Recently, I posted Kingfish Kabutoyaki. Today’s recipe, Baked Kingfish Head with Soy Glaze (Kingfish Tsukeyaki), is the other method of cooking a fish head using a basting sauce.
My Kabutoyaki recipe uses only salt to season the fish head, and the cooked flesh just has a salty flavour. But today’s recipe has a sweet soy flavour.
In addition to the flavour differences, I baked my fish head instead of grilling it. You can also bake a salted fish head, so the cooking methods and the flavouring are actually interchangeable.
In theory today’s recipe, Baked Kingfish Head with Soy Glaze, can also be called Kabutoyaki. But Kabutoyaki is usually seasoned with only salt and grilled. So, I called my Grilled Kingfish Head ‘Kabutoyaki’, and I named today’s dish ‘Kingfish Tsukeyaki’, which reflects exactly how I cooked it.
Tsukeyaki (つけ焼き) is a method of cooking ingredients. There are two cooking techniques that are called tsukeyaki but they are written in different kanji characters – 漬け焼き and 付け焼き.
Perhaps the most commonly known tsukeyaki is 漬け焼き. You marinate ingredients to transfer the flavour to them before cooking. The word ‘tsuke’ (漬け) came from the verb ‘tsukeru’ (漬ける), which means marinate. The word ‘yaki’ (焼き) means grilling or baking.
The other tsukeyaki written as 付け焼き is the basting technique using a sauce. The kanji character used for ‘tsuke‘ (付け) means apply or put on, because you put sauce on the ingredients (baste) while cooking them.
I’d use hiragana ‘つけ’ for the Japanese name of my Kingfish Tsukeyaki recipe, because I marinated a kingfish head, then basted it while baking it. I couldn’t put 漬け and 付けtogether!
What’s in My Baked Kingfish Head with Soy Glaze (Kingfish Tsukeyaki)
Although the list of ingredients is a bit longer than Kingfish Kabutoyaki, it uses only a few staple seasonings.
- Kingfish head
Salt is used to remove fishiness from the fish head before marinating the head.
- Soy sauce
The Basting Sauce is also used to marinate the fish head. I use the simplest combination of ingredients for the Basting Sauce, but sometimes I add cooking sake, sugar, and/or ginger. The combinations are limitless.
Grated ginger or ginger sauce (the juice squeezed out of the grated ginger) is often added to fish with a reddish flesh as it is slightly fishier compared to the white flesh fish such as snapper. If you wish, you can add a small amount of ginger juice to the Basting Sauce above.
How to Make Baked Kingfish Head with Soy Glaze (Kingfish Tsukeyaki)
As I indicated in my post Kingfish Kabutoyaki, Kingfish Tsukeyaki takes longer than the Kabutoyaki recipe because the fish head needs to be marinated overnight at a minimum.
- Sprinkle salt all over the fish and leave it for 20 minutes. Pat dry any moisture on the surface of the fish head.
- Put the Basting Sauce ingredients and the fish head in a zip lock bag. Marinate overnight or up to 1 day.
- Heat the oven to 200°C/392°F fan forced.
- Drain the sauce from the bag into a small saucepan.
- Heat the sauce over high heat and condense the sauce.
- Place the kingfish head, skin side down, on a rack set over a tray.
- Bake the fish head for 20 minutes. Baste the surface of the fish head at the beginning and a couple of times while cooking.
- Turn the fish head over, and baste the surface (skin side) with the sauce.
- Turn the heat up to 220°C/428°F and cook for 5 minutes. Baste once while cooking.
The more you baste the sauce the stronger the flavour of the cooked fish head becomes. Since the kingfish skin is not very thin, excess basting does not make the flesh too salty.
You will need over 2 days to make Baked Kingfish Head with Soy Glaze (Kingfish Tsukeyaki), but the cooking time is about 25 minutes.
It takes much longer than Kingfish Kabutoyaki, but if you like the slightly sweet soy flavour, you might enjoy today’s dish better. I hope you try both and compare.
See my video ‘How to Eat Kingfish Kabutoyaki’ which shows you where to find delicious meat.
Recently, I posted Kingfish Kabutoyaki. Today’s recipe, Baked Kingfish Head with Soy Glaze (Kingfish Tsukeyaki) is the other method of cooking a fish head. It has a slightly sweet soy flavour, which goes very well with rice.
Prep Time includes the time to sweat the fish head with salt (20 minutes), so the time you actually work on this recipe is not a lot.
See the video in the post, Kingfish Kabutoyaki that shows where to find delicious meat.
Don't forget to see the section 'MEAL IDEAS' below the recipe card! It gives you a list of dishes that I have already posted and this recipe that can make up a complete meal. I hope it is of help to you.
- ½ kingfish head (about 500g/1.1lb, note 1)
- 1 tsp salt
Rinse the fish head, removing the scales if you find any. If the head came with gills along the collar, remove them.
Pat dry the head with paper towel, then sprinkle salt all over the fish.
Leave it for 20 minutes, then pat dry the moisture on the surface of the fish head.
Put the Basting Sauce ingredients and the fish head in a zip lock bag and marinate overnight or up to 1 day.
Heat the oven to 200°C/392°F, fan forced (note 3).
Drain the sauce from the bag into a small saucepan.
Heat the sauce over high heat and condense it until the sauce reduces to ⅔ of the original quantity.
Place a rack on a tray lined with a sheet of aluminium foil or baking paper, and put the kingfish head on the rack, skin side down.
Baste the surface of the fish head (flesh side) and bake the fish head for 20 minutes. While baking, baste the surface of the fish with the sauce a couple of times.
Turn the fish head over and turn the heat up to 220°C/428°F (note 4).
Baste the surface (skin side) with the sauce and cook for 5 minutes, during which baste the surface of the fish with the sauce once more.
Transfer the fish head to a serving plate, skin side up.
1. I bought a whole head with collars, which weighed 1kg/2.2lb, and asked the fish shop to vertically halve the head.
2. I used the simplest combination of ingredients for the Basting Sauce, but I sometimes add cooking sake, sugar, and/or ginger. You can experiment with different combinations.
In the case of ginger, I grate it and squeeze the grated ginger to add the juice to the sauce.
3. If your oven is not fan forced, increase the temperature to 220°C/428°F.
4. If your oven is not fan forced, increase the temperature to 240°C/464°F.
5. Nutrition per 100g/3.5oz of kingfish meat. The Basting Sauce is proportioned accordingly.
serving: 118g calories: 172kcal fat: 5.3g (7%) saturated fat: 1.3g (7%) trans fat: 0.0g polyunsaturated fat: 1.4g monounsaturated fat: 2g cholesterol: 55mg (18%) sodium: 978mg (43%) carbohydrates: 4.7g (2%) dietary fibre: 0.1g (0%) sugar: 4.1g protein: 24g vitamin D: 0mcg (0%) calcium: 26mg (2%) iron: 0.6mg (4%) potassium: 459mg (10%)