Dry fish is an important ingredient in Nigerian cuisine. Fish is smoked till it dries, during the smoking process, the fish oils are released which stay on the fish skin, this attracts dust and sand. Sometimes bugs go into the flesh. To wash dry fish properly before consumption is very necessary.
To wash Dry fish
Boil enough water to totally submerge the fish. Remove anything used to hold the fish together if you can, if not continue, when the fish has softened, it will come off.
Place fish in a deep bowl and pour boiling hot water to cover it.
Leave to stand for 2 minutes.
If left for too long, it will break apart and leach out a lot of its flavour. You might see a few dead bugs floating on top of the hot water.
Drain and rinse out with cold water, being careful because there might still be hot water retained inside the fish. Break open and remove the bones and insides.
Also remove anything used to bind the fish together. See the stick in the picture.
Try not to break the fish into tiny pieces else it will disintegrate into the dish because, besides flavouring the dish, you still want to see and eat the fish.
Rinse out your dry fish and it is ready for use.
To wash soft fish called Jokojoko because it is not dried fully and falls apart easily, the flesh will get mushy if left inside hot water for any length of time. So just drop it in hot water and bring out immediately, then rinse in cold water.
How to wash dry fish using Sponge and soap