Fish head curry is commonly enjoyed in Malaysia and Singapore. With South Indian origins, fish head curry uses a combination of various spices and ingredients to create the delectable taste loved in Southeast Asia. Here is an easy fish head curry recipe with all the tips needed.
One of the most sought after curry in both Malaysian and Singapore is fish head curry. Commonly found at many Indian eateries like mamak, fish head curry is ordered as a side dish for steamed white rice. Just like other dishes found in Singapore and Malaysia, the recipe adapts to the local taste since it was introduced by the Indian migrants when they moved to the region. Thus, it is to no surprise that fish head curry is not known in India.
### But, why fish head?
It may be disturbing to many. However, the meat of red seabream found at the jaws located below the gills and also on the back of the neck is sweet and delicate. It is the layers of fine meat structure that is able to absorb the flavours of curry or any sauce that comes with it, when eaten together. I have seen those who would only seek out for the fish head when the whole fish is served especially in dishes like steamed [Cantonese steamed fish](https://www.nyonyacooking.com/recipes/steamed-fish).
Due to its popularity, there is now a variety of fish head curries depending on the ethnic flavour profiles such as Nyonya Fish head curry or even Thai fish head curry. While there many different types of fish head curries, the Indian fish head curry still tops my list of all fish head curries. Indian fish head curry is also known as the healthier version among all as it does not use any coconut milk but yet is able to deliver the thick and luscious curry flavours. You need a few tricks to make that perfect fish head curry and I have you covered!
### 1. Fish curry powder
Fresh fish curry powder mix is a must. The quality and composition of the fish curry powder will affect the taste. Look out for Malaysian or Singaporean made fish curry powder mixture. If you are located in Malaysia or Singapore, fresh curry powder mixture can be bought at the wet market.
### 2. Type of fish
As mentioned, red seabream is typically used in fish head curry. Other white fleshed fishes such as sea bass, gilt-head bream or talapia are also suitable for this flavourful curry. In most western countries, fish heads are not available unless the whole fish is bought. It is of course possible if you plan to cook the whole fish (chopped into three parts). If there is still reluctance to cook fish head, use fillets or cutlets as a replacement. Most importantly, only use fresh fish and do not over cook them or the flesh will be tough!
### 3. Make fish head curry thick
Fish head curries must be thick in consistency. There is no discussion! There are two main steps to make the curry thick. First of all, use rice. Having rice as an ingredient in curry may be unusual to many. However, the starch in the rice will act as a thickening agent. Secondly, the curry needs to be simmered down until it reaches the desired thickness! Therefore, vegetables such as okra and aubergine are perfect since they soften in the curry as it is simmered.
There you go, three main tips to cook your perfect fish head curry as found in most Indian eateries! This dish goes perfectly well with white rice and other side dishes for Banana Leaf Rice. It is also easier to prepare compare to many other curries.