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Easy Fish Head Curry Recipe
November 30, 2016
Easy Fish Head Curry Recipe

Honestly, I have never tried Fish Head curry in my entire cooking experience.

I thought that fish head would give out an awful fish odor and you wouldn’t be able to get much fish meat from the head.

Normally, I would buy the whole Red Snapper or Mackerel minus the head but my hubby loves fish head curry very much which we often dined out.

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Hence, I decided to try out and searching for a simple and Easy Fish Head Curry recipe online.

I didn’t expect that fish head makes delicious curry as chicken curry too.

This Easy Fish Head Curry is similar to Chinese and Malay style recipe except Malay traditional curries use Bunga Kantan ( Ginger Flower Buds) that makes the curry more fragrant.

Sometimes when I am in a hurry, I buy ready-made curry paste but nothing could beat homemade curry paste by grinding chillies, onions, galangal, lemon grass, turmeric and belacan together.

Use food processor to mix all the ingredients together but first you have to cut them into smaller pieces before dumping them into the food processor.

Otherwise, it will take a longer time to grind the curry paste.

If you couldn’t find any original belacan blocks in supermarket, you can substitute it with belacan paste or belacan powder.

Belacan is one of the local traditional spice ingredient that gives the fragrant smell and taste after mixed with onions and chilli.

Belacan is made from dried shrimp, dried red chilli, minced garlic, onions and sugar, fried and dried which gives out AWFUL and smelly odor that attracts flies easily.

However, when belacan is mixed with other spice ingredients, it produces fragrant odor instead and taste super delicious!


As for the fish head, you could buy fresh Red Snapper or Mackerel fish head at the wet market, early in the morning.

Supermarket might not provide fresh fish head because unsold fish head are frozen and resold again.

Most fish heads sold are BIG in size. Choose fish head with more flesh at the neck area.


Easy Fish Head Curry


-1 large fish head (Red Snapper or Mackerel Fish)- cut into halves

-salt and pepper

-3 tbsp oil


-1 small brinjal (cut into circles chunks)

-1 cup thick coconut milk ( grated fresh coconut mix with 200ml water, squeezed)

-1 cup water

-2tbsp tamarind paste mix wit 1/2 cup water and strained

-1 tbsp curry powder

-1 tsp sugar

-salt to taste

-2 small tomato ( cut into quarters)




Ground Ingredients:

-12 dried chillies-soaked and remove seeds

-2 stalk lemon grass

-2cm piece galangal

-2cm turmeric

-2cm piece belacan ( shrimp paste)

-2 medium onions





  • Wash fish head well , season with salt and pepper. Pat some flour over the fish head if you are afraid of oil popping.
  • Heat up wok with oil, saute grounded ingredients under low heat. Stir fry until fragrant, don’t let it burnt.
  • Add in chunks of brinjal and stir fry well.
  • Pour in coconut milk, water, curry powder, tamarind juice, salt and sugar to taste.
  • When the curry boils, slip in fish head, bring to boil again.
  • Lower heat, add tomatoes and simmer for 10min, until fish head is cooked.
  • Use fork to poke the brinjals, if soften, Fish Head Curry is ready to serve.



Yield: 3-4 persons



More fish and meat recipes:

Red Snapper Sweet and Sour Sauce

Fried Fish Japanese Style

Pork Apricot Filling


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    1. I think it will be tasty sure because it looks nice on the plate. But my sister makes it so at home lat Friday she made it in the evening meal.
      Wash the fish head or fish steaks and pat dry. Keep aside.
      Heat oil in a wok or saucepan, add curry seeds mixture and ginger and stir fry over high heat for two to three minutes till the seeds pop.
      Cool slightly then pulse in a food processor to create the paste.
      In the same wok or sauce pan with the remaining oil, add garlic and stir fry till lightly browned.
      Add the curry paste and stir fry till fragrant and cooked.
      Add the onions and stir fry briefly for about one minute.
      Put in half of the coconut milk, bring to a boil, remember to keep stirring to avoid curdling.
      Add the fish, cook for 10 minutes before adding the remaining coconut milk and the tamarind juice.
      Add the tomatoes, red chilli, green chilli, curry leaves, salt and sugar.
      Simmer gently for about five to eight minutes or until the sauce is thickened to a desired consistency and the fish is cooked through.
      You may add more liquid if there is not enough gravy.
      Serve with steaming hot rice.

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