Although Ikan asin is one of the famous traditional foods in Indonesia, this method of fish preserving is actually popular across the world and is a common method for hundreds of years. Salted fish is easy and cheap to make. Moreover, the nutrients are well maintained despite being stored for a long time.
Salted Fish Making Process
It is really easy to make and does not really needs much effort nor ingredients. To make salted fishes, first, you need to put the fishes you are going to preserve in a large container. You can cut the bigger fishes to ensure that the salt easily penetrates the fish meat, while the smaller one does not need to be cut.
The next step is to pour edible salt on top of the fish and smear it evenly. You can also soak the fish in concentrated salt water. Due to the concentration differences and osmosis pressures, the salts crystal will draw out the cell’s water content from the fish meat while the salt particles will seep into the fish meat.
This high concentration of salt and reduced cell’s waters will stop the autolysis process and inhibit the bacterial growth in the fish meat. The last step is to sun-dried the fishes or boiled, or fermented to increase its preservation.
This dish is known for its cheap prize in Indonesia. Despite its cheap price, it doesn’t mean that this food has little to no nutrients. In fact, this food is packed with nutrients good for our health. This preserved food is high in calcium and phosphorus. Additionally, this food also contains protein, fat, carbohydrate, and iron.
Benefits of Consuming Ikan Asin
Since this food contains a lot of nutrients, it is no wonder that this food is also good for health. Below are some of the benefit you can get by incorporating salted fish into your diet.
1. Good for bone and teeth
100 gram of salted fish contains 300 mg of phosphorus and 200 mg of calcium. This high content of phosphorus and calcium is good for the overall health of bone and teeth. It can increase the height during the growth period, prevent osteoporosis, prevent bone defects, and also strengthen the bone structure.
2. Prevent anemia
Iron in salted fish is beneficial to prevent anemia. It will help the body to produce more red blood cell to prevent this health problem.
3. Helps build muscle
This food has quite high protein content, about 42 gr protein per 100 gram of salted fish. Protein can help the body to build muscle and increase the muscle mass. Therefore, this food is a great alternative diet for you who try to build muscles.
4. Prevent heart disease
This preserved food also has a high content of omega 3. Therefore, it is good to prevent heart problems. The omega 3 also helps to reduce the bad cholesterol in your body. This food also prevents the accumulation of triglyceride, increase HDL, and prevent blood clot. Overall, these benefits can help the cardiovascular work system.
5. A good source of energy
100 gram of salted fish can provide 193 kcal. The high calories and low fat mean that this food is a great source for daily energy you need, especially combined with other nutrient-packed food sources.
How to Choose and Cook Salted Fish
Salted fishes are easily found in many traditional markets in Indonesia. However, do you know how to choose good salted fish? Although preserved fishes are generally can be stored for a longer time, it is better to find fresher fish.
A good salted fish is those that are still soft and a little bit limp. The color still looks like fresh fish, meaning that the fish is still new. The old salted fish usually a little bit hard or firm and whitish in color.
Before you cook these fishes, make sure to wash or soak them for a little while in warm or hot water. The purpose is to remove the salt layer around the fish to reduce the salt content and also the saltiness. Next, strain and let them dry for a little while. Once the fish dried, it is ready to be fried or cooked in any recipes you like.
Salted fish or ikan asin in Indonesia is a cheap and tasty source of protein and other nutrients. However, you need to be careful and consume it in moderation since this fish has a high content of salt.