剁椒鱼头 Mashed Pepper Fish Head
Pinyin: duò jiāo yú tóu
As is often the case at a meal in China you’ll sometimes be served something completely unknown. Fish heads served for dinner often come as a surprise to the uninitiated. There are a few things to make your fish head dining experience an appetizing proposition.
The first thing to know is that aside from the bones basically everything on a fish head is edible, the skin, the eyes, the brains, and all the bits in between. The cheeks are often rumored to be the best meat of the entire fish. The eyeballs are hard, crunchy spheres that can be eaten but seem to be a love or hate item.
Fish head often comes in soup but in this case it was steamed/stewed. As you can see there are lots of peppers, but they are more sweet than spicy. The majority are cherry peppers that have been mashed with garlic, ginger, and salt before being cooked with the fish. Fish head cooked like this is fantastic, the spices fill your mouth with some great flavors and keep the fish tender and juicy.