Hokkaido Home Cooking - "Dried Saffron Cod" Delicious appetizers best served with sake!

In one of our previous Hokkaido's Home Cooking entries we introduced you to delicious half-dried Saffron cod.
[ Food ]
Hokkaido's Home Cooking - Saffron Cod
We had so many comments about just plain old dried saffron cod that we thought it would be a good idea to introduce it as well! In comparison with the half-dried version, this dried cod is rock solid and makes the perfect snack to enjoy with drinks.
The key characteristic of dried saffron cod is its hard texture. Even if you try to bend it in half you'll have a hard time getting it to break in two. It seems almost as if the fish is being held together by nails!
Because of this toughness, nine out of ten times when you bite into the fish your teeth are the ones that will lose the battle.
To help you out there are a few special tools you can use to prepare the fish. You'll need an old newspaper, a hammer, some pliers, and a lighter!
First, the newspaper. As you wrestle with the fish it will create a lot of small scraps. The newspaper should be used as a place-mat to help clean up these pieces when you're done,
The hammer is used to soften the fish, while the pliers will help you peel it apart. The fish can certainly be peeled by hand, but trust me, the pliers will make the job much easier.
This was the first chance I've had to struggle with this delicious fish in years! If you have a grill available, heat the fish to soften it before you begin to work. Sadly, I didn't have one on-hand, so I had to use open flame!
I don't have any kind of stove in my house, so before I ate my fish I heated up each piece with a lighter. After heating the fish becomes softer, making it much easier to enjoy!
It is said that when you eat crab you eat in silence due to the difficulty of actually getting to the meat! The same is true with dried cod, it is almost always enjoyed in silence. If you want to try dried saffron cod, you can find it in souvenir shops at New Chitose Airport and throughout the city. You definitely have to try this delicious fish!
(Hokkaido Likers Writer - Takako Chiba)