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

Rule number one: begin with fish that are just out of the water. First of two parts. Transcript of radio broadcast:

This is the VOA Special English Development Report.

There are different ways to store fish. Two ways to keep fish for future use are canning and freezing. Two other methods are drying and smoking. Today we have the first of two reports describing, step by step, how to prepare dried or smoked fish.

Begin with fish that are just out of the water. If the fish are small, leave their heads on. Cut off the heads if the fish are longer than twenty centimeters or weigh more than one hundred fifteen grams.

Now clean the freshly caught fish. Cut off the scales and cut open the stomach. Remove everything inside. Then wash the fish in clean water and rub salt into them.

Next, put the fish in a container with a solution of three hundred grams of salt and one liter of water. This will remove the blood from the meat. Keep the fish in the saltwater for about thirty minutes. After that, wash them again in clean water.

Next, put the fish in a solution that has more salt in the water. The water should be salty enough so that the fish float to the top. If the fish sink to the bottom of the container, add more salt to the water.

Cover the container with a clean piece of wood. Place a heavy stone on the wood to hold it down. Leave the fish there for about six hours.

After that, remove them from the saltwater and place them on a clean surface. Cover the fish with a clean piece of white cloth and let them dry.

We are not done yet. We will discuss the next steps in drying fish next week. We will also describe the smoking process.

Another method of preparing 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, then put more fish on top. Cover them also with salt. Continue putting fish and salt in the container until it is full.

Do not use too much salt when using the dry salting 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 and let them dry.

We have talked a lot about salt. Keep in mind that doctors advise people to limit the sodium in their diet. It can raise blood pressure, and some people have more of a reaction than others.

And that's the VOA Special English Development Report. Transcripts and MP3 archives of our reports are at I'm Steve Ember.