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Eat Mor Snakehead! 10 Frankenfish Recipes That Won't Bite Back


“When man turns its attention to an animal, it's very difficult for the animal,” states David Stein, executive chef at Tony & Joe's Seafood Place in Washington DC. In the case of the invasive Northern Snakehead, elaborates Stein, “He (the snakehead) is dangerous, but chefs are more dangerous.”

Luckily for both chefs and seafood lovers, snakeheads offer mild-tasting, meaty, snow-white steaks and filets ideal for inclusion in a wide variety of seafood recipes. That's one of Stein's creations above, accompanied by the head of the snakehead he cooked. Here's looking at me, kid!

 

 

10) Frankenfish Tacos


Yo quiero snakehead! Hey, if the Cooking Channel has embraced snakeheads, so can you... just be sure they're officially deceased when you do it. As for Frankenfish Tacos, the name might not be bursting with zesty appeal but the delicioso Grilled Corn Salsa more than makes up for it. (Snakehead recipe image via Cooking Channel)

 

 

9) Spotted Snakehead Sizzling Fry


Spotted Snakehead, Striped Snakehead, Giant Snakehead (for those annual family gatherings), it's all good because all snakeheads in North America are all bad – for the environment, that is. On your plate it's a different story and though the native name of this Bangladeshi recipe is “Taki”, both the taste and presentation are anything but. (Snakehead recipe image via Recipe.com)

 

 

8) Snakehead Steamed In Lime Juice


This snakehead recipe comes courtesy of BangkokHooker... it's a fishing website, or so I'm told. Anyway, this heavenly combination of snakehead, fresh lime, garlic, chilies and herbs showcases the best features of Thai cuisine. No wonder they call Thailand “The Land of Smiles.” (Snakehead recipe image via Bangkokhooker's Fishing in Thailand)

 

 

7) Vietnamese Style Clay Pot Braised Snakehead


Also known somewhat less palatably as “Mudfish”, Snakehead is one of the most popular culinary fishes in southeast Asia thanks to firm, fine-grained meat that stays together when cooked. Snakehead Stew is cooked in a stone or clay cooking pot along with boneless pork, lemongrass, citronella and other regional spices. The bowl may be heavy but the meal won't weigh you down. (Snakehead recipe image via Saltpepperlime)

 

 

6) Steamed Fermented Snakehead Fish


From Mylinh Nakry of Khmer Krom Recipes comes this flavorful fish dish inspired by the homespun cuisine of rural Cambodia. Steamed Fermented Snakehead Fish (“Mam trey toke chamhoy” to the locals) sounds as if it might be distressingly aromatic but according to Nakry, properly prepared fermented or pickled fish should have very little odor – you could eat it raw if you wanted to. Instead of challenging your dinner guests, however, try Nakry's recipe... there's need to hold your nose while doing so. (Snakehead recipe image via Mylinh Nakry)

 

 

5) Deep-fried Snakehead Po' boy Sandwiches


Served on a 6-inch Shorty or fully dressed with your choice of garnishes, Snakehead Po' boy Sandwiches add a new twist to Big Easy comfort food. Snakehead is ideal for battering and deep-frying: the firm meat won't break up while cooking and provides an almost chicken-like bite when served. Batter & fry snakehead meat as you would any other firm-fleshed fish and lay on the condiments; don't forget to use real French-style baguettes for that authentic Nawlins accent! (Snakehead recipe image via Baltimore Sun)

 

 

4) Rustic Curried Snakehead Fish Grilled in Banana Leaves


Ngohp Bplaa Chaawn? Yes please! Rustic Curried Snakehead Fish Grilled in Banana Leaves is about as exotic as it gets but back in Thailand where snakeheads are commonly found, folks have had centuries to refine the best ways to eat them. The key here is the use of banana leaves to wrap the fish before grilling: they hold the flavorful juices in, keeping the fish mouthwateringly moist. (Snakehead recipe image via Thai Food Master)

 

 

3) Grilled Snakehead Fish


Grilled snakehead is “very popular in South Vietnam,” so we wonder just what alternate universe the author of this recipe's living in. But we digress: Grilled Snakehead can be ordered in most any domestic Vietnamese restaurant or prepared from scratch in most any domestic North American kitchen. One caveat is that the recipe calls for the chef to “bury fish in haystacks and burn.” Consult with your local farmer before doing so. (Snakehead recipe image via Vietnamesefood)

 

 

2) Snakehead Fish Soup with Sweet Corn and Huai Shan


This old family recipe is a great way to use a lot of snakehead in a nutritious manner. Huai Shan, also known as Wild Yam or Nagaimo (“long potato” in Japanese) is available at most Asian grocery stores fresh or dried – this recipe calls for the dried version which may be harder to find unless you've got a Chinese herb store close at hand. (Snakehead recipe image via Wendyinkk)

 

 

1) Easy Tasty Snakehead


This simple recipe from Chef Mu is so tried, tested and true it doesn't even have a name! No matter – it involves marinating & frying and includes garlic so you can just call it “delicious.” Going just by appearances, this is one snakehead recipe that'll keep 'em coming back for more, even though “Chef Mu” sounds like someone who specializes in beef dishes. Eat Mor Snakehead indeed. (Snakehead recipe image via Tasty)





Isn't it amazing how a very ugly fish can make a great-looking (and delicious tasting) meal? Even better, by putting snakeheads on your menu you help keep our native fish off the snakehead's menu. That's more than enough reason to reel 'em in and serve 'em up! (Snakehead images via WTOP, top, and The Artful Gourmet, above)

Steve Levenstein
Creature Features
PetsLady.com

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