|Environmentally Sound Technologies for Women in Agriculture (IIRR, 1996, 213 p.)|
Village used to sun-drying clothes, fruit, vegetables, or cow dung cakes, can easily learn to dry fish for home consumption and sale.
Fish are more difficult to dry than fruits and vegetables. However, with the proper technique and some practice, fish can be dried with little effort and at low cost. Dried fish usually fetch a good price in the market.
Preparation Fish can be divided into two categories:
Small fish white baits, silver bellies, small sardines, prawns, soles, etc.
Medium and large fish mackerels, jew fish, croaker fish, pomfrets, seer, catfish, tuna, shark, etc. The process for drying small fish is different from drying medium- and large-size fish. However, all sizes of fish must be fresh and odour-free. Sundrying takes two to three days for an average 8 to 10 hours a day, with a maximum temperature of 38°C. Properly dried fish should contain 12 to 15 percent moisture.
1 Wash in clean water to remove dirt and sand.
2 Allow excess water to drain out for 30 minutes.
3 Spread washed fish on mats, split bamboo, or gunny bags, hang them from a line to dry.
4 Allow the fish to dry in the sun.
5 Occasionally, turn the fish so that both sides dry.
6 Pack the dried fish in polythene bags.
7 Put the bags in plastic or wooden containers.
8 Store dried fish in a cool, dry place.
Medium and large fish
1 Cut off the head.
2 Slit open the belly and remove the guts.
3 Wash the fish in water and remove the blood.
4 Make a mixture of common salt using 1/3 fine salt and 2/3 coarse salt.
5 Salt the fish-one part salt to four parts fish (1:4) for large fish and one Part salt large fish and one part salt to eight parts fish (1:8) for medium fish.
6 Leave the fish to absorb the salt for about on hours.
Solar drying of fish
7 Sandwich the fish between slabs of cement or wooden boards
piled with weights.
8 After one day, turn the fish.
9 Wash the salted fish in 3.5 percent salt solution.
10 Dry the fish by spreading them on mats.
11 Pack the dried fish in polythene bags and store them in a cool, dry place.
Contributor: Dr. D. R. Rao