiling water.

Don't forget some salted belly pieces. These are my favorite.

After the heads and bellies have been cooking for a while you throw in a few skeins of roe. You don't want to boil them too long or they get too hard and lose flavor. 5 minutes is usually plenty. You can tell they are done when they turn pale orange.

I like to boil fish outside on the primer stove so the whole house doesn't smell fishy all day.

And there you have it, boiled salmon heads, bellies and eggs. They are tasty served with dried seal meat and seal oil with slices of raw onions.

Bon Appetit!



Peruby said...

At 5:40 a.m. and I am not grossed out. Now, there is a meal I have never had before.

Rocksee said...

Im comin for dinner! yum!

Anonymous said...

Blech. Sorry. Glad everyone else is game, but here? Fish heads are bait.

QaliĊ‹ak said...


Anonymous said...

I could swear one of those fish heads gave me the stink eye!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for keeping your blog updated....I really enjoy it and look forward to reading it each day!
Hope you don't abandon us when you leave for the motherland!

Tracy said...

I think I'l pass on the fish heads, etc. lol I'm not a fish person to start with, and I've finally found ways to eat it that I like (since I know it's good for you and all...) But that's pushing it for me. I still need to try the other salmon recipes you posted before--those looked good. They're so expensive down here to buy...and who knows how long it took them to get down here. LOL I might buy some packaged salmon next week--I'm heading up to WA to visit family where it's easier to get.

Anonymous said...

honestly cathy,

you are soooo much more native then i. i might be able to do the filet, but the thought of it cooked with the head, i just can't. i'll stick with my smoked salmon strips and grilled filets. how's your knee by the way? tell your bff to come visit me...and NO shopping. for once. ;)

BruceB said...

My first posting here, greetings from south central Virginia.

Your blog is my Alaska fix, many interesting things and places explored, awesome pictures, of an area you dont see often.

However I will pass on the fish heads, have you tried them with salsa? If you deep fried them, the folks in my area would love them.

And I figure summer is already on the way out in Kotzebue, keep up the good work, I really enjoy learning about your life and life in the Arctic Circle.

CabinDweller said...

Never had them that way. Just had them split through the middle and vigorously fried.

Might try it some time though.