Fresh, sweet, and tender: lightly salted dried squid／鮮、甜、軟嫩的滋味 魷魚一夜干
Fresh, sweet, and tender: lightly salted dried squid
◎English translation: Wendy Wei Chang
Taiwan is a leading country in the global deep-water (or pelagic) fishing industry. Taiwanese fishing vessels harvest seafood in the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian oceans. The past two years have seen an abundance of Argentine shortfin squid in the Southwest Atlantic near the Falkland Islands, and Taiwanese boats have been harvesting a lot of squid. The increase in supply has made squid more affordable. As a result, food companies have been motivated to develop various squid products. Ocean Harmony Co., Ltd. seized the opportunity two years ago, and introduced its inventive lightly salted dried squid to the market. This product has since enjoyed a great deal of popularity.
Mr. Chen Hsuan-hsi, chairman of Ocean Harmony Co., Ltd. says he loved eating lightly salted dried squid when he was living in Japan, and this was an inspiration to develop a similar product. Six years ago, Ocean Harmony received training from Japan in order to produce sakura shrimp sashimi for export to that country. Utilizing its techniques, equipment, and environment, the company then created a lightly salted dried squid product. Production costs are low because squid is now inexpensive. As a result, the market price of lightly salted dried squid is acceptable to the public.
Mr. Chen explains that Ocean Harmony's techniques are different to the normal sun-drying techniques used near harbors. The manufacturing environment is crucial, and the company makes its lightly salted dried squid at an indoor temperature of 15 to 17 degrees Celsius. Every step in the process requires a clean environment. Before producing the lightly salted dried squid, the squid needs to be washed, cut, and cleaned thoroughly. In order to preserve the natural magnesium and calcium in the squid, the squid needs to be soaked in reverse osmosis water plus water with 3% salt, which is similar to seawater. Finally, the squid is hung in a dry room.
Building a dry room requires careful attention to detail. Harmony Ocean recreated the frozen environment in Hokkaido, Japan, so the manufacturing environment is similar to one in Hokkaido. The temperature in the dry room is 0 degrees Celsius. The squid is dehydrated when it is above freezing point to maintain freshness and reduce any fishy taste. The amount of time a squid stays in the dry room is key when producing lightly salted dried squid. The low temperature, dehumidified environment, and constant fan-blowing remove any liquid inside the squid. The squid produces a natural enzyme which tenderizes the flesh, so there is no need to use any artificial additive. The fresh flavor is also locked in the flesh.
The process of producing the lightly salted dried squid is extremely hygienic. The squid can be cooked without cleaning. Since the squid is already dehydrated, the cooking time is also reduced. Many restaurants like Ocean harmony's squid, and Mr. Chen says that even people not good at cooking can make great dishes using his company's product. One can simply roast the squid in an oven. When it comes out, the squid's skin is crispy while the flesh is still moist and tender. You can taste the sweetness and freshness of the squid.
Ocean Harmony offers a delivery service for their squid product. It is not sold through stores because the quality might be compromised if the squid stays out of a freezer for more than 30 minutes. The delivery service ensures the squid's excellent quality.
Ocean Harmony CO., LTD
海和有限公司董事長陳玄錫談起，他居住日本時，非常喜愛品嚐一夜干，促成他日後投入一夜干水產品研發。6年前 ，海和公司為了製作外銷日本的生食櫻花蝦，由日方技術指導 ，海和公司在人員、設備和環境一應俱全的條件，順勢投入研發魷魚一夜干，適逢魷魚豐收、價格下降之際，平衡製作成本高的魷魚一夜干，產品售價也能被市場接受。