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2012.07.14

Comments

Wendy Hutton

I've been drying my own salt fish for years, ever since we lived on our yacht in the Phillipines. Thanks for sharing your detailed instructions with everyone, Robyn, and for emphasising that the quality of the salt makes a big difference. Mmm, I feel taugeh with salt fish coming on!

Robyn

Hi Wendy- love taugeh salt fish! This is just one of those foods that's so much better homemade but seems like something you can't do at home ... till you do it.

ivy

very precise info.. in the philippines dry fish is very popular and it is in our cuisines and culture especially in the people at the seaside..

Pakhi

I am not great sea food lover, but at times I eat fish curry. Dried salt fish is going to be new experience for my stomach :)

leah

I'm not a big fan of dried salted fish. But I do have good memories of my Auntie drying fish under the sun in the Philippines. Sometimes she made it with both salt and sugar. These are then fried to a crisp. Definitely predated the candied bacon that has been all the rage in recent years.

Lynn Cook

I was so inspired by this post that I went to the fish markets on Sunday, bought 6 yellow-tail, split them and salted them, and hung them out to dry yesterday morning. With wonderful results. We ate a half, sliced thin, as a snack with beer last night. Super!

Even though it's winter in Sydney it's dry and the sun is strong. Perfect weather.

Here's some pictures at flickr:

suburban salt fish: http://www.flickr.com/photos/athousandthings/7878267588/

late afternoon fish skin: http://www.flickr.com/photos/athousandthings/7878270514/in/photostream

Robyn

Leah, that sounds great. Especially fried.

Lynn, thanks for letting us know the recipe worked out for you! Love comments like this. I agree -- a perfect beer snack.

Olivia

So I have recently discovered that the regular consuming of salted fish especially in Hong Kong is suspected to cause nasopharyngeal carcinoma, a rather rare form of cancer in the West. Do you suspect that this is due to the manufacturing process in Asia, for their food safety regulations are practically nonexistent? And would creating my own salted fish eliminate the carcinogenic risks? Salted fish fried rice is my absolute favorite cantonese dish, and it would be a bummer if the food itself, not just the manufactured kind, was carcinogenic. Thank you :)

China Mike

I lived five years in China. My girlriend's mother brought home a huge burlap sack full of chunks of dry salt fish with chili added in the process. The aroma and flavor of this delicacy was astounding. As long as they kept it wrapped, it was ok to keep in the dark area of the kitchen, no refrigeration necessary. It became one of my favorite dishes.

Robyn

That sounds amazingly delicious, China Mike. In what part of China is this delicacy found?

Robyn

Olivia salted fish is eaten by so many (relatively healthy) populations all over the world that I find it hard to believe that the very salting of the fish precipitates the development of carcinogens. But having seen how dried shrimp is made naturally -- no additives, basically, with just the sea water as a preservative -- versus its large-scale manufacture (salt, preservatives, often colouring to achieve that shrimpy 'pink' color -- I can believe that large-scale manufacture of salted fish adds in all kinds of undesirable ingredients.
If you have no access to naturally made salted fish you might try salted it yourself. You could also try substituting something like Sicilian-style preserved anchovies, which are simply layered with salt. You have to wash the salt off and pull out the backbone before you use them, but they are delicious and natural and would work well, I think, in dishes like salt fish w/bean sprouts and salt fish fried rice.
Cheers.

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