What is Himono?
Japan is famous as a nation that loves raw seafood. But dried fish has a much longer history here and has played an important role in Japanese society for hundreds of years.
Himono was being sent to the emperor during the Nara Period (710-794). The great capital of Heian-Kyo, now Kyoto, is quite far from the sea and Himono was an important part of the diet at the Imperial court in Kyoto during the Heian Period (794-1185). Himono was considered a luxury food until the Edo Period (1603-1868), except for people who lived along the coast.
In the days before refrigeration, Himono was heavily salted since it had to keep for a while. But these days, it is made for its flavor rather than for its keeping qualities. Modern himono is much lower in salt than the ones of yore. The fish is gutted, marinated in salt water (or salted directly) and left to air-dry overnight. This process brings out the umami in the fish.
Salting and drying fish concentrates the flavor, giving it a different character from fresh fish. It also changes the texture. Japanese loves having Himono for breakfast with rice, miso soup, and some pickles. Or, in the evening with a glass of sake.
How to eat?
Step 1 : Defrost by refrigerator or under running water.
Step 2 : In frying pan over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon of oils.
Step 3 : Place the Himono skin side up and grill until both side lightly browned.