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Tala has its own

We tell about the peculiarities of the national dish in different regions of the Far East

The Far East has its own classic dishes, which indigenous peoples have been preparing since the beginning of time. One of them was thawed - frozen fish, cut into thin slices and mixed with salt, pepper and onions. Like other snacks, it has undergone changes, in almost every region to the usual recipe they add their own ingredients with a local zest.

Tala has its own
Photo: Xenia Murzina
This fish snack from time immemorial was prepared by the Yakuts, Nivkhs, Ulchi and Nanais. Tala is a dish of fishermen. To quickly refresh, in the winter caught catch was thrown on the ice, then made an incision on the back and stomach and removed the skin. The frozen fish was cut into slices, not touching bones. After that, the meat was poured into a container, the rest of the ingredients were added and quickly consumed.

Three Laws

The classic recipe for cooking tala and the features of the process was shared by the chef Ilya Stepanov from Vladivostok. Traveling a lot in the Far East and communicating with different peoples, he learned the main secrets of this dish. According to him, tala has three laws: do not unfreeze, do not eviscerate and do not use aluminum, and only five ingredients: fish, salt, pepper, onions and vinegar. You can add a little sugar to taste.

- The fish are not defrosted, because earlier the tally was done only in the winter. Prepare it mainly from the fat and delicious river fish of the salmon family. To preserve the integrity of the fish meat on its sides, it can not be gutted - cut. And we do not use aluminum utensils to avoid oxidation, since vinegar is added to the dish. After the meat of the fish was cut into slices, salt, pepper, onion, vinegar should be added to it and sent to the refrigerator for 2-12 hours, - Ilya Stepanov said.

Courtesy of Ilya Stepanov

Long-term frost is needed to kill worms and other parasites that can be in fish. Cooks call this technology a cold disinfection. This will also help to keep the intestines of the tala lovers in peace. For cooking, you need to use enamel or glassware, as aluminum will oxidize from the vinegar, and the fish will acquire a metallic taste. Plastic also does not fit: it absorbs the smells, because of this thaw will smell dishes that will turn into plastic dishes later.

- In restaurants of the Far East this dish has not become one of the crown. It is a certain postulate of the Far Eastern cuisine. This is a classic. From her went tartars, Civic and the like. Indigenous peoples of the Far East began to prepare such dishes before others. Now it's a favorite snack for fishermen and hunters, "said the chef.

Tala for the Englishman

Nanais in the Khabarovsk Territory add a fragrant forest grass to the salmon or replace it with a cucumber cut into thin strips. But many people do not accept vinegar - do without additives, as ancestors did. In translation from the Nanaian tala - a bear or a great sorcerer. Why is it so, now no one knows. In ancient times, the ability to prepare a tala was mandatory not only for men, but also for Nanaian girls. Before marrying, the Nanaian watched his lover know how to make this dish, and estimated how much it turns out delicious.

In one of the national villages of talu with Nanais, an English traveler was preparing - the presenter of the program "Let's go eat!" John Warren. The fish was cut into him in an ice cold. And the governor of the Khabarovsk Territory Vyacheslav Shport prepared the Talo at the Eastern Economic Forum in 2017. He called it "Morning mist on the river Anyui". A month later, a master class for cooking it was held at an international gastronomic forum in the Far Eastern capital.

Xenia Murzina (2) .JPG

Butter and ketchup

In other Far Eastern regions talu is called talak or indigirka. In Yakutia it is prepared from fish of whitefish, the most popular for cooking is fish chir, which has a special taste and pleasant aroma. The process of preparation is the same as that of tala, however, vinegar is not used. Instead, vegetable oil is added to the dish.

Another name for tala is sugudai. The fish is mixed with a lot of onions, butter, salt and pepper and wait until the appetizer is in the refrigerator for at least three hours. In the Magadan region they make a similar snack. Prepare it from a normal herring and fill the dish with ketchup or tomato paste.

Do in the Far East and potato slices. This is a dish of Nanais. The process is the same, but the potatoes cut into thin straws are not frozen, but, on the contrary, they are doused with boiling water, so that it is not damp, but crispy at the same time. To it add finely chopped smoked ketu. And Udygeys make a tallow from the meat of roe deer, elk or elk and call this dish tala-honon.
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