According to Bureau of Agricultural research Ludong fish is known for its unique taste and peculiar aroma when cooked. In fact, its unique taste makes it one of the most sought-after ingredients in making delicious dishes.
The best tasting and most expensive fish can be found in Cagayan, Philippines and it is locally known as banak or ludong (Cestraeus plicatilis). Ludong is also called the “President’s fish”, alluding to its rarity and high-priced value befitting only very special people such as the President.
Ludong is also known as the Pacific Salmon. The fish are migratory, travel downstream near the salt water to lay eggs and then return upstream. Considered as endangered species, catching of Ludong fry (young fish) is prohibited.
Adult Ludong fish weigh 0.25 to 2 kilogram. For the price of 5,000 pesos per kilo, a 2 kilogram fish cost 10,000 pesos. The amount is more than enough to buy a two months food supply for my family. An addition of 3,000 pesos can buy a low end notebook PC.
I won’t eat this fish if I need to shell out 5,000 pesos per kilogram even if I have excessive money to spend. Nutritious food can be bought without breaking the wallet.
I can say that Ludong is not fit for food processing. Imagine making smoked ludong, sardines, flakes or boneless ludong. The fish is too expensive and rare to use as raw material. Maybe processing is possible if someone raise this migratory fish captive in fish pens.