Wisdom of preparation: Food processing

Wisdom of preparation: Food processing

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Smoking food is a method often used to preserve fish such as salmon. The “Iburi-gakko” of Akita Prefecture, known for its peculiar flavor, is one of the representative smoked pickles.



This is the most common preservation method. Salt is used to preserve all kinds of foodstuff including fish, meat, vegetables, and mountain herbs. A thick layer of salt reduces the activities of microorganisms that putrefy food so it can be stored for a long time.



Removing water from food is a basic method of preservation. It is used to produce dried rice cake and dried persimmon, or to preserve fish. Once dried, a sour and bitter persimmon tastes sweet.



This method is traditionally used to make natto (fermented soybeans), miso, and soy sauce. Microorganisms work to improve the flavor and nutrients, and the nutrients get absorbed more easily. Nare-zushi, including crucian carp sushi and sweetfish sushi, is also prepared with the help of fermentation.



Frozen tofu or frozen radish can be made using a repeated freezing and drying process over several days. Freezing the water contained in food reduces the activity of microorganisms and enzymes. Frozen food can be preserved for a long time if dried.