Salted fish or ikan masin is one of the oldest ways to preserve fresh fish in order to prevent them from decaying. The fish are gutted, sprinkled heavily with coarse sea salt and then left to dry on the beach in the hot sun for several days. The result is desiccated fish, free of moisture, which can be kept for months to be made later into many kinds of food.Many kinds of fish are salted. Common ones include stingray, gelama, talang, king mackerel, kurau and jack.
A combination of salted fish with the local spices result in a distinctive aroma when they are cooked. When the people have had too much of red meat or chicken, a change in the diet involving salted fish usually will bring back the jaded appetite.