March 9, 2013

Mantis Prawns or Ketak

My friends have been having a real ball in Batu Satu or Lutong Beach. The Bubuk season is a great financial opportunity for most of the part time fishermen. Full time fishermen usually run to the bank laughing.

So it is indeed a real happy atmosphere in Batu Satu for almost a month...And then in April another period of bubuk fishing will come on again.

Often during the bubuk season the mantis shrimps also appear. Most Chinese would make soup out of them to help alleviate asthma. In good times, these mantis shrimps which may be more than 8 inches long fetch a good price.

But then the small ones do make a good soup.

Photo: Udang Lipan or ketak is popularly used as a medicine soup for curing lung ailments according to the Chinese. These can be deep fried, cooked in simple Sup Terjun or the biggest ones can be cooked in Curry with lots of kunyit.

From Wikipedia we learn that :

In Japanese cuisine, the mantis shrimp is eaten boiled as a sushi topping, and occasionally, raw as sashimi; and is called shako (蝦蛄).
Mantis shrimp is abundant in the coastal regions of south Vietnam, known in Vietnamese as tôm tít or tôm tích. The shrimp can be steamed, boiled, grilled or dried; used with pepper + salt + lime, fish sauce + tamarind or fennel.[23]
In Cantonese cuisine, the mantis shrimp is known as "pissing shrimp" (攋尿蝦, Mandarin pinyin: lài niào xiā, modern Cantonese: laaih niu hā) because of their tendency to shoot a jet of water when picked up. After cooking, their flesh is closer to that of lobsters than that of shrimp, and like lobsters, their shells are quite hard and require some pressure to crack. Usually they are deep fried with garlic and chili peppers.
In the Mediterranean countries the mantis shrimp Squilla mantis is a common seafood, especially on the Adriatic coasts (canocchia) and the Gulf of Cádiz (galera).
In the Philippines, the mantis shrimp is known as tatampal, hipong-dapa or alupihang-dagat and is cooked and eaten like shrimp.
The usual concerns associated with consuming seafood are an issue with mantis shrimp, as they may dwell in contaminated waters. This is especially true in Hawaii, particularly the Grand Ala Wai Canal in Waikiki, where some have grown unnaturally large.[2]

This is how they look like after I have boiled them in a soup.

It is really quite refreshing and delicious.

And at about RM5.00 to RM 8.00 a kg for small ones, you can really enjoy a good warm soup during a rainy evening. Some flesh can be dug out with a small pincer. But do be warned, the shells are very sharp edged.

Bon Ape tit.


Anonymous said...

Does the mantis prawn appear only with bubuk? Is it seasonal?

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Usually they appear together with bubuk. But they are found from early January to July . It is not so marketable. Fishermen end up selling them cheap to friends. Not easy to get the flesh out of the thorny bodies. But any way most people buy them to make soup.

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