The ram is a species of roach. It differs from ordinary roach in its greater body height, smaller scales, thickened teeth, and the number (smaller) of rays in the anal fin. Previously, ram was marketed in dried form and was a favorite food for the peoples of the Kuban, Don, Azov region. Today, the name ram is understood not only for this type of fish, but also for mixed species of various species of fish.
On the Don, a ram is called a dried vobla brought from the Volga. Previously, the rivers flowing into the Sea of Azov were literally overflowing with rams, and whole mountains of this dried product were brought to the fish market in the village of Gnilovskaya. Then the Chumaks delivered the goods throughout Ukraine. But over time, the ram practically disappeared from the Azov basin due to its uncontrolled fishing even before spawning and the destruction of small individuals.
Taranka fish or taranka is a common name for dried dried fish. Basically, fish is used for its preparation, which belongs to the carp family. It can be roach, roach and, of course, ram, from which the very name "ram" came. However, you can cook a ram from other types of fish: pike, bream, crucian carp, goby. Dried ram is considered a traditionally Russian snack (snack) for a foamy drink. Its preparation (drying in a salty form) lasts from several days to several weeks. It all depends on the recipe for cooking, on what result you want to get and the size of the fish. Some people like dried ram, others prefer dried.
What kind of fish is better for drying?
Almost any. But experienced fishermen are more fond of roach, rudd, minnows, ruffs. Fish of medium fat content is best suited, such as roach, bream, sabrefish, podleschik.
Many people prefer to dry fish in natural conditions, in the fresh air, constructing numerous structures in the form of boxes with a net. But if you want to dry a tasty treat as quickly as possible or weather conditions do not allow at the moment, then a completely ordinary oven, a Russian stove, an electric dryer purchased in a store will do. In all cases, the preliminary preparation remains the same.
In fact, drying and drying is one process, only with a different name. Its peculiarity is that pre-salted fish is dried (dried) for a certain amount of time. As a result of this process, the fish will be quite suitable for human consumption without any other thermal processing. As it is stored in dried fish, the amount of moisture and fat decreases, which is why it is called dried. Only those types of fish are dried, which acquire a special taste and aroma during processing.
In the summertime, it is better not to cook gutted fish, since at this time herbivorous fish feed on plankton and greens, which, during the drying process, will give an unpleasant smell and rancid taste. If there is a desire to wilt a large fish unseated, then before immersing it in the brine, a strong salt solution is poured into the abdomen through the mouth with a syringe or syringe.
Fully finished fish has a structure that is clearly visible to the light, salt does not emit on its surface. After removing the scales and skin, a fragrant layer of meat appears, tender and elastic and shiny fat. After drying, dried fish should ripen from three weeks to a month.
How to dry fish?
Drying and drying fish is considered one of the ways to prepare and preserve it. The pre-salted fish, after a certain time, is wilted in special devices. This can be a self-made appliance or an Isidri fish dryer. As a result, the product can be consumed without heat treatment.
Dried ram is made by salting, soaking and subsequent drying. The name comes from the fish roach (ram), which has long been used for this.
Salting is carried out in one of the ways - wet or dry. It is better to salt small fish with a wet method, and large fish weighing more than a kilogram are salted dry.
1. Method of wet salting
Usually fish is salted in a brine called brine. It takes three or four days to keep it there. With the wet method of salting (brine), a strong salt solution is made so that a raw chicken egg pops up on its surface. Freshly processed fish is dipped completely into the solution. It is necessary to put an anti-corrosion wire mesh on top and bend on it. For the brine salting method, fish weighing up to 500 grams are chosen and kept under oppression for 3 days in a cool place. After this time, to reduce the amount of salt in the fish, it is necessary to soak it.
The fish is washed with cold running water, paying attention to the abdomen (if the fish is gutted) and gills. Next, the fish is soaked in fresh water (for shallow water it takes half an hour, larger specimens are soaked for several hours, the water must be changed periodically). In the process of soaking, after draining the first water, the fish is left dry for a couple of hours so that the salt is distributed in it and to reduce the salinity of the intestines of the fish. When, when soaking, the fish begins to float, it means that the ambassador has become tender, if you look at the fish in the light, it will become transparent amber. And after drying, it will acquire a slightly reddish color. Before sending for drying, the fish is placed on paper or carefully wiped with a soft cloth. It is believed that the fish will not take more salt than it should. Salt crystals block the space between the fibers of the fish meat so that the rest of the salt cannot penetrate into the carcass.
• Live fish is salted better, as it will be salted more evenly after swallowing the saline solution.
• Large specimens can be cut for better drying.
• The purpose of salting is to remove excess moisture. To do this, use coarse salt, which draws liquid out of the fish.
• Oppression is needed to prevent cavities in the fish, where putrefactive bacteria develop, and the appearance of gas bubbles.
• Salting should take place in a cold place (refrigerator or cellar). If the fish is not salted, then the cold protects it from damage.
2. Method of dry salting
Salt is poured into a stainless steel dish with about half a centimeter. The fish is thoroughly washed, the insides of large specimens over 0.8 kg are carefully removed, the small fish is salted whole. With dry salting, the fish is rubbed with salt from the tail to the head, the gills are tightly stuffed with salt and folded into a container in tight rows back to the stomach, head to tail, since with this method the fish is better salted under pressure. Salt must be poured inside the peritoneum of the fish.
The fish is sprinkled with salt in such an amount that a dense salt layer forms. Then the second layer of fish and salt is laid in the same way. Next, a lid is placed on the fish in such a way that it does not tightly press against the walls of the dish, and there is a small flow of air to the fish. They put oppression on the lid and put the container in a cold place (it can be a refrigerator or a balcony in winter, just make sure that the sun's rays do not fall on it). Periodically, the resulting juice should be drained from the fish. For small fish (up to 100 grams), the salting time is a day or two. For an average fish (up to 800 grams), no more than 3-4 days. Large carcasses (from a kilogram) are salted from 5 days to two weeks. You can understand that the fish is salted by stopping the release of juice from it.
To get a uniform salting, for a start, you can put a little more than half of the intended load, and after 6 hours add the rest.The weight of the oppression is selected from the amount of salted fish and its weight. For large individuals, a load of 15-20 kilograms is required. If the carcasses are medium-sized (250 grams, half a kilo), the weight of the oppression should be 12-15 kg. The top layer of the fish is sprinkled with plenty of salt so that it is all covered with salt. When all the fish is laid, the container with the yoke is covered with gauze or other porous cloth, wrapped with a rope or elastic band to avoid insects getting there.
If a ram is salted at home, then small fish are not gutted; in large individuals, all entrails are removed along with blood clots. On the inside of the fish, a shallow incision is made to the dorsal fin without damaging the skin. It is better to use coarse salt, since fine salt forms a crust on the fish, and it does not allow the carcass to be salted evenly and efficiently.
Then the fish is taken out and washed thoroughly. Then it is soaked in water for two hours and rinsed again with the addition of vinegar to prevent the appearance of living organisms in it. If the Isidri dryer is used, then before drying, the gills of the fish are squeezed so that they dry out faster. If the specimens are large, then spacers are made from matches or toothpicks on the cut belly. This way it stays greasy and tastes better.
How to store dried fish?
Store well-dried fish in tin cans with tight lids.
You can store fish in a bag or basket away from sunlight. Large specimens are wrapped in parchment. Thus, dried fish can be stored for up to 4 months. Dried fish is stored in a calico bag in a cool, dry place. If the ram has turned out to be overdried, then its elasticity can be restored by wetting it with water and wrapping it in damp paper for two days, moistening it periodically with water as it dries. The fish is stored in the refrigerator, either in a plastic bag or in foil. If you intend to keep the fish for a long time, you should periodically lubricate it with vegetable oil. The fish is also stored in sealed jars. Well-packaged dried fish does not deteriorate up to 10 months, but sometimes it loses its taste during long-term storage.
Why is ram useful and what is the best way to use it?
Fish contains many substances that a person needs, while its calorie content in 100 grams is only 88 kcal. Its protein content is 17.5 grams, fat - 2 grams, carbohydrates - 0.
The ram contains a lot of protein, which is easily absorbed by the human body. It also contains chromium, fluorine, nickel, molybdenum, sulfur, chlorine. Protein from dried fish helps regulate the body's metabolism. Fish oil regulates blood clotting, as it contains fatty acids that help lower bad cholesterol levels, so the risk of a stroke is reduced. Iodine contributes to the proper functioning of the thyroid gland. Dried fish contains B vitamins, vitamins A, E, magnesium, iron, fluoride, which are important for the normal functioning of the brain and heart.
Many people prefer to consume dried fish as a beer delicacy. Cured roach is considered a classic. But not every lover can tell the difference between delicious fish in appearance. Tasty and good taranka has a pleasant dried taste, beautiful color, no mold, it is not too soft, but not too dry, without yellowness. You should block the light source with the fish and then you can see how it will light up.
Ram is perfect as a beer snack. These are integral components for each other. With moderate consumption of fish along with a frothy drink, such a combination of goodies will only bring benefits, since beer contains a lot of vitamin B from brewer's yeast. This vitamin strengthens the heart muscle. There is a lot of ascorbic acid in beer. And dried fish contains a lot of omega 3 fatty acids, which are useful for the prevention of cancer, senile dementia, stroke, heart attack.
Of course, each fish has its own taste and it depends on the time it was caught, its habitat. For those who prefer oily fish, dried bream is the best choice. If it was dried with an un-gutted abdomen, then when cut, the fat begins to literally ooze, the meat will taste aromatic and tasty.
Moderately fatty fish - dried sabrefish and vomer, which are distinguished by tender and tasty meat. The sea ruff has a tender, tasty and nutritious golden meat. Such a fish is perfectly cleaned, and there are very few bones in it. Dried perch has a slightly sweetish and fibrous meat, lean. Dried pike has a rich and tart aroma, excellent taste.
You can eat dried fish in small quantities for pregnant women. Numerous tests have shown that pregnant women who ate jerky fish in the third trimester gave birth to calmer babies and a reduced risk of preterm birth.
You can use dried fish not only as snacks for beer. Sometimes it is used to make fish soup. Too dry specimens are ground into flour and used as a dressing for salads with fish, fish soups, cutlets.
There is another original recipe that uses dried fish. This is sour cream pasta. To prepare it, mix a glass of sour cream with a quarter of a glass of mayonnaise, add a couple of tablespoons of lemon juice, a clove of garlic, a little black pepper, a tablespoon of parsley and a glass of crumbled dried fish. This pasta can be served with dry salty cookies, cucumber or tomato slices.
To get a delicious back of a fish of gentle salting and a beautiful amber color, you need some experience, but gradually you can learn how to dry a taranka, which in its taste, color and aroma is many times superior to the purchased one. And then hardly anyone will refuse to enjoy the wonderful fragrant fish. Some connoisseurs of the foamy drink equate the process of drinking beer with fish to the Japanese tea ceremony. They literally savor every bite of it, recognizing dried or dried fish as an exquisite delicacy.