Fish Heads in Curry Broth

Nothing says “summer” 
quite like pristine Louisiana seafood. As the weather heats up, we turn to light, refreshing dishes that highlight the natural flavors of fresh catches from the Gulf of Mexico. This summer, celebrate the taste of fresh seafood with an incredible recipe from Executive Chef Michael Nelson of GW Fins.

At the French Quarter restaurant known for its wide array of top-notch seafood options, Michael uses seasonal ingredients to enhance the flavors and textures of the catches of the day. He has dedicated himself to a sustainable nose-to-tail approach, and encourages diners to try new and different cuts of fish—including heads, collars, ribs, and fins. His Fish Heads in Curry Broth may look intimidating, but it’s actually a staff favorite at GW Fins, and Michael insists that the head is the most delicious part of the fish.

Fish Heads in Curry Broth
Yields: 4 servings
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 stalk lemongrass
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 (1-inch) cube fresh peeled galangal, thinly sliced (optional)
  • 6 kaffir lime leaves
  • 10 stems fresh cilantro
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • ½ carrot, chopped
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 2 cups shrimp stock
  • 2 teaspoons red curry paste
  • 1 (13.5-ounce) can coconut cream
  • 1 tablespoon firmly packed brown sugar
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 4 fish heads or 4 to 8 fish collars
  • Salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Hot cooked jasmine rice
  1. In a large Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add lemongrass, ginger, galangal, lime leaves, cilantro, celery, carrot, and shallot. Cook, stirring constantly, until carrot is softened.
  2. Add stock and curry paste, and bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes. Carefully transfer mixture to the container of a blender, and blend at high speed until smooth. Strain broth through a fine-mesh sieve, discarding solids. Return broth to Dutch oven, and add coconut cream, brown sugar, lime juice, and fish sauce. Bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer.
  3. Preheat oven to broil.
  4. Season fish with salt and pepper, and drizzle with oil. Broil until lightly browned on both sides. Place fish heads in broth, and simmer gently for 5 minutes. Divide among serving bowls, and serve with jasmine rice.



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