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can you ever eat fish gills? they look so fresh and beautiful!

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We just bought a 10 pound grouper head at whole foods to use in making soup--and the gills are so red and beautiful--are they poison?

asked by jondotli over 7 years ago

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6 answers 17779 views
Greenstuff
Greenstuff

Chris is a trusted source on General Cooking

added over 7 years ago

Fish gills aren't poisonous, but they aren't anything you'd want to eat. The texture is weird, they don't taste good at all.

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Burnt Offerings
added over 7 years ago

It's cartilage, not meat. Fibrous, gelatinous, ick. Throw them into fish stock, they'll be fine. Just strain the broth to avoid fibers.

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Kmack
added over 7 years ago

I've always avoided adding them to fish stock - I was under the impression that it can add a bitter taste.

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Greenstuff
Greenstuff

Chris is a trusted source on General Cooking

added over 7 years ago

I generally just throw the whole head into the stock and simmer slowly without problems. But Kmack is right, fish gills (and internal organs) can make for a bitter stock. And the gills on that 10-pounder are probably robust enough to be a problem.

jondotli, if you're going to continue shopping for magnificent fish heads, you should check out the traditional dish from Singapore--fish head curry. It's delicious.

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jondotli
added over 7 years ago

Thanks.

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iwali
added 9 months ago

I have eaten the gills from a head of salmon after I pan-fried it. They did have a strong taste and strange texture and a lot of really thin weak bones inside that I had no trouble swallowing, plus other, stronger, irregularly shaped bones around the edges that I took out carefully. Eating them would have not been the most enjoyable thing for most people, but for me they were a good addition to my meal. I will eat a lot of things that other people wouldn't like.

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