Some of the best memories I have from my childhood are the occasional trips to the North Sea. We would visit the port of Ostende (Belgium city ) and spend the day walking along the beach. I was always fascinated by the ships arriving and unloading cases of various fish that were still alive. There was a small fish market on the dock and my parents would relish into buying fresh, live fish - usually flounders.
One of my special treats was dried salted fish. I know it's unusual but as a kid, but I would just devore the stuff and have a blast while doing it.
So after dehydrating tons of stuff and making lots of Jerky, I decided to give fish another try. The last time I did it was in 1998 where I simply salted the fish for a couple of weeks (turned out awesome too).
This time I chose flounder and cod. Cod is very traditional for salting/drying fish. Usually for flounder you use the whole fish but I could also get filets at the local store.
The conventional time for salting and drying where I come from is at least a couple of weeks or more. The fish are placed in layers in a container with a lot of salt and pretty much left there until ready then dried outside (depending on the temperature/humidity). I'm not going into details right now because it's one of my projects and I'll probably post a step by step about on this site.
My fishy goal was to be able to do it in a day using my dehydrator, so it was a new experiment. I know it sounds simple but, my gosh, finding the simple procedures wasn't easy. The answer finally came from Manilla.
Their method is actually quite simple -
1. Wash the fish thoroughly with clean water.
2. Open the fish, remove the gills and internal organs. Leave the skin intact. Wash fish again thoroughly.
3. Prepare the brine solution (one cup of salt for one gallon of water)
4. Soak the fish in brine solution for 30 minutes to one hour. (some recipes ask for 30 mins and others for one hour, my assumption is that a larger fish would require longer brining)
5. Drain the salted fish and rinse it to remove excess salt.
6. Arrange or lay fish in wire screen mesh and dry in the sun for 2 to 3 days (well, in my case I use the dehydrator)