Fish Head Soup
Buy fish whole and filet it yourself to get an extra meal out of it. You will get more flesh out of the fish when hand fileted, you can eat the fish liver if it is big enough and you can use the head and skeleton to make Fish Head Soup.

When finished, the bones can be rendered down and can be added to compost or used to make
bone broth.

(See How To Filet A Fish.)

To make the basic fish head stock:
Put fish head(s) into a slow cooker along with any ends and skins from onions that you have saved (freezing OK), garlic trimmings, carrot tops, celery leaves etc. Add water to about a half inch to an inch over the heads and skeleton. Cover and let slow cook for 1 or 2 days, stirring occassionally or once a day, topping up with more water if it evaporates. If leaving appliances on is an issue for you, it is OK to turn it off for a few hours or overnight and then turn it back on again and resume slow cooking later.

When it has cooked to the point where all the meat has fallen off and the bones are soft, turn off the heat. After it has cooled off, press it through a kitchen sieve to remove all the pieces of bones and vegetables.

To make the soup:
For every cup of broth add 1 tablespoon of white flour and a pinch of salt. Add 1 lard-sauteed onion. Stir in flour until dissolved and then simmer until flour thickens, stirring occasionally. If you do not wish to have whole fish heads in your soup, cut up the filets and sprinkle them into the soup instead for  a fish soup, or add whatever leftover vegetables you have around.
To add the whole fish heads, you will need larger, flat-headed fish heads such as ling cod,
as there is not enough meat in an average 8" fish that you can get it out without crushing the head first.. The meat under the mouth and at the top of the head has the best flavor of the whole fish.

Carefully lower the whole fish head into the soup with a slotted spoon.  Do not plan on using more whole fish heads than will comfortably fit into the pot you are using.

Simmer for a few minutes or until the heads are cooked (time will vary with the size of the fish heads) and then gently lift each fish head out of the soup and place into soup bowls. Pour soup carefully into bowl so as not to break up heads and serve with wedge of lemon or parsley garnish, if desired. Other suitable garnishes could be a sprig of lemon balm, some dandelion flowers, chives, scallions, green onions or borage flowers, if you have some growing in your garden.

Frugal tip:
Filet the fish and start making a fish head soup with the head and skeleton. Fry the fish filets in lard (fry some onions first so you have (a) fried onions to enjoy with your fish filets and (B) tops and skins of the onions to add to your fish head soup. Cut a little bit off the wide end of the filets and save it. No one will notice if their filet is a little bit smaller than the fish that was purchased. When the soup is made, crumble in the fish pieces. Perhaps save a spoonful of the onions, add any stale bread crusts you might have to bulk it up, cut up a couple dandelion leaves into tiny pieces to give it a bit of color. For your one fish purchase, you'll still get your two regulation fish dinners with the 2 filets, plus a fish soup for lunch a couple days later.

Fish Sauce
Makes about 2 cups

A pound of small (3") fish, including heads, cut up
3 tablespoons sea salt
2 cups water
2 cloves garlic, mashed
2 bay leaves, crumbled
1 teaspoon peppercorns
several pieces lemon rind
1 tablespoon tamarind paste (optional)
2 tablespoons whey

Toss the fish pieces in salt. Put in wide-mouth glass jar and press down. Mix the remaining ingredients and pour over the salt and fish fish. Add more water if needed to cover the fish. Cover with an airlock and leave in a warm place, such as on top of the refrigerator, for about 3 days. Transfer to refrigerator and leave for several weeks. After several weeks, drain the fermented fish liquid through a sieve. Store the liquid fish sauce in the fridge.

Book Recommendations

The Fish That We Eat by Anore Jones. (This is a link to a pdf document that contains the entire 345-page book.)
Full Moon Feast by Jessica Prentice
This is a good book if you like learning about indigenous customs and following natural cycles. Includes using coconut oil, a rootbeer recipe that calls for only 2 tablespoons of sassafras and easy and delicious corn fritters
The Yoga of Eating  by Charles Eisenstein.

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