This week’s Underwater Monday features a staple “subak” or flavor enhancer to Western Visayan vegetable dishes, the ulang (Macrobrachium rosenbergii).
Ulang gives dishes a savory seafood flavor. You can find it in the laswa or vegetable stew of the Visayans. Called urang in Antique, it is also the main ingredient in binabak, a heritage dish of Pandan town.
Ulang is a freshwater prawn that thrives in rivers, lakes and other tributaries. It is known as
- udang in Ilocos and Cagayan;
- kising-kising in Pangasinan;
- paje in Palawan and Zamboanga;
- padao in Cotabato; and
- budsang in Bicol.
Ulang is widely distributed in the Indo-pacific region. Because of its increasing demand in the global market, the culture of ulang was introduced to the country in the 1990s to not deplete its population in its natural habitat.
Technologies were developed and hatcheries were put up in different parts of the country to meet the demand for ulang. The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources leads this initiative, together with fisheries experts and farmers.
Text and poster by Merlyn F. Geromiano | NMWV
©National Museum of the Philippines (2021)
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