Salting meats for preservation?

Answered on September 05, 2014
Created September 05, 2014 at 2:37 PM

I'd like to preface this by saying, YES. I OWN A FRIDGE.

But I wanted to try my hand at some more traditional food preservation methods. I bought twelve pounds of whole fish, filleted them and threw all the fun bits in a slow cooker for stock. Some of the fillets got steamed, then broken up into a sort of fish-mash and salted to make furikake (a japanese fish-dish that my boyfriend loves to eat with rice). The furikake came out great. The rest of the fillets were salted, and I followed a few youtube videos that just said to layer salt, then fish, then salt, then fish. It seemed to work right, since the fish released about 30% of their weight in water and became very firm. They last for weeks salted this way.

My problem is when I cook them, they're SO SALTY! The man in the video I watched said not to worry about how much salt to use, because it would come out right no matter what, but my fish tastes like a salt lick!

I'm re-soaking those fillets in unsalted water to try to restore the flavor. For the future, does anyone know if there's some magical ratio of salt to meat that I should be using?

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on September 05, 2014
at 02:46 PM

In my life I've eaten a lot of salt cod. Lutefisk, bacalan, brandade, fish chowder. These are not salty foods.

Usually someone else prepares these dishes. But occasionally I do it myself. The dry stockfish has to be soaked for days before cooking, with multiple changes of water. If you don't do this the fish is tough and salty.

Stockfish is bone dry. It keeps for years. What you've made is not competely dry. I've only had this once, in France, and it was called morue fraiche, and it was not salty. From what I could understand, the same fresh water treatment was used. However the resulting fillets were much more tender than what you get from dry stockfish.

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