Smoking of African catfish in Malawi

Photos’ credit: Medicine Alexander Dazilone (Malawi)

Review: Medicine Alexander Dazilone and Abdel Rahman El Gamal (Founder of the website)

Smoking of African catfishing in Malawi (02) Smoking of African catfishing in Malawi (01)



The inserted photos show the smoking process of African catfish (Clarias gariepinus) as carried out in Makawa in Mangochi district. Fish smoking is a common processing method especially for large size fish. However, smaller fish are also smoked because of its fairly distinctive taste.  In fact, a wide range of consumers like smoked/dried catfish more than fresh. The smoked fish in general are marketed locally and also in city markets. The prices of smoked catfish fish are slightly higher the fresh fish.

The smoking process begins with fish drying that lasts for about half a day and then fish are placed on a wired oven for an overnight; sometimes fish are just put on a wire ring and fire is set under this ring. Normally big fish are gutted before drying. Compared to other processing methods smoking requires fairly large amount of firewood.  One of the two photos shows the smoking of catfish chunks which is done to allow the heat to penetrate the fish flesh easily in the chunks of the very large catfish specimens. In general, fish smoking is dominated by women.





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