Salt-Drying Fish

SALT-DRYING FISH

This is best done outside in shade, with freshly caught, lean fish. While fish is still alive, remove gills and place fish head-down in a bucket to bleed clean. Scale small fish, then split open and remove backbone. Fillet large fish, then remove skin. Coat all fish surfaces liberally with salt (1 lb. salt per 2 lbs. fish). Stack up to 12 layers of split fish flesh-side-up on slatted wood racks outside in shade. Cover loosely with mosquito netting or cheesecloth to keep away flies. Bring inside each night and when rain threatens. Dry outside in shade for 1 to 2 weeks. Then rub away salt, spread fish beside one another on racks and dry in shade 1 to 2 more days, until no imprint is left when fleshy part of fish is pinched. Wrap fish in plastic and store in a cool, dry place. To freshen prior to using, soak for 1 to 2 hours in either cold water or milk. Discard liquid and cook as desired. Will keep for several months.