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troutfiddler

how do i dry fish??

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I have not tried it but assume the smell would be similar to that of breeding gents which I have done a few times.My Parents are Malaysian Chinese and dried fish is occasionally used in the cuisine.Drying was an important method of preserving fish in times of surplus before the time of refrigeration. Like most peasant origin foods it has grown into a delicacy. Essentially you clean scale gut and gill a fish then split it in half. It is then sprinkled with salt and placed outside to dry. It is important to keep the flies out of it otherwise you get maggot.The salt and the drying acts to preserve the fish.I have enjoyed it deep fried as an accompaniment to rice. It can be a bit of an acquired taste. Dried and fried Ikan Bilis (whitebait/anchovies) are an essential ingredient to one of my Favorite breakfast dished Nasai Lemak. I enjoyed this dish on fathers day at 'The Food Business' in Burnside. (Great Breakfast but bookings essential)Dried squid is also a favorite of mine and dried scallops are an essential ingredient to XO sauce.Other cultures also have their dried fish dishes. Salt Cod comes to mind as does South African fish biltong.Any Asian grocer will have dried fish. If you wanted to make it I would try with Tommies or gar and heavily salt them, then place in the shade in a fly proof box with plenty of ventilation. As with any food preparation good hygiene is essential. An alternate and potentially less smelly method would be to use a food dehydrator.

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Fish Biltong or Jerky are different again and something I would like to try making.Compared to an Asian dried fish, you use pieces of fish, less salt as well as spices and sometimes vinegar to cure the fish. The end product is ready to eat by itself and does not require any extra preparation once dried.http://southafricaspearfishing.blogspot.com/2009/07/fish-biltong-recipe.htmlhttp://www.dehydratorbook.com/fish-jerky.html

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I've read that drying is best done with fish that are not to oily. Oily fish do not tend to dry as well and are best smoked.I haven't done fish before but I got a sunbeam dehydrator for making beef jerky so you might be best off getting something like that. (Homemade jerky is the best. Far better than the plastic tasting store rubbish. The Barossa Fine Foods stall in the markets also has decent beef jerky for $60/kg too)You would need to fillet the fish into very thin slices to dry using it though. Squid would probably work very well in it.If you want to dry whole fish / thick fillets you would need to have access to something a bit more substantial like an oven or something.The idea with drying as opposed to smoking is to have continuous airflow of dry air and it is best and safest if the air is also hot enough to heat what your drying to at least 75deg C internally.One recommended method is to have a oven set on a low heat setting with the door propped open at the top and preferably fan forces. This allows hot air to constantly flow out of top and cycle through the oven space.Drying time for thick fillets and whole fish would could be in excess of 24 hours though so the oven would be going for a very long time.Drying thin slices in the dehydrator I have (its basically a fan heater that forces the air through a stack of trays continuously) took about 8 or so hours for beef. I think fish might be slightly faster and squid slightly longer.You are best marinating the fish first with a high-salt marinate (or even plain brine) or a salt based dry rub. The salt helps draw out some of the deep moisture and speed up drying as well as improving flavor.Good luck trying it and I would like to hear how you go. Next time I go out catching something worth eating I might give it a go myself.

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Being a big fan of asian cuisine I have often eaten both dried fish and dried squid, along with many other dried products.Drying foods stuffs is just a simple method of preservation, for places where refrigeration isn't always an alternative, which involves salting and hanging.I would suggest for convenience, a simple and much faster alternative to drying would be smoking the fish instead.

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would love to dry fish but dont know how? ate it a few years ago and loved it! heard you can do it with almost any fish?

Looks some great tips here.You could alwaya ask at one of the shops that stocks it as to how its done ?Soundfs tasty, mand chewqy too :)

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