Fish Bones Are... Delicious?

Categories: Wake Up Call

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flickr/Chrissy Olson
Snack worthy?

Nose-to-tail cooking is considered a new and exciting movement for the States, which is a little odd given that just a century ago "nose-to-tail" simply meant "using everything you can because meat is expensive." In contrast, Asian cuisine never really gave up the tradition of cooking up everything edible, even if it tries to fight back as you eat it. In many parts of the world, protein is protein whether it comes from an arbitrarily defined "farm animal" or a mound of spicy deep-fried crickets.

In that vein, let's talk about fried fish bones. Cooks have been frying up fish bones as a crunchy treat forever, but the practice only gained popularity in New York City a couple years ago. It has been spreading ever since but appears mostly contained to the coasts. Presumably, landlocked states like our own should just be glad we can get fish at all.

Ready to take the plunge?
Your best bet for trying out fried fish bone is probably your own kitchen. All you really need to do is cook up some fish, save the bones after dining, and drop them into an inch or two of hot oil. For the best results, leave a bit of fat and flesh on the bone. It should only take a few minutes as you're looking for a delicious looking light browning rather than a burned mess.

If you're feeling extra adventurous, try deep frying the head as well.

If you're looking for a more professional fry job, bring it up with your local sushi chef. He may be willing to play, provided he isn't hoarding extra bones for himself and his staff.

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