One novel preparation of the colored tilapia, sometimes called kingfish, is dried something like the “danggit” that you and I love for breakfast.
This dried colored tilapia is a new preparation by Dr. Frank dela Peña a fisheries expert and educator, the founder of Aces Natural Farming Institute in Panabo City, Davao del Norte.
When we visited him last June 10, he was naturally proud to let us taste his new product. The colored fish that he used were the 150 to 200 grams so that they are fleshy, unlike the so-called “tilanggit” which are made of small black or gray tilapia.
Dr. Dela Peña has put up a structure that is roofed with UV-resistant transparent plastic and enclosed with fine net so that flies and other insects cannot enter inside. In two to three days, drying could be accomplished.
After drying, the dried fish are vacuum-packed so they can be kept for long periods. Dr. dela Peña said that the dried fish can also be re-hydrated before frying. This is done by soaking the pieces in water for five to 10 minutes.
The dried colored tilapia is a recent development. With the very good reception by those who have tried it, Dr. dela Peña intends to make it into a commercial product. He intends to have contract growers of the colored tilapia which he would buy back for processing. That way, he will be providing a new income source for the farm families.
Being a fisheries expert, Dr. dela Peña can easily produce the fingerlings that he can disperse to his cooperators. He is also thinking of coming up with a version of the fast food chain that will serve naturally-farmed vegetables, fish, livestock and poultry. One of the breakfast fares, of course, would be the dried colored tilapia.
The Aces Natural Farming Institute, by the way, is an accredited extension technology provider on Natural Farming by the Agricultural Training Institute of the Department of Agriculture.
At present some 160 out-of-school youths, aged 13 to 23, are enrolled in a six-month training course where they are taught the traditional 3Rs plus good manners and right conduct in tandem with lessons and hands-on practice in natural farming.