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Red tilapia ready to invade Cagayanos' plates

With the introduction of the red tilapia as one of the cultured fish species in Cagayan Valley, it is expected that there will be an increase in production, making it available in the market.

While this is not a familiar species compared to the regular gray or black tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus), the region’s folk currently patronizes the latter. However, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) here introduced various ways to prepare the red tilapia through a cooking contest.

With six teams competing with their six best recipes, the BFAR provided all the condiments as well as the red tilapia fish, which resulted in 60 different recipes.

Rosemarie Martin, a retired employee of the Department of Agriculture and one of the judges, said they were not just any recipes but, ones that can be best served in classy restaurants.

However, Dr. Raul Ting, owner of Delfino Hotel and Myrose Restaurant in Tuguegarao City, said that out of all the recipes, there were two that stood out among those presented because of their authenticity -- the “Grilled Red Tilapia with Eggplant Cream” and the “Pinataro Nga Umaf-afi”.

Dr. Ting urged BFAR as well as the region’s fish farmers to produce more red tilapia, also known as King Fish according to Ting, because the fish has a high commercial value in Metro Manila.

While red tilapia in the region is at P140 per kilo, when it reaches Metro Manila, live red tilapia commands a higher price especially in Chinese restaurants because of its red color, which is known to be “lucky” among the Chinese.

“It is your chance to grow more,” Ting said.

Director Angel Encarnacion, BFAR regional head, thanked the Bureau of Agricultural Research for funding the event as it was an excellent way to introduce to the people of Region 2 the different red tilapia recipes, which are not only perfect for home cooking, but for hotels and restaurant cuisines as well.

The first prize went to the Tuao Ladies Organization, while second and third places went to the BFAR Regional Office and to the Namnama Service Provider Association of Cabatuan, Isabela, respectively. (OTB/GVB PIA Cagayan) )

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Gene Baquiran


Region 2

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