The fishmonger gave me a whole salmon rationed, and included the head and spine. I threw the head and spine away, but was wondering whether there is any culinary use for it.

Normally in a fish stock, I use white fish, not blue.

5 Answers 5


I agree that you can get some good meat from the head and could use it to flavour Bouillabaisse, i wouldn't however use it for stock as oily fish can lead to a cloudy fatty stock rather than the clearer and more flavoursome fish stock that can be derived from the off cuts and bones from white fish.

  • I've seen a recipe for a 'strong fish stock' that uses salmon. I've also seen a warning against this type of stock as being too strong. So, bouillabaisse could be an option, next time around. Commented Oct 3, 2011 at 11:10

Lots of good meat on the head (e.g. right on the cheeks), don't throw it away!


I use salmon bones in stock all of the time. It's delicious!

  • 1
    I've always wondered if there were any kinds of fish that didn't make good fish stock?
    – Rikon
    Commented Oct 2, 2011 at 2:48

The heads contain a lot of natural collagen and meat, so they are perfect for making head cheese. Here is a good recipe for king salmon heads. Here is a picture of the result of that recipe.

  • One word: nice (15 chars or more) Commented Oct 3, 2011 at 18:05

If you actually like gnawing on bones (like my parents), you can sprinkle some seasoned salt and bake/smoke them... and then gnaw on them...

They also prepare the head in various ways like steaming in rice wine with a bunch of scallions and ginger or the aforementioned stocks. This also depends on whether you like picking meat off.


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