This recipe describes a method of drying which defies all long held views on the preservation of fish and chicken. Refrigeration is the key to keeping these foods fresh and safe to eat. However, African people have devised a method which pre-dates electricity and refrigeration, and despite repeated expressions of doubt as to the viability of the method, we have all tasted and enjoyed fish and chicken preserved this way and can testify to its effectiveness and the intensity of flavour which results.






Skill level

Average: 3.5 (29 votes)


  • fish or chicken
  • salt

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


You will need to begin this recipe 3 days ahead.

Preheat oven to 180ºC. Clean the fish thoroughly and then rub a little salt into the skin. Put the fish on a rack in the oven and leave for 15 minutes.

Turn the oven off, leaving the fish in place. The next day, repeat the process and again the next day also.

The fish is now ready, and can be stored in the pantry ready to be used in dishes for the next week or more.

The same process can be used for chicken.



Esther uses snapper but any fish will do.