Villar converts knife fish from pest to cheap ingredient for siomai, kikiam
The lowly knife fish, the “cheapest” fish in the market today at P20 per kilo, took center stage during the 10-day training on freshwater aquaculture led by Sen. Cynthia Villar.
A total of 31 trainees attended the training given by Villar SIPAG (Social Institute for Poverty Alleviation and Governance). They learned about the art of fish food processing, aquascaping and aquaponics.
The trainees were taught how to use knife fish as the base product in making siomai, kikiam, fish nuggets and fish patties.
The knife fish, found in some provinces in Luzon, was “accidentally introduced” in Laguna de Bay when super typhoon Ondoy hit the country in 2008 causing massive flash floods in many parts of the region.
It was considered a pest as it eats tilapia and bangus which are the main commodities of Laguna de Bay, hence, causing a significant decline in the fishermen’s catch. The knife fish is also known for its rapid production producing as much as 20,000 eggs.
“This training is very exciting for us as we convert what was once a problem into a real solution that creates additional revenue for our fisherfolk,” said Villar, director of Villar SIPAG.
“Before they used to be saddled with the problem of having abundant knife fish preying on their milkfish and tilapia, but now with the technological intervention and research by the BFAR, the knife fish has been transformed into an income-generating product,” she said.