August 30, 2017

Sarawakiana Local Delights : Smoked Ikan Patin

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The patin is a member of the catfish family native to South East Asian waters. Sometimes they are called "Shark Catfish" because their shape is similar to the shark.

All patin are toothless. While some are small, others are very huge like the Mekong Giant Catfish which can grow up to 3.5 m long and 600 kg in weight.

Most patin in Sarawak are about 4 kg although most are about 1.5 kg. While some are farmed, the bigger ones are caught in the Rajang, Baram, Limbang and Lupar rivers.  The wild patin are very tasty, especially those from the Bintangor and Sarikei area.

Patin can be brown, black or even white in colour.

Longhouse people love to smoke patin over a slow charcoal fire or a small fire when they are resting at a pebble river beach. Very often for festive seasons the patin is cooked in bamboo.

Patin is also cooked in curry, or steamed in soy sauce. When farmers are in a hurry, they will just make a quick soup out of a freshly caught patin.

the flesh of the patin is white, silky and smooth. It is a sweet tasting fish.

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