Wake Up, Philippines!

A new method of making burong dalag

Posted in Agriculture, Tips by Erineus on February 24, 2009

Updated February 22, 2009 12:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines – There’s a much improved scientific way of processing and packaging burong dalag (fermented mudfish).

The technology was developed by researchers Raquel Pambid, Wilma de Vera, Veronica Austria, Teresita Sunga, and Rosabella Mendez of the Pangasinan State University (PSU, Bayambang campus).

Their research project, titled “Processing and Packaging Improvement of Burong Dalag”, won the top prize in the 2009 Aquatic Technology Competition and Marketplace (ATCOM) sponsored by the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Aquatic and Marine Research and Development (DOST-PCAMRD).

The PSU researchers said the practice of making buro dates to the Spanish times when, during semana santa (Holy Week), the people abstained from eating meat. Instead, they turned to fish and vegetables.

They noted: “To enjoy their fare of fish even during semana santa they preserved fish drenched in salt and mixed with rice and left it to ferment in earthen jars. Thus, buro was born.”

The PSU study aimed to make buro retain its delicious taste and at the same time eliminate its unfavorable odor so that it can be marketable locally and abroad. It also wanted to help buro makers perfect the product not only as raw material but cooked as well.

The researchers focused on salting, a critical point in making buro.

“The new formula used 24 percent rock salt to ferment dalag in 18-20 days. Beyond 20 days, bad smell develops and some molds may start to grow,” they said.

The new technology observes the following procedures: cleaning of the fish (minus head and internal organs), freezing of the cleansed fish, salting and soaking, draining of salted fish, stuffing of salted fish with cooked cooled rice, fermenting, cooking, sterilizing, bottling, and labeling.

The technology has been adopted by PSU, which has established markets in some restaurants, schools, and offices in Pangasinan. – Rudy A. Fernandez