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MALAYSIAN'S EMPURAU - A TASTY BUT VERY EXPENSIVE FISH TO EAT

KUCING, Malaysia - The Masher fish or colloquially called the empurau or kelah, is not only a favorite game fish for anglers, but also highly esteemed in restaurants in Malaysia.
According to a commercial fish breeder in state of Sarawak, he sells an empurau (weighing 1kg-1.5kg) to restaurants at RM600 ($170 ) per kg. For sizes more than 2kg, it is RM750 a kg. The Restaurants in turn sells the cooked empurau at RM880 per kg to is customers
  • However, restaurant owner He Weimin told local news paper, Sin Chew Daily that a diner paid RM1300 ($361) for an empurau weighted 1kg at his restaurant before.
  • He said that a customer also told him that he had tasted the fish at a restaurant in Kuala Lumpur. The fish, weighted 1kg, cost him RM1800 ($500).
  • He said that he bought the fish directly from freshwater fish suppliers in Sarawak. Due to the increase in supply, the prices for the fish nowadays were relatively cheaper than before.
  • "There are wild and semi-wild empurau and there are also big and small empurau. The prices for the fish vary according to the grade and size of the fish.
  • "Empurau like a kind a of wild fruit that makes their meat tasty," he added.
  • The Kelah inhabit both rivers and lakes, ascending to rapid streams with rocky bottoms for breeding. Like other types of carps, they are omnivorous, eating not only algae, crustaceans, insects, frogs, and other fish, but also fruits that fall from trees overhead.
  • The empurau was found in abundance a few decades ago in the upper reaches of the Rejang River(photo) in Sarawak when the river was still unpolluted by logging activities. As the empurau population in the wild had dwindled drastically, the fish is now sold between RM400 and RM450 per kg. In the early 70s, the fish was sold between RM15 and RM25 per kg in Sarawak.
  • The empurau,(unforgettable), is known as the most expensive fish in the country as its prices can reach as high as RM1800 per kilogram in Kuala Lumpur. How could the diners ever forget about it ?
  • A restaurant in Ipoh had also sold an empurau weighted 1kg at RM1300 before.
  • Generally, the prices of the fish in domestic restaurants are between RM500 to RM600 per kg. However, it still depends on the grade and size of the fish.
Source: Sin Chew
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