DA-BFAR Cagayan Valley holds Cooking Contest to promote health benefits of Red Tilapia

The DA-BFAR Cagayan Valley, through the Regional Fisheries Training and Fisherfolk Coordinating Center, held the Red Tilapia (Oreochromis sp.) Cooking Contest to promote the utilization of this emerging “aquaculture darling” in the region on 21 September 2022 in time for the 59th observance of Fish Conservation Week. 

Dr. Evelyn C. Ame, project leader, said that the cooking contest is just one of the promotional activities under the red tilapia research for development (R4D) project supported by the bureau to further popularize the said species as a prospective aquaculture species. 

The said cooking activity was participated by four partner academic institutions: Cagayan State University (CSU)-Andrews Campus, Isabela State University (ISU)-Echague Campus, Quirino State University (QSU)-Diffun, and Nueva Vizcaya State University (NVSU)-Bayombong Campus. 

CSU’s entries: Panfried Tilapia with Potato Allumettes and Sauce Tzatziki, Red Tilapia Roulade with Spinach, ginger, and chive sauce; and Tilapia Ceviche with Crispy Skin and Spring Onion, Garlic and Ginger Sauce bagged the first place and received a cash award of PhP 15, 000. 

Second place went to QSU for their Pasta de Negrito, Tilapia Ceviche: Red Tilapia, and Kare-kare recipes followed by Panfried Tilapia with Karekare Sauce, Tilapia Pineapple-Ginger Honey Dip Sauce, and Crispy Tilapia Fingers in Squarrot Citrus Sauce of NVSU in third place receiving a cash award of PhP 12,000 and PhP 10, 000, respectively   Lastly, ISU's Pinaputok na Tilapia, Mango Graham with Fried Red Tilapia, and Fried Tilapia with Salted Black Beans also received a consolation prize of PhP 5,000.

DA-BFAR Cagayan Valley regional director Dr. Angel B. Encarnacion, in his message, called for the support of all stakeholders to promote the culture of red tilapia as means to increase fish production and expand its market not only locally but in other fish-consuming areas. 

The members of the panel of judges were Marnelie G. Subong, DA-BAR focal person for Fisheries R4D Programs; Atty. Orlyne T. Trinidad, University of Saint Louis Tuguegarao faculty member; Dr. Isagani P. Angeles Jr., dean of ISU-Echague-Institute of Fisheries Freshwater Fisheries Center; Dr. Kingford N. Tan, nutrition and wellness specialist, and Gene V. Baquiran from the Philippine Information Agency-Cagayan Valley. 

In July 2019, the bureau started an R4D project, titled Performance Evaluation of Red Tilapia in Ponds and Cages in Claveria Brackishwater Fish Farm, located at Pata East, Claveria, Cagayan. Three years after its implementation, the project has already expanded its technology demonstration sites on the grow-out culture of red tilapia in fishponds in the provinces of Cagayan, Isabela, and to the mountainous provinces of Quirino and Nueva Vizcaya. (### Aileen Silva)