Deep-fried Brains Recipe


Adapted from The Whole Beast by Fergus Henderson

Recipe Facts

Active: 30 mins
Total: 40 mins

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  • 1 head of garlic, skin on
  • Black peppercorns in a cheesecloth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • bundle of fresh herbs
  • 1 pound brains (lamb, pork, or calf)
  • All purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 quart vegetable oil for deep-frying
  • For the green sauce:
  • 1 bunch parsely, leaves only
  • 1/2 bunch dill
  • 1 small can of anchovy fillets, finely chopped
  • 12 cloves of garlic, finely minced or grated
  • 1 tablespoon capers, minced
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, or to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Bring a 2 quart pot of water to simmer and add in the garlic, peppercorns, and herbs. Simmer for 15 minutes. Then gently lower the brains into the pot and simmer for 6 minutes. Remove the brains with a slotted spoon and let cool. When the brains are cold and firm, separate the lobes into 2 inch chunks.

  2. Meanwhile, prepare 3 bowls with the flour, the egg whisked with milk, and the breadcrumbs.

  3. Heat the oil to 350°F. Roll each brain segment in flour, then coat it in the egg mix, then coat it in the breadcrumbs. Deep-fry the brain until they are golden brown and crispy, about 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels and serve immediately with green sauce.

  4. To make green sauce: Finely chop herbs and mix with the anchovies, garlic, and capers. Add enough olive oil so that the mixture is spoonable but not runny. Season with black pepper.

Special equipment

Wok or pan for deep-frying

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