Photo credit: ICSF (India)
Review: Abdel Rahman El Gamal (Founder of the website)
Smoked fish/shrimp has a good demand in India. Several fish species are used for smoking with mullets and shrimp being the preferred species. The inserted picture shows the traditional method for shrimp smoking.
These traditional kilns are mainly made of mud plastered walls on a skeleton of mangrove wood and bamboo poles. Sun dried shrimp are spread on raised bamboo mats whereas the two to three fire pits below the platform allow slow cooking of shrimp at a temperature of around 45-50 C.
As shrimp cooks and its size reduces, a space is made for fresh batch of shrimp and hence ensuring continuous processing. In general, time required for shrimp smoking is shorter than fish. The fully smoked shrimp is packed in sacks or baskets and taken to markets. Usually, women are in charge of the smoking process.
The traditional method of fish/shrimp smoking has been perfected over the years, especially in the light of the minimum capital costs and the use of locally available materials such as mangrove wood, bamboo poles, coconut husk. However, because women may suffer from burns in the hands and feet as well as breathing and eye problems, the promotion of advanced fish smoking practices will be most likely adopted.