Fin-to-Gill: 5 Ways To Cook Fish Without Wasting Any Parts

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Fin-to-Gill: 5 Ways To Cook Fish Without Wasting Any Parts

Fin-to-gill is the new winds of sustainable eating is an imperative approach to reduce food waste and stretch precious seafood resources further. We need to be more conscious about how we utilize seafood poultry in cooking because according to the WWF report, almost 30% of commercial fish stocks are overfished and to make matters worse so much of what is caught is wasted. Now, that’s where the fin-to-gill concept comes to help by honoring and celebrating sea bounty by cooking all its parts and not just the prime fine cuts.

 In fact this new innovative eco-conscious idea has become widely accepted and implemented by many renowned chefs worldwide. Many are turning rare fish parts which most didn’t know were edible like bones to gill into dazzling dishes. Now, let’s join together in this movement to revolutionize how we treat, cook and eat fish. Yes, I would love to but how? Don’t worry, we got the answer for you.

Below are the five uncommon parts of a fish that usually gets dumped and how to cook amazing dishes out of them.

  1. Tongue

Well, fish tongue is not a delicacy you often see in many menus but did you know that they are highly nutritious and extremely delicious if you turn them into mini crispy balls? Inspired by traditional Norwegian dishes, fish tongues, especially cod-fish tongue are enjoyed as deep fried balls or nuggets as they have a succulent, soft center and a delicious meaty taste. 

Of course, deep frying is the traditional way of cooking them and you can elevate it with anything like white wine or shallots. Served the crispy balls hot and it’s a perfect appetizer on a cold rainy day. And in fact super easy to make, just chop 'em into pieces, lightly dredged in flour and fried until golden brown. Easy and delicious! Follow the video here for the full recipe.

  1. Skin

Fish skin is another fish part that most people avoid fish with the fear that it’s unsafe to eat, Though this is generally not. Fish skin has been eaten safely throughout history. It’s even a popular snack in many countries and cultures. As long as fish have been properly cleaned and the outer scales fully removed, the skin is typically safe to eat.

However, do bear in mind some fish contain high levels of mercury and other toxins and contaminants, all of which can be present in the skin as well. Therefore, choosing low-mercury fish like catfish, cod, salmon, tuna or tilapia is often more healthy than high-mercury fish like mackerel, swordfish, snapper or halibut. Now that said, eating fish skin is totally safe and as healthy as eating its flesh. So, next time don't bin fish skin, turn it into a crackling snack. Click here for recipe.

  1. Bones

One of the most underrated parts of a fish, but bones are in fact the hero and secret ingredient of many amazing broths out there and it is in fact one of the most nutritional parts of a fish. The idea of using fish bone into broth is part of many Asian traditional dishes and the Chinese would say that a good fish broth can "make a boy into a man" and can help a woman in labor. Quoting a South American quote,“Fish broth will cure anything,”

Again, in line with the fin-to-gill concept, using bones instead of discarding them is a sustainable way to use the fish and reduce food waste which would help our planet in the long run. Again, if something is packed with nutritional goodness why waste it right? Follow the recipe above, and try to make your own fish bone broth soup for your family meals once or twice a week to rev up brain function, energy and balance.

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  1. Eyeballs

Before you come to us with what you can eat fish eye? Answer is, yes you can. Fish eyeballs are considered a delicacy in many parts of East Asia. In fact, in countries like Japan and Taiwan  the guest of honor is usually served the eyes from a whole steamed fish or fish-head stew. There are many ways to use eyeballs, though you can eat it raw but you can also boil it, steam it, fry it or use it to make a stock, broth or sauce.

If you are wondering what fish eyeballs taste like, well we got the answer for that too. As you can tell they have a gooey texture and like most gooey stuff when you bite into a fish eyeball, you'll first feel its soft chewy texture. Extremely rich in protein and fat the flavor will just burst in your mouth. Good flavor of course as many people have compared the flavor and texture of fish eyeballs to an oyster, while some describe it as a fish-flavored grape. Here's a video of fish eye ball review.

  1. Liver

Last but not least, in our fin-to-gill list recipes without wasting any fish parts list is the liver. Totally safe and edible, the livers of fish are a good source of  fatty acids especially those in the omega 3 family. They are also rich in vitamin A, a vital nutrient for immune system function, cellular growth, eye health, and reproductive health.

There are many ways to cook liver (click here for recipe). Use can turn it into an oil which decreases blood clot formation and reduces inflammation in the body. Believe it or not, but liver is a very popular ingredient in French and Italian cuisine. You can smear it on crackers, put it on a baguette with some store brand cheddar cheese, dice it and throw some on top of your scrambled eggs. The options are plenty. Above, we have sourced a simple pasta dish using fish liver. Try it now!

That’s it from us for now. We hope the idea of fin-to-gill inspires you to march with us on the attempt to reduce food waste and honor sea poultry. We are still in the beginning of a journey but it is a great start and extremely necessary, if we’re going to see about doing any kind of real change that can help the oceans. So, if you want to keep eating fish and work with this extremely precious product that we have on this planet, you know what to do.

Looking for more interesting cooking recipes, tips and tricks, well then head over to our blog page. And don’t forget to browse through our site for healthy food boxes that allow you to prep your own meals at a very affordable price.