There are very many reasons why sellers and consumers prefer dried fish to other type of fish. First and foremost, dried fish has a longer shelf life since it has low moisture content and therefore less susceptible to microbial spoilage. The other reason is that drying fish does not strip away the nutrients since the drying methods are not too harsh. There is also the fact that dry fish is very light and can therefore be transported in large amounts compared to when the fish is not dry. Drying fish takes a number of steps in order to achieve a goo end result.
The first step in during fish is choosing the best location where you intend to dry your fish. The location should be clean, have very low humidity and free from animals. The low humidity is important to ensure that the fish dry fast. This is because if there is a lot of humidity in the air, it drying becomes slow since there is already water in the atmosphere. It is also important because it enables you to achieve complete drying of the fish which is very important in extending the shelf life of the fish.
Once you have picked the best location to dry your fish, the next thing you need to o is to prepare your fish for drying. The preparation involves removal of gills, head, back and ribs. You should then cut the fish into smaller pieces. This is often not done but it speeds up the drying process.
The next step in drying your fish is cleaning. You need to ensure that you clean your freshly caught fish before drying it. This removes all the surface dirt and any microorganism. It is important to soak the fish in a salt solution for about 30 minutes. This is because salt inactivates microorganisms and removes dirt. Once this is done, rinse the fish.
Once you are through with the cleaning, the next step is to salt the surface of the fish. Salt is very good for dehydration. It will therefore help in removal of the moisture in the fish. When salting. It is important to stick the salt into the skin of the fish. This is important because it makes the fish firm after drying is complete. Once you have managed to salt the fish, you should place it on the spot you choose before for drying. It is advisable to use metallic racks to place the fish. This is because they tend to corrode during the process. This is good in adding flavor to your fish. Make sure you expose the fish to sunlight so that the drying takes place fast.Drying should be done for at least five days to achieve maximum drying. Every night, you should take the fish in to prevent animals from eating them. To hasten the process, it is advisable to press on the fish so as the squeeze out the water. On the fifth day, you will know the fish is ready if you press on it but the skin does not pop back to its original form.