Balyk is a delicious fish delicacy that was pre-salted and then dried up in the open air.
But do not consider any dried fish as balyk. For it is suitable only large fish, in which there are few bones, but plenty of meat. An excellent balyk is obtained from sturgeon, Ketov, and white salmon fish.
But this does not mean that other fish on the balyk is no good. If you managed to buy a large fresh silver carp (or even better if you caught it yourself), you can safely make a balyk out of it, because silver carp has white fatty meat and very few bones. And those that are large and easily removed.
Balyk: cooking secrets
- On a balyk it is better to take the middle of the carcass of fish. It is there that most meat.
- Pieces can be cut both from a single fillet and with a ridge (across the fish). The main thing is that the layers of fish are not thick, otherwise they will badly wallow inside and begin to deteriorate.
- Balyk can be cooked with or without skin.
- Pieces must be moderately large. Finely chopped fish when dried will be even smaller. It can dry out badly and not so juicy.
- It is believed that for salting you should not take iodized or sea salt, as this may worsen the taste of the finished product.
- A mixture for salting a balyk is made from salt and a small amount of sugar. For 1 kg of fish take 10 tablespoons of salt and 3 tablespoons of sugar. Spice lovers can use fragrant spices, adding to taste when salting.
- The quality of the balyk depends not only on the correct salting, soaking, but also on the time of drying. The longer the fish dries, the drier it becomes.
How to clean a silver carp for a balyk
- If you want to cook a balyk with skin, then the fish must be cleaned of scales. At the subsequent removal of the skin, the scales can not clean.
- Cut off the head, tail, cut fins. They are useful for soup.
- Carefully cut the abdomen and gut the fish. Be sure to remove all the dark film lining the abdominal cavity, otherwise the fish will subsequently taste bitter.
- Wash the fish, blot it with a paper towel so that it does not slide on the cutting board.
- Remove the fillet with a sharp knife. To do this, cut the meat near the ridge itself and with short cutting movements separate it from the bones, moving from head to tail. Turn the fish over and remove the fillets there.
- Place the fillet on the board, skin face down. Separate skin from pulp at one end. Stretch it. Hold the knife flat and cut the fillets from the skin.
- If you want to cut the silver carp across, then make slices about 3-4 cm thick. Although most often their width depends on the size of the fish itself.
Silver Carp Balyk: Recipe
- silver carp large - 1 pc .;
- salt and sugar depending on the size of the fish;
- other spices to taste.
- Clean the fish, gut it. Rinse in cold water.
- Bone fillets or cut the fish across into chunks, but they should not be very thick.
- Make a mixture of salt and sugar. You can add any spices to taste. Cumin, coriander, allspice are used most often for pickling.
- Take a suitable container (enameled, glass, stainless steel, plastic). Put a bit of pickling at the bottom.
- Put the fish in one layer, starting with the large ones. Pour with salt mixture. Lay the rest of the fish tight.
- Press it down with a load (this can be a regular can of water) and put it in the fridge for 5-7 days. After a while you will see that the fish gave the juice. In such a salt solution - a brine - pieces of fish can be up to three weeks. This is in the event that you will have no time to start drying.
- Remove salted silver carp from the refrigerator and rinse well under running cold water, and then soak. It is believed that the fish must be kept in water for as many hours as for the days it was salted. But still worth relying on your taste.
- Dry the fish well with paper towels and hang it in a draft, avoiding exposure to sunlight. To protect the balyk from dust and insects, cover it with gauze dipped in a weak solution of vinegar. And leave for 3-4 days. As soon as the pieces of fish cease to release fluid, become moderately elastic and become covered with a thin layer of fat, the balyk can be considered prepared.
- Store the balyk wrapped in parchment in the refrigerator for no more than 3-4 days.
Mistress to note
- If you have salted a lot of fish, get as many pieces for curing as you can eat in the near future. Keep the rest in the fridge, but not more than three weeks. Consider that such fish will need to be soaked for much longer.
- To keep the finished balyk dry, you can store it in the freezer. Before use, just thaw it at room temperature.
- A delicious smoked balyk is made from completely prepared pieces of fish for drying. But the fish for smoking should be well soaked, otherwise it will be salted.
- Before serving a silver carp balyk on a table, it is cut into thin slices and beautifully laid out on a plate.