Fish head curry is a classic Singaporean and Malaysian dish. It’s said to have originated in Singapore in the 1950s, though it seems likely that thrifty housewives were finding ways to make fish heads tasty long before then, after all the meat in the cheeks and wings is delicious and plentiful in many species! I like to use kingfish as, being farmed, it’s reliably available in the right size, but snapper and other large white-fleshed fish work just as well. Ask your fishmonger to split the head lengthways for you. If you can’t face cooking a fish head, poach some meaty white fish fillets or prawns in the same sauce for just a few minutes. The flavourings in a traditional Singaporean fish head curry are very similar to those in a Nyonya curry, though curry leaves are a must and mustard and fenugreek seeds are often added. Eggplant and okra are also frequently included, so take this recipe as a starting point and work with what you have on hand. Then make it extra special with a glass of d’Arenberg The Custodian grenache from McLaren Vale.
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