Drying of fish, especially the drying of bream, perch, pike and small fish, cooking balyk, storage of dried fish.

Cooking dried fish is a whole science, including various methods and techniques of harvesting fish. Drying fish without certain skills and knowledge may not work. But owning the basic principles, it will be possible to prepare a real delicacy, which then will not be ashamed to show off to friends. 

Drying of fish, especially the drying of bream, perch, pike and small fish, cooking balyk, storage of stockfish.

Drying of the fish is its slow dehydration, which occurs due to the evaporation of moisture. Air temperature should not exceed 35 degrees. It is better to fade in the air, in natural conditions. During the process, complex biochemical reactions take place in the fish, as a result of which the fish not only dehydrates, but also matures. Before drying, it is necessary to properly process the fish and salt.

into a specially prepared container. After this, the fish should be washed and, if necessary, soaked in cold water to remove excess salt. Then the fish is strung on a twine through the eye sockets using a needle or hairpin. In this case, it is necessary to ensure that the abdomen of all fish is directed in one direction. It is better to string 15 fish on one thread, so that they probably dried out.

After that, strung fish should be hung out in a cool, ventilated place. The duration of the drying of the fish will depend on its size, fat content and weather conditions. For example, fish weighing up to 500 g will dry for 3-4 weeks, while smaller fish will be ready in 2 weeks. You can determine the readiness of the fish by external signs: the meat of the dried fish is very compacted and acquires an amber color, when pressed, fat should come out of the section. The finished product must be removed from the string and tied in bunches of 40-50 pieces. In addition, fish of the same size should be selected for one beam. It is necessary to store the finished roach in a cool, dry place at a temperature not exceeding 10 degrees and humidity 70–75%.

Features of the drying of bream.

The bream crashes a little differently. First, fish are sorted by size. The bream must be salted in an unbroken form, larger specimens should be pre-gutted. Rinse thoroughly before salting. Larger fish can be pre-cooled to 0 degrees. It is better to carry out the ambassador mixed: using rassol and dry salt. The duration of salting will depend on the size of the fish. Large and small unbroken should be salted for 4–5 days, and the average – 5–6 days. Then salted fish should be removed from the brine, kept in cold clean water to remove excess salt, and washed again in running water. Only then string on a twine and hang in a ventilated, darkened place in the air for drying.

Features of dried small fish.

Very small fish such as smelt, small perch, roach or scavenger are very easy to jerk. First fish should be washed in water and put in brine. After 20 minutes, the fish can be removed from the brine, rinsed slightly and hung to dry.

Features of dried perch and small pike.

Perch and small pike are considered a special delicacy, although some do not like their lean and slightly dry meat. It is possible to dry perch and pike in the same way that is used for drying small fish. But it is better to hang the fish upside down to dry, so that the released fat remains in the fish. This recommendation applies to other types of relatively low-fat fish..

Cooking a large oily fish balyk.

You can make balyk from large oily fish. To do this, it must be divided into balyk and amusement. First, the fish must be cut along the abdomen and remove all the insides. Then cut off the head and completely cut off the dorsal fin without exposing the dorsal fatty deposits. After that, you need to separate the abdominal part (tesu) from the back, making a cut from the head to the beginning or end of the anal fin, just below the spine. Now the separated back and cushion should be cleaned from the remains of the viscera, remove the abdominal film and blood clots.

Sturgeon and salmon are butchered a little differently. This procedure in the language of the fishermen is called “cut to the siders.” The fish should be cut in the middle of the abdomen, remove the insides, abdominal film and blood clots. Then separate the head, cut off all the fins, cut the carcass along the back into two identical halves – this is the sidelines. In this case, the spine is removed. Then you can divide the siders into a balyk and amusement. Frozen fish cut in frozen condition.

The prepared fish should then be washed in cold water, grated with salt and spices, and laid in rows in rows with the backs down. First, a layer of salt should be poured onto the bottom of the container, and fish should also be sprinkled with a layer of salt 2-3 cm thick on top. For salting you will need about 40% of the salt by weight of the fish. It is very good to add crushed ice to salted fish. It will take about 15% of the weight of the fish.

After 36 hours, cold brine should be poured into the fish tank. Salt the balk should be 17-30 days, depending on the size of the fish and weather conditions. In warmer weather, the process is faster. The finished fish should be removed from the brine, washed in running water and put in the socket for another 2–3 days to distribute the salt in the body of the fish, removing the fish tank in a cold place. Salted fish should be put to soak in cold fresh water. This is necessary to desalinate the surface layer of the fish so that during drying it does not form a white coating of salt.

The duration of soaking will also depend on the size of the fish and weather conditions. Sometimes it takes only 5 hours, and in some cases, soaking takes 2 days. Then the fish should be tied with twine and left for 2-3 days in order to glass the water. Tesu needs to be suspended in a special way. A transverse wooden spacer should be inserted into its upper part. It will help prevent tesa from twisting during drying..

Balyk is dried for 10-30 days depending on the temperature of the surrounding air, its humidity and the size of the fish. Tesha crashes no more than 10 days. During drying, you can combine the process of natural drying with artificial drying in a room with a temperature of 6-8 degrees, that is, to outweigh the fish in the room, then in the air. But in this case, the drying of the fish will last up to 1.5 months, although the result will be wonderful.

Stockfish Storage.

Ready-dried products are very important to be able to store properly. The temperature in the storage room for stockfish should not exceed 10 degrees. In such conditions, you can store balyk and stockfish for 3 months. If stored improperly, stockfish may deteriorate. You can determine this by appearance. Signs of spoilage include increased humidity, subcutaneous fat oxidation, mustiness and saponification, while the meat emits an unpleasant odor. If dried fish is stored in a too humid room, its abdomen becomes limp and the muscle tissue is swollen, weakened and flabby. 

as well as when it was kept too long in water during soaking. The dampness of the fish manifests itself in the case when the drying of the fish in time was insufficient or it was poorly salted.

This fish smells damp and has a moldy aftertaste. However, dampness can be eliminated if additional drying of the fish is done. Mustiness and saponification arise due to the fact that the fish was kept under inappropriate conditions after drying. In this case, a whitish coating and a musty smell appears, and the surface of the carcass becomes slippery. These signs can be eliminated if the fish is washed in a weak salt solution and then re-dried under normal conditions at a low temperature and in a well-blown place.

Based on materials from the book “Fishing and Hunting Cuisine. Bowler, bonfire and night sky “.
Nesterova A.

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