How To Dry Fish
How to dry fish is a technique considered to be a lost art. It was the native Indians who advised the European settlers about the method. Drying fish actually helps the fish to retain its proteins for a longer period of time as the lack of moisture helps to thwart the microbes responsible for spoilage. It will be an effective procedure even in modern times especially if you suddenly find yourself staring at a huge quantity of fish that needs to be preserved. Read on for details before you proceed with it.
Drying fish requires a wide, open space. A place where you can spread your wares needs to be sheeted and free from preying animals. A place just under the overhanging of a terrace or a covered balcony serves as an ideal place for carrying out the operation.
It is now time to prepare the fish that you need to preserve. Be prudent enough to choose the freshest among them and remove the head, gills, gut and backbone while retaining the skin.
Use cold water to clean the fish thoroughly of debris and then soak it in salt water for about half an hour. Rinse the fish properly after draining it.
Take a good amount of pickling salt, of coarse variety and rub it along the body of the fish increasing the pressure of your hands thus enabling the salt to adhere to the surface of the fish.
Place the fish on wooden racks instead of metallic ones. This will prevent spoiling the fish by imparting the metallic flavor to it.
Keep the fish drying in the sun for a few days, taking care to remove the racks at night thus discouraging the animals from getting at it.
The entire process may take about five days to a week. Pressing the flesh of the fish firmly lets you to check whether the process is complete. The elasticity of the fish is completely lost when it becomes dry.
It is important to keep the dried fish chilled before using it.
You also need to soak the fish for a considerable period of time in water or milk before consumption. This will help to get rid of the excess salt.
Learning how to dry fish will help you to enjoy a whole new category of fish dishes. Try to do it the next time and enjoy your fishy meal. Bon Appétit!