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Do-It-Yourself: Preparing Fish for Drying or Smoking

I'm Steve Ember with the VOA Special English Development Report.

Most of the time, fishermen catch more fish than they need for their immediate use.

The extra fish do not have to be thrown away. The fish can be prepared so they can be eaten at a later time. Fish can be dried or smoked. First, however, the fish must be cleaned and salted.

Begin with fish that are just out of the water. They must be treated immediately after they are caught. If the fish are small, do not remove their heads. If the fish are bigger than twenty centimeters long or weigh more than one hundred fifteen grams, then remove their heads.

Remove the scales on the outside of the fish. Cut the stomach open. Remove everything inside. Wash the fish in clean water. Then rub salt into the fish. Now, you are ready to treat them for future use.

Put the fish in a mixture of three hundred grams of salt and one liter of water. This will remove all of the blood from the fish meat.

Keep them there for about thirty minutes. Then remove all the fish and wash them in clean water. Now, put them in a mixture that has more salt in the water. The mixture should be strong enough so that the fish float to the top. If the fish sink to the bottom, add more salt to the water in the container.

Cover the container with a clean piece of wood. Hold the wood down with a heavy stone. Leave the fish there for about six hours. Then, remove them from the salt water and lay them on a clean place. Cover them with a clean piece of white cloth. Let them dry.

Another method of salting fish is called dry salting. Wooden boxes or baskets are used for dry salting.

After cleaning the fish, put a few of them on the bottom of the box or basket. Cover them with salt. Put more fish on top. Cover them with salt too. Continue putting fish and salt in the container until it is full.

Do not use too much salt when using the dry salt method. You should use one part salt to three parts fish. For example, if you have three kilograms of fish, you should use one kilogram of salt.

Remove the fish after a week or ten days. Wash them in a mixture of water and a small amount of salt. Let them dry.

With all this talk about salt, remember that doctors advise people to limit the sodium in their diet. It can raise blood pressure, and some people have a greater reaction than others.

Next week, we will discuss drying and smoking fish.

This VOA Special English Development Report was written by Bob Bowen. Our reports are online at I'm Steve Ember.