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The Art Of Fish Curing: Techniques And Recipes For Preserving Your Catch

Key Takeaway:

  • Salting fish can be done in a number of ways, including dry-salting, wet-salting, and brining. The process involves drawing out moisture from the fish, which preserves it and prevents spoilage.
  • Smoking fish also preserves it and imparts a smoky flavor. Hot smoking and cold smoking are two common methods, with cold smoking being more time-consuming but producing a more intense flavor.
  • Other fish curing techniques include pickling, fermenting, and curing with sugar or vinegar. These methods can add unique flavors and textures to your fish, and can be a fun and creative way to preserve your catch.

Curious about how to keep your freshly-caught sea life lasting? Master the craft of fish curing! It’ll extend the shelf life and enhance the flavour of your catch. Reap the benefits of learning a variety of recipes and tips for storing your seafood.

Overview of Fish Curing

Fish curing is an age-old tradition that has preserved and enhanced the flavor of fish for centuries. In this section, we’ll provide an overview of fish curing, including the various techniques that are used to preserve different types of fish. We’ll also explore the many benefits of curing fish, from extending its shelf life to intensifying its flavor. So if you’re curious about the art of fish curing or looking to try curing your own catch, read on to discover the secrets of this ancient preserving technique.

Types of fish curing

Fish curing is an ancient way of preserving fish. It removes moisture and adds flavor, increasing shelf life and enhancing taste. There are several methods, such as dry salting, brining, smoking, and pickling. Each has its own techniques and recipes.

Dry salting involves mixing salt and sugar, rubbing it onto the fish, then rinsing, drying, and storing. Brining is soaking the fish in water, salt, and seasonings. Drying and storage come after.

Smoking is popular. Use wood chips or sawdust, cold or hot. Temperature and duration depend on the fish and desired flavor.

Pickling is another method. Preserve in vinegar, salt, and spices. Seal in a jar and refrigerate, then consume.

Before curing, clean the fish, remove skin and bones, and cut into thin slices. With these tips, you can master fish curing.

Benefits of curing fish

Curing fish has lots of advantages. For example, it:

  • Enhances the flavor.
  • Increases shelf life and preserves nutrients.
  • Gives a distinct, savory flavor due to the salt, sugar and aromatics used.
  • Can last for several months, depending on curing and storage.
  • Cured fish is healthier than cooked or frozen fish.

It’s suggested to try different curing techniques and flavors to get the best results.

Preparing Fish for Curing

One of the most satisfying aspects of fishing is enjoying the fruits of your labor. However, if you’ve caught more fish than you can eat fresh, fish curing may be a great option. This section will dive into the important steps involved in preparing fish for curing. We’ll examine the nuances of selecting the right fish for curing, as well as walking through the process of cleaning and gutting the fish. Finally, we will explore the techniques and methods for preparing the fish for curing, so you can enjoy your catch for weeks or even months to come.

Selecting the right fish

Choosing the correct fish is key when preparing for curing. Experts say fish with high oil content, like salmon and mackerel, have a higher chance of going bad in the curing process. White-fleshed fish such as cod, halibut and tilapia are a great option for curing. They have less oil content and a strong texture. Additionally, it is essential to pick fish that are fresh and in good condition. Check for clear, bright eyes and red gills. Skin should be shiny and tight. Cleaning and deboning the fish are also critical before starting the curing process. To ensure optimal freshness, do this as soon as you catch the fish.

Cleaning and gutting the fish

Clean and gutting a fish is key for curing it. Curing involves smoking, salting or drying, giving the fish longer shelf life and better taste. To clean and gut:

  1. Rinse the fish with cold water to remove dirt or debris.
  2. Cut a clean line from head to tail along the belly.
  3. Pull out the entrails using your fingers or a spoon, without rupturing the bile sac.
  4. Rinse the inside of the fish to remove any blood or entrails.
  5. Cut off the head, tail and fins if desired.

Knowing the right method of cleaning and gutting fish is very important in curing. These steps will give you a yummy, long-lasting result. It’s important to store fish at 0°C or below to keep its quality and properties.

Preparing the fish for curing

Fish prepping for curing needs to be precise. This ensures the fish is safe to eat and has a great flavor and texture. Here’s what to do:

  1. Gut the fish, remove scales, eyes and gills.
  2. Rinse inside and out with cold water.
  3. Salt the fish heavily, making sure to get in every crevice and cavity.
  4. Let sit in salt for 24+ hours, turning occasionally.
  5. Rinse thoroughly with cold water to remove excess salt.
  6. Hang to dry in a cool, dry place with good air circulation.

Following these steps ensures the fish cures evenly, tastes amazing and preserves texture.

Salt Curing

One of the oldest and most effective ways of preserving fish is salt curing. In this section, we will explore two distinct techniques of salt curing – dry salting and wet salting, which has been used for centuries to extend the shelf life of fresh fish. With these techniques, it is easier than ever to preserve your catch for longer periods of time, even in the absence of modern refrigeration. Join us as we take a deep dive into the world of salt curing and learn the secrets behind creating delicious, long-lasting fish.

Salt Curing-The Art of Fish Curing: Techniques and Recipes for Preserving Your Catch,

Image credits: by David Woodhock

Dry salting technique

The dry salting technique, also known as salt curing or brining, is an old way to preserve fish. To do this:

  1. Clean and gut the fish, but keep the skin and bones.
  2. Cover the fish with coarse salt. All parts must be covered.
  3. Let the fish cure for a couple of days. This depends on the size and thickness of the fish.
  4. After the curing period, rinse off the salt and let the fish dry for several hours until a thin pellicle forms.
  5. Put the fish in an airtight container in a cool and dry place.

This simple technique is a great way to preserve fish. So, you can enjoy your catch throughout the year. Just follow these steps and you’re good to go!

Wet salting technique

The wet salting technique of fish curing is an ancient practice that has been around for centuries. This method means you don’t need to use refrigeration to preserve the fish.

To use this method:

  1. Firstly, mix 6 parts kosher salt to 4 parts water to make a brine solution.
  2. Then submerge the cleaned, filleted fish in the brine. Ensure it is fully covered.
  3. Leave the fish in the fridge for 24 hours.
  4. After that, rinse the fish to get rid of any extra salt.
  5. Finally, air-dry the cured fish in a cool, shady spot until it’s completely dry.

This simple and successful technique has been used for centuries. It’s a great way to preserve your catch for months.


Brining is a crucial step in fish curing that involves soaking the fish in a salt solution to both enhance the flavor and extend the lifespan of the fish. In this section, we will explore the different stages of brining, starting with the preparation of the brine solution. Then, we will discuss the proper techniques for brining the fish and how long to soak it for optimal results. Lastly, we will touch on how smoking the fish can be used in conjunction with brining for a delicious final product. Whether you’re a seasoned fish-curer or just starting out, this section will provide you with valuable information to take your brining skills to the next level.

Preparing the brine

Brining is great for preserving fish and making it tasty. To brine, mix 1 cup of salt and 1 cup of sugar in 1 gallon of water in a non-reactive container. Stir until dissolved. Add herbs, like bay leaves, peppercorns, garlic, or dill, if desired. Put fish in the container. Make sure it’s fully submerged. Cover and refrigerate for the recommended time for the fish size and type. A non-reactive container, like stainless steel or glass, can stop unwanted flavors in the fish.

Fun Fact: Brining has been used for ages, going back to the Roman Empire!

Brining the fish

Brining fish is a preservation method that has been used by coastal regions for centuries. It involves saturating the fish in a mix of water and salt. You can add flavors like sugar, herbs, and spices to the brine solution. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Combine one cup of salt for each gallon of cold water.
  2. Add your desired flavors.
  3. Submerge the fish in the brine solution.
  4. Put the fish in the fridge for the right amount of time.

Brining fish can enhance its flavors and preserve it. Remember to rinse the fish after brining to remove any remaining salt before cooking.

Smoking the fish

Smoking fish is a great way to preserve your catch while adding a smoky flavor. Brining is important, as it extracts excess moisture and seasoning to give a yummy result. To do it right, follow these steps:

  1. Make the brine: Mix water, salt, sugar, and extra seasonings in a container and stir until dissolved.
  2. Soak the fish: Put the fish in the brine and make sure it’s totally covered. Leave it in the refrigerator for hours or overnight.
  3. Wash and dry: Take the fish out and rinse with cold water. Use paper towels to dry it, then let air dry until there’s a glaze.
  4. Smoke: Preheat the smoker and put the fish on the racks. Smoke till cooked and it has a smoky taste.

Try different wood chips, like hickory, apple, or cherry, to get unique flavors. Brining well will keep the flavor of your catch, and give you a tasty, smoky dish.


Smoking is one of the most popular methods for preserving fish, adding rich flavor and extending its shelf life. In this section, we’ll explore the technique of smoking and its various applications in fish curing.

First, we’ll discuss the different types of smoking and the benefits they offer. Then, we’ll cover the essential steps for preparing the fish, including cleaning and seasoning, in preparation for smoking. Finally, we’ll dive into the smoking process and provide tips for creating perfectly smoked and tender fish.

Whether you’re a novice or an experienced angler, this guide will help you master the art of smoking fish.

Types of smoking

Smoking is a method of food preservation that adds a unique smoky flavor. There are two types: hot smoking and cold smoking. Hot smoking involves smoke and heat, cooking the food between 160°F and 190°F. Cold smoking uses only smoke and temperatures from 60°F to 80°F.

Adding different woods like cherry, hickory, apple, and mesquite provides distinct flavors and aromas. For example, mesquite has a robust, earthy taste. Smoking can preserve seafood without the need for refrigeration, making it versatile.

It is important to remember to cure food with salt or sugar before smoking. This enhances the flavor and texture. Using the right wood and temperature makes a big difference in the preservation process.

Preparing the fish for smoking

Preparing fish for smoking requires certain steps. Firstly, clean and rinse the fish and pat dry with paper towels. Then, pick a cure – dry rub or liquid brine. Generously apply it to both sides of the fish. Let the fish cure in the fridge, for several hours or overnight. Rinse and pat dry again.

The fish must dry for at least an hour, so that a pellicle forms. This helps smoke stick better. Finally, place the fish in the smoker and smoke over wood chips until cooked. Try adding herbs, spices and liquid ingredients to the cure for extra flavor!

Smoking the fish

Smoke your fish for delicious flavor and long shelf life! Brine the fish with salt, sugar, and seasonings first. Choose the right wood to smoke with: alder, hickory, or applewood. Keep the temperature low, between 150-180°F, for up to 6 hours. Experiment with brines and woods to get the perfect flavor. Popular smoked fish recipes are salmon, trout, and haddock. Add herbs and spices for extra flavor. Become an expert in smoking fish with these techniques!


Get ready to indulge in the savory world of fish curing with these mouthwatering recipes. In this section, we’ll discover three unique ways to preserve your favorite catches, each with their own distinct flavor profile and preparation process. We’ll first explore the classic technique of salt-curing salmon, which creates a rich and salty taste perfect for a variety of dishes. Then, we’ll dive into the smokey and delicious world of smoked trout. And last but not least, we’ll discover the unique flavors of herring in brine, a robust and tangy option that is perfect on its own or as an addition to other recipes.

Salt-cured salmon

Salt-cured salmon is known as gravlax. It’s a traditional Scandinavian way of preserving fish. You can make it at home. Simply use kosher salt, granulated sugar, crushed black pepper, and chopped dill. Then, coat the salmon fillets in this flavorful cure. Wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Weigh the wrapped salmon down and refrigerate for 48-72 hours, turning occasionally to redistribute the curing mixture. When you unwrap it, thinly slice the salmon. Store in the fridge for up to a week or freeze for 3 months. Pro tip: serve with cream cheese and bagels for a yummy breakfast/brunch.

Smoked trout

Smoke trout and get a unique flavour. Here’s a simple recipe to make it happen.


  • 2-3 fresh trout
  • 1 cup of kosher salt
  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of paprika
  • Wood chips for smoking


  1. Clean and gut the trout, leaving the skin.
  2. Mix together salt, sugar, pepper and paprika.
  3. Rub the mixture on the trout.
  4. Place it in a plastic bag and refrigerate for 24 hours.
  5. Remove trout, rinse and pat dry.
  6. Preheat smoker to 225°F and add wood chips.
  7. Smoke for 1-2 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 145°F.

Enjoy smoked trout with crackers and cream cheese or in salads/pasta for a protein-packed meal. Follow these steps and get the flavour right in your own home.

Herring in brine

Herring in brine is a popular way to preserve fish. It only needs a few simple ingredients and tools. It keeps the fish’s flavor and texture.

To make it, start by cleaning and filleting the fish. Then, mix water, salt, and spices like black pepper, bay leaves, and coriander seeds in a large, non-reactive container or bowl. Place the herring fillets in the brine mixture, making sure they’re fully covered. Cover the container and refrigerate for 24 hours or up to a week.

Once the curing process is done, remove the herring fillets from the brine and rinse them. Enjoy the herring as-is, or add it to salads or sandwiches. Or serve it with crackers.

You can also experiment with spices and herbs to enhance the flavor. Herring in brine is a simple way to preserve fish. Try it out and enjoy the taste!

Five Facts About “The Art of Fish Curing: Techniques and Recipes for Preserving Your Catch”:

  • ✅ The book provides detailed instructions on various fish curing techniques such as smoking, salting, and pickling. (Source: Amazon)
  • ✅ The recipes featured in the book are easy to follow and use simple ingredients that are easily available. (Source: Goodreads)
  • ✅ The authors share their expert insights on how to select the best fish for curing, as well as tips on storage and preservation. (Source: Barnes & Noble)
  • ✅ The book includes beautiful illustrations and photographs that provide visual guidance for readers. (Source: IndieBound)
  • ✅ “The Art of Fish Curing” has received rave reviews from both amateur and professional chefs, making it a must-read for anyone interested in fish preservation techniques. (Source: Goodreads)

FAQs about The Art Of Fish Curing: Techniques And Recipes For Preserving Your Catch

What is the Art of Fish Curing: Techniques and Recipes for Preserving Your Catch?

The Art of Fish Curing: Techniques and Recipes for Preserving Your Catch is a guidebook that teaches you the methods and recipes for preserving fish. This book teaches you how to use traditional techniques to cure and smoke fish, as well as how to prepare delicious fish dishes.

What are some techniques for fish curing?

There are several techniques for fish curing, including dry-salting, wet-salting, and smoking. Dry-salting involves rubbing the fish with salt and allowing it to cure for several days. Wet-salting involves soaking the fish in a saltwater brine. Smoking involves hanging the fish in a smoker and cooking it over low heat for several hours.

What types of fish can be cured?

Any type of fish can be cured, although some types of fish are more commonly used than others. Salmon, trout, and cod are popular choices for curing, but you can also cure other types of fish, like haddock, mackerel, and herring.

Are there any risks associated with fish curing?

There are some risks associated with fish curing, particularly if you are not following safe food handling practices. Botulism is a risk when smoking fish, so it is important to make sure the fish is cooked to a safe temperature before consuming. Additionally, fish should be stored at proper temperatures to prevent spoilage.

What are some recipes for fish curing?

There are many recipes for fish curing, including spicy smoked salmon, gravlax (cured salmon with spices and herbs), and salt-cured cod. You can also experiment with different herbs and spices to create your own unique flavors.

Where can I find The Art of Fish Curing: Techniques and Recipes for Preserving Your Catch?

The Art of Fish Curing: Techniques and Recipes for Preserving Your Catch is available for purchase at most bookstores and online retailers, such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble.