Kalinga Farmers Cooperative Introduces First-Ever Tilapia Noodles – Manila Bulletin
Tilapia is the second most farmed fish in the Philippines, after the bangus. It is also the most consumed fish in the Philippines, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
The most widespread species in the country is the Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus).
Due to its versatility and affordability, many Filipino households choose tilapia as their fish of choice, helping them meet their body’s protein needs.
Tilapia is served in different ways: fried, grilled, steamed, smoked, marinated and baked. But among the many local tilapia recipes, there is one that stands out: tilapia noodles.
In Tabuk, Kalinga, tilapia is not only served in the traditional way; its meat is also used to make pasta.
The pioneers of this innovative dish are the women farmers of the St. William Agricultural Cooperative in Barangay Calaccad in the town of Tabuk.
As part of efforts to empower fishing communities, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources-Cordillera Administrative Region (BFAR-CAR) supports the cooperative by providing them with a conducive facility for post-harvest processing, through the Special Agricultural Development Zone (SAAD) of the DA. program.
“With the intervention of the office in the cooperative, other partner agencies have also helped them, especially on food processing – their imaginative and creative spirit gives them the idea to innovate an ordinary noodle into a tastier one and healthier, and they offered tilapia noodles,” said BFAR-CAR.
According to Joyce Docyugen, Fisheries Officer of Kalinga Province, making tilapia noodles is similar to making regular pasta. The only difference is that the tilapia meat is added to the flour.
This healthy pasta option is simple to make, so home cooks and entrepreneurs can take advantage of its potential as a source of extra protein and income.
Ingredients include two eggs for two cups of all-purpose flour and chunks of tilapia meat. Once ready, let the dough rest for 30 minutes, flatten it, then roll it in the noodle maker to form thin sheets of pasta. That’s it. It can be cooked and served in any pasta recipe one prefers.
Tilapia pasta and Miki Bihon are very similar, especially in terms of noodle size.
The tilapia meat used in making these noodles comes from the farmer’s fish ponds.
As of this writing, tilapia pasta has yet to officially hit the market due to a lack of equipment and an unfinished food processing facility.
Despite this, the cooperative is already preparing to market it. People interested in producing tilapia pasta are increasing, according to Docyugen, not only for companies but also for private use.
Photos courtesy of BFAR-CAR
Learn more about agriculture and gardening at agriculture.com.ph
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