Head on/Head off

Shrimp, fish, pigs, etc…does having them served to you with the head intact pose a problem for you or your SO?

I found a source for great, fresh, head-on shrimp really cheap (H-Mart) and the wife has issues with eating something that is looking back at her. It doesn’t bother me in the least. I tried explaining that the head is where they store their delicious fat, but to no avail.

I’ve heard this before from people, but not in a while and I would like to think that it is less of an issue than it used to be.

Head on please. I guess you could cook them first to render the fat, then behead them?

Head on definitely, particularly with fish. Wife won’t eat it until head and tail are removes (I always ask that they give the head to me)

My kids like to eat the eyeballs. (fish)

George flirtysmile

Suck out the shrimp heads!

Mention to her that Crispy Shrimp Heads (without the actual shrimp) is a common appetizer in Japanese places?

Mark - I am 100% in agreement with your wife. Total turnoff.

I would not want a cow head on my plate when eating steak. No reason to have anything I find unappetizing on my plate, come to think of it. But if you find it a treat to have a head and eyeballs looking at you, have at it.

People are used to seeing this, no?

So, why does this freak them out?

Whole roast lamb’s head…Mmmmmmmmmm gooooooood!

Photo from this excellent web site:

“The best part of the lamb, to an Albanian, is the head. Called kokë qengji, lamb’s head is what’s served to the guest of honor, or to the most important man at the table. Here, spit roasted alongside golden chickens, the heads spin over charcoal. They are the whole thing, save the ears - eyes, cheek, tongue, teeth, nose, gums, brains and skull. Pinched, drawn out faces and snaggly underbites, wide-set eyes, streamlined noses - they look, in this state, like something aquatic rather than citizens of the pasture.”

Only buy shrimp with head on. Just feels fresher

Best parts of the fish is the head and tail. Flesh is more delicate and tastes better, especially the cheeks. Don’t take my word for it - only way to find out is to try it!

Big yes on the cheeks of large fish. Don’t forget pigs:

Head is good. newhere

I can say with some assurance that somewhere in the deepest, darkest reaches of the Australian outback, there is a tribe of Aborigines that knew you were going to make that post.

I’m just sayin’…


The boar’s head, as I understand,
Is the rarest dish in all this land,
Which thus bedeck’d with a gay garland
Let us > servire cantico> .

I like the head on for most anything that’s feasible. Both of my teen children have been eating this way since they were little so no problem there. No problem for my wife either. I haven’t eaten a cows head yet, but there is a country butcher here that sells them either whole or split. Pretty cheap too. I’ve eaten various parts but I need to give a whole one a try.

Roberto - yes, it is not uncommon for people to cook and present food this way, but I can’t look and I don’t eat it when I see it this way.


Anthony Bourdain in his first book (was that Kitchen Confidential?) said that the most delicious meat was “face”…

He tends to be right a lot but it’s generally been too much trouble to obtain and cook.

Fish cheeks, people say, are the best part. And I have tried to get beef cheeks, lamb cheeks – hard to find a butcher who stocks them these days because hardly anyone starts with the whole animal…

I have a couple of butchers for you Frank next time you are in Chicago. Also, I have a place in Chinatown that will sell you a whole roasted pig’s head for $5