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Do-It-Yourself: How to Dry or Smoke Fish, Part 2

I'm Bob Doughty with the VOA Special English Development Report.

Last week, we described how to save fish for future use by cleaning and salting them. Today, we will discuss the next steps in keeping fish -- drying or smoking.

To dry fish, you will need either a drying table or a place to hang them. If a table is used, it should have a top made of wire screen or thin pieces of wood with a space between each piece.

Lay the cleaned, wet salted fish on top of the table. Do not let them touch each other. Be sure the air can reach the fish from all sides, including the top and bottom.

Build a small smoky fire under the drying table for the first day to keep the flies away. After that, you can keep the flies away by covering the fish with a thin cloth. Do not let the cloth touch the fish.

Fish taste better if they dry out of the bright sunlight. Put your drying table under a tree for best results. Turn your fish over every other day. Small fish will dry in about three days if the air is dry. Large fish will take a week or ten days to dry.

After the fish have dried, place them in a basket to hold them. Cover them with clean paper or large leaves. Then put them in a cool, dry place, not on the ground.

To smoke the fish, you must first remove as much of the saltwater as possible. The smoking can be done in a large round metal container. Remove the top. Cut a small opening on one side at the bottom.

Cover the top of the container with a strong metal wire screen. This is where you put the fish. Build a small fire in the container by reaching in through the opening at the bottom.

Wood from fruit trees makes good fuel for your fire. Such wood will give your smoked fish good color and taste. Hardwoods such as hickory, oak and ash also burn well.

It is important to keep the fire small so it does not burn the fish. You want a lot of smoke, but very little flame. One way to get a lot of smoke is to use green wood, not dried wood.

You should smoke the fish for five days or longer if you plan to keep them for a long time. Remove the fish after you finish smoking them. Let them cool. Then wrap them in clean paper.

Put the fish in baskets and keep them in a cool, dry place off the ground. Dried fish must be kept completely dry until they are eaten.

This VOA Special English Development report was written by Bob Bowen. Internet users can read and listen to our reports at I'm Bob Doughty.