Deep-fried Brains Recipe

The Nasty Bits

Recipes and stories for everything but the oink.

Deep-fried Brains Recipe

Adapted from The Whole Beast by Fergus Henderson

  • Yield:6 as an appetizer
  • Active time: 30 minutes
  • Total time:40 minutes


  • 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. 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. 2.

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

  3. 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. 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.