What is delicious dried fish?
"Himono" means dried seafood in Japanese.
The methods of creating Himono - dried seafood- have continued since the ancient time and mainly consist of dehydrating seafood by drying them to stop fungi, bacteria or gems from growing and to increase the preservability. These methods are used in many areas with fishery resource all over the world not limited in Japan.
In addition, current Himono we eat today is not all the same as Himono in old times.
Most Himono in old times when cooling facilities like a refrigerator never exist is strongly hard like Niboshi(small dried sardines) or Katsuobushi (dried bonito) extremely dried after long time drying, and people only could eat Himono softer like one in modern times just near fishing ports.
Now in modern times, Himono is not only just a preserved food but high valued food through which people enjoy the good taste and high nutrition.
The secret of good taste of Himono
What is the secret of the high popularity of Himono, even in modern times when we can enjoy freshest status of seafood preservable in home refrigerator since they are transported from a fishing port to a retail shop in frozen status quickly.
The secret is that Himono has different and unique delicious flavor towards fresh seafood.
Fresh seafood ordinally produces inosinic acid and glutamic acid inside the body as umami flavor at the timing of postmortem rigidity and the good taste with umami in fresh seafood decreases along with the softening process of the body. Himono can hold umami flavor as the drying process of Himono prevent the softening process and decreasing of umami.
Another secret of the good taste is the food texture of Himono.
Chewy texture of Sashimi and Tataki(seared Sashimi) and crispy texture of grilled fish increase the good flavor of seafood, the feature of Himono's texture is its excellent springy palatability.
The making process of Himono adds salt to seafood and soaks it in soy source as Mirin-boshi (dried seafood with sweet sake) and the adding salt process connects body tissues of seafood strongly each other and creates the springy texture.
In addition, the adding salt process makes the effectiveness of keeping umami flavor in the tissues by the strong connection.
Nutrient component of Himono
High-quality protein included in fish has been acknowledged and DHA(docosahexaenoic acid) in fish has been also highly recognized for recent years.
DHA exists in fat of fish, particularly much in fat of blue-backed fish, and it is said to be good for brain activation for men and women of all ages.
People in the Japanese islands surrounding the sea eat fish a lot compare to other areas of the world and it might be in connection with the high intellectual standard of Japanese people.