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How to Get the Most Out of Your Whole Fish

Frank Guerriero

October 24, 2018

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Photo: Keirnan Monaghan and Theo Vamvounakis

Our #WasteNot campaign is all about learning to think differently about food and adopting full-use cooking methods, but that doesn’t mean just repurposing scraps or dressing up leftovers. To #WasteNot is also to rediscover the deliciousness of ingredients that have gone underappreciated for far too long, like the meaty, deeply flavorful collars of a whole fish. For this recipe, chef William Dissen transforms a cut of fresh-caught grouper that would usually end up in the trash into a bright and crispy dish worth showing off.

After expertly removing the collars (you can also just take the underutilized cut off your fishmonger’s hands), Dissen dips them in a light tempura-style batter and gently fries them to golden perfection. Then, he laces the bottom of the plate with a fresh, acidic green garlic aïoli, lays down the crispy collar, and tops it off with a tart, crunchy kohlrabi–fresno chile slaw. Served with a few dollops of homemade sweet chile sauce for dipping and a sprinkle of Aleppo pepper, it’s a delectably sustainable dinner that’ll make you wonder if collars may be the new fillets. Get the recipe and make it tonight.

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The James Beard Foundation's new cookbook, Waste Not: How to Get the Most from Your Food, offers up a host of delicious solutions to the pressing problem of food waste. Featuring 100 recipes from alumni of our Chefs Boot Camp for Policy and Change, Waste Not will teach you how to turn every root, bone, rind, and stem into an irresistible dish.

Waste Not: How to Get the Most from Your Food, published by Rizzoli,​ is on sale now.​ Order your copy today!

Frank Guerriero is the media assistant at the Beard Foundation. Find him on Instagram.