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Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan
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Window of Fishes Sapporo  Japan

Window of Fishes

As we drove past one of the streets of Sapporo, red light flashed, and we stopped at an intersection. I was panning my camera and suddenly stopped when I saw this interesting looking window. I was trying to figure out what they were from afar, but eventually figured out when I zoomed in, that these were fishes being hanged out to dry (himono).

Drying fish is the oldest preservation method and it not surprising to see this in a country that has abundant seafood. Traditionally, these are sun dried, but modern technology has used fans to dry them. Experts have of course claimed that the traditional method is still much better.

Living in Asia, dried fish is no stranger to me, but there are all kinds of fishes and many more kinds of drying, salting and fermenting fish. Some are of good quality while others are not. Some are dried wide open and some whole. I always remember my mom searching for a good quality dried salted fish when she travels.

Imagine the smell! But I have to agree, the taste and flavor, when eaten, makes it all so much worth it, haha!

While I am more used to dried fish being deep fried to that ultra light and crispy level where the bones are already edible, we noticed that in Japan, the dried fish are served grilled, either over the traditional charcoal or an electric grill.

Typical fishes use are mackarel (aji), smelt, herring (nishin) or even flying fish (tobuio) which are popular for supplying the orange roe (tobiko) that we see in our sushis.