Recipes to Simply Salt Fish

  • Reading time:9 mins read
  • Post category:Fishing Gear
  • Post last modified:January 14, 2023

Sierra Bonito

There are many recipes on the Internet for how to salt fish. I suggest a simple and proven method. This delicacy is easy to prepare for everyone. Unlike industrial production, the dish is prepared without the use of preservatives and flavor enhancers. The main thing in this dish is the presence of fresh fish. 

Fish salting: What You Need to Know

I use sierra bonito fish, as I fish them all the time in the Atlantic Ocean with a rod. The average weight of each fish is 3kg.

Sierra Bonito 5

Here are its benefits for pickling:

  • The fish has no scales. It can be quickly washed and cleaned.
  • The fish is as safe as possible to eat. Fast-speed fish does not get infested with pests and parasites.
  • Does not have unpleasant odors, always a clean stomach.
  • Easy to cut into pieces.
  • Has no waste. All of its parts are used in cooking.
  • Tasty and healthy, low fat.

✅ Step 1: Cutting the Fish

Cutting fish 16

Standardly open the abdomen and remove the viscera. Divide into the following parts:

  • ☑️ For salting: fillets of 2 kinds (top part and middle part of the fish).

Cutting fish 19

  • ☑️ For roasts: belly, heart, liver, and caviar.
  • ☑️ For the fish soup: tail, fins, middle backbone, and head.

Cutting fish 20

☝️ What is the main ingredient for salting fish?

Salt and cane sugar in equal proportions: 2 tablespoons per 1 kg of fish meat. 

✅ Step 2: Easy Salted Sierra Recipe – A Cooking Process

Put the sugar and salt mixture in the bottom of the bowl.

Then the fish and top it with the sugar and salt mixture again.

☝️ How long should you salt fish for? 

Cured fish 17

Keep in a glass dish for 24 hours in the refrigerator.

Drain all the brine, rinse under water, and dry with a paper towel.

Wrap each slice in foil, then in plastic wrap.

Finished fish fillets

Keep in a glass dish for 24 hours in the fridge.

15

Cut into beautiful slices and make a sandwich (spread soft cheese on half of a bun, put a slice of tomato and cucumber, a lot of fish, and half a bun on top).

Cured fish

👉 FAQ

How do you make salted fish?

To make salted fish, you will need:

  • ✔️ Fresh fish (such as cod, haddock, or mackerel).
  • ✔️ Salt (coarse or fine).
  • ✔️ Cool and dry place or refrigerator.

Steps:

  • 1️⃣ Clean and gut the fish, and remove the head, tail, and scales.
  • 2️⃣ Cut the fish into desired portions and pat dry with paper towels.
  • 3️⃣ Rub a generous amount of salt on all sides of the fish.
  • 4️⃣ Place the fish in a cool and dry place or in the refrigerator.
  • 5️⃣ Leave the fish to cure for at least 24 hours, or up to 3 days, depending on the thickness of the fish and personal preference.
  • 6️⃣ Once the fish is fully cured, rinse off the excess salt and dry the fish thoroughly.
  • 7️⃣ Store the fish in a cool, dry place or in the refrigerator.

💡 Note: You can also add other seasonings such as bay leaves, garlic, black pepper, or juniper berries to enhance the flavor of the fish.

Which salt is best for fish?

The best salt to use for curing fish is coarse, non-iodized sea salt. This type of salt has a higher mineral content than regular table salt, which can add a subtle flavor to the fish. Coarse sea salt also has a lower moisture content than fine salt, which helps to draw out the moisture from the fish, allowing it to cure properly.

A kosher salt is also a good option, as it has larger grains than table salt and is considered pure salt. Also, Himalayan or rock salt are also good options.

It is important to use non-iodized salt as iodine can cause discoloration and off-flavors in the fish during the curing process.

What are the methods of salting fish?

There are several methods of salting fish:

  • 🔴 Dry salting: This method involves rubbing salt onto the fish and allowing it to cure in a cool and dry place. This method is best for thicker cuts of fish, such as fillets or steaks.
  • 🔴 Wet salting: This method involves layering the fish in a container with salt and allowing it to cure in the refrigerator. This method is better for thinner cuts of fish, such as whole fish or small fish.
  • 🔴 Brine salting: This method involves submerging the fish in a saltwater brine solution and allowing it to cure in the refrigerator. This method is best for fish that are less oily, such as cod or haddock.
  • 🔴 Smoking: This method is an alternative to salting fish, it involves curing fish in a mixture of salt, sugar, and often other spices, then exposing it to smoke. This method is best for oily fish, such as salmon or mackerel.

Each method can produce different results in terms of texture, flavor, and preservation of the fish.

💡 Note: Whatever method you choose, it’s important to ensure that the fish is fully cured before consuming it, and also to check for any signs of spoilage before eating.

How do you salt to cure fish at home?

To cure fish at home using the dry salting method, you will need:

  • ✔️ Fresh fish
  • ✔️ Coarse or fine non-iodized sea salt
  • ✔️ Cool and dry place or refrigerator
  • ✔️ Container or tray
  • ✔️ Plastic wrap or paper towel

Steps:

  • 1️⃣ Clean and gut the fish, and remove the head, tail, and scales.
  • 2️⃣ Cut the fish into desired portions and pat dry with paper towels.
  • 3️⃣ Rub a generous amount of salt on all sides of the fish.
  • 4️⃣ Place the fish in a container or tray, and cover it with plastic wrap or a paper towel.
  • 5️⃣ Leave the fish to cure in a cool and dry place or in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours, or up to 3 days, depending on the thickness of the fish and personal preference.
  • 6️⃣ Once the fish is fully cured, rinse off the excess salt and dry the fish thoroughly.
  • 7️⃣ Store the fish in a cool, dry place or in the refrigerator.

💡 Note: You can also add other seasonings such as bay leaves, garlic, black pepper, or juniper berries to enhance the flavor of the fish. It’s also important to keep an eye on the fish during the curing process, the fish should be kept in a cool place and the curing time may vary depending on the fish’s size and type. Always check for any signs of spoilage before eating.

What type of fish is used for saltfish?

Saltfish, also known as salted fish, can be made from a variety of types of fish, such as cod, haddock, mackerel, and pollock. These types of fish are commonly used because they have a firm flesh that holds up well to the curing process.

Cod is a popular choice for saltfish because of its mild flavor, flaky texture, and availability of it. Haddock, mackerel, and pollock are also commonly used as they have a similar texture and are also readily available.

Saltfish can also be made from other types of fish such as herring, anchovies, and even salmon, but these fish are oily, and the curing process is different. Also, any fish that has few bones is suitable for salting.

It’s important to use fresh fish when making saltfish to ensure that the final product is safe to eat.

Sergio Smirnoff
Sergio Smirnoff
Professional fisherman with 40+ years of experience.
Fishing and the ocean is a passion of my life. I am passionate about all kinds of sea fishing: fishing from the shore (spinning, float, baitcasting), from a boat, and spearfishing day and night.

I live in Tenerife (Canary Islands) for the last 10+ years and share my daily fishing experiences on my website. Many years of personal experience as a fisherman and the vast experience of my friends allow me to write professionally on any fishing topics (from choosing a flashlight and equipment to deep-sea fishing).

All of my advice is based on practical real-world experience and will be useful to both novice anglers and professionals. Read more about the author.

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Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any agency. The articles are for informational purposes only, share your opinions in the comments and join the fishing discussions, let's share our fishing experiences together!

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Drustel Mandilyn
Drustel Mandilyn
15 days ago

Great article, the recipes for simply salting fish are easy to follow and the results are delicious. The step-by-step instructions and pictures make it easy to understand and replicate the process at home. The different types of fish used in the recipes provide a variety of options to choose from.

Ivory Andalyn
Ivory Andalyn
15 days ago

The use of different herbs and spices in the recipes adds an extra depth of flavor to the fish. The tip on how to properly rinse and dry the fish before salting is a great step to ensure the best results.

Zutnof Wapina
Zutnof Wapina
15 days ago

I also appreciate the variety of ways to serve the fish, from traditional to modern. Overall, an excellent resource for anyone looking to try salting fish at home.

Elena Kachanova
Elena Kachanova
13 days ago

It looks very appetizing. I wish we could catch the fish ourselves.

Klakem Manzique
Klakem Manzique
13 days ago

Great article on simple salt fish recipes! I’m definitely trying out the cod and caper recipe next – looks delicious!

Sinlar Craqo
Sinlar Craqo
13 days ago

What an incredible way to make fish – so easy and flavorful. Thanks for sharing these delicious recipes!

Xaxo Bremto
Xaxo Bremto
13 days ago

This is such a creative way to serve fish for dinner. The herbed salmon sounds especially mouthwatering – I’m definitely giving it a try. Thanks for the ideas!

Rhays Maidenhair
Rhays Maidenhair
13 days ago

I had the pleasure of tasting a salted fish dish at my Chinese friend’s house about 13 years ago. Though I didn’t know what it was at the time, its strong savory salty aroma gave it away when I saw it in the market. While this is a classic way to prepare it, there must be a more convenient approach that avoids the hassle of removing so many bones.

Angelo Talonsnatch
Angelo Talonsnatch
13 days ago

For a delicious and unique salmon dish, try seasoning it with salt and pepper and then cooking it until done. Once cooked, adding a drizzle of honey will not only reduce any fishy flavor but also elevate the taste to something extraordinary.

Callan Fightbreak
Callan Fightbreak
13 days ago

Take your salmon meal to the next level with this easy Thai Salmon Salad recipe. Simply mix together two tablespoons of lime juice, one clove of garlic, one tablespoon of brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of hot pepper flakes (more or less to taste), and fish sauce/salt in a medium bowl. Let sit for five minutes before adding the drained can of wild Alaskan salmon and breaking it up with a fork. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes before serving over lettuce, in pita pockets, or on crackers. Enjoy!

Changor
Changor
13 days ago

Try adding something new to your meal with salted cod! This fish has been heavily salted for preservation and dried, making it a great choice for those who enjoy flavor-rich meals. You can find it in major chain grocery stores in the Southern USA near smoked salmon and lump crab meat – often on endcaps.

Once you’ve obtained some, put it in a bowl of cold water (in the fridge) and let it soak for at least 24 hours, changing the water several times during that period. This will rehydrate the fish and wash away its salt. After about 4-5 water changes, or whenever the saltiness reaches your desired level, you’re ready to enjoy this unique dish!

Eorington
Eorington
13 days ago

When it comes to salted cod fish, the quality isn’t so much about how much salt is used in the preservation process but rather the quality of the fish itself. Although I’m not an expert, I’ve gone to stores with someone who is and could see a difference between fish from different vendors even though they had large price differences. That difference was attributed to color tones and texture, which “made all the difference” according to my family member!