KUCHING: From its humble beginnings in the 1970s, the family-owned Ah Kong Enterprise has grown and is now producing processed jellyfish for the export market.
The business operates from a small factory in Kampung Sampat, Sebuyau, having moved there from its former premises in Sadong Jaya.
Third-generation owner Lee Nam Moh, 35, said he moved the business to Kampung Sampat about two years ago as the location was more suitable.
“Our new factory is closer to the sea and there is a jetty right here at the premises to unload jellyfish.
“We built the factory ourselves to process jellyfish as well as fish,” he said when met during a visit by the Kembara Batang Lupar media programme.
Lee said he sourced two species of edible jellyfish from local fishermen which are then cleaned and processed.
The jellyfish is washed and scraped clean, then treated with salt to dehydrate and preserve it.
“The jellyfish we get here is considered to be of the best quality and most expensive in Malaysia.
“The processed jellyfish can fetch between RM8 and RM20 per kg, depending on the type and colour,” Lee said.
He sells the jellyfish to local seafood operators who export it to countries such as Japan, China and Korea.
He also supplies some to the local market.
“My grandparents started the business in the 1970s.
“My father continued it in the 1980s and I took over in 2000.
“I learnt the business from my father. During their time, they only sold the jellyfish locally. After I took over, I started supplying the export market,” Lee said.
The jellyfish season is at its height from March to July, when about 10 tonnes could be caught in a month.
“When it’s not in season, we cannot even get up to half a tonne a month,” he said.
Lee said jellyfish was usually eaten as umai, a traditional dish of raw seafood marinated with thinly sliced onions, chillies and lime juice, and served with a garnish of pickled vegetables and crushed peanuts.
He added that the completion of the Batang Sadong bridge last year had given a boost to business.
“It is now easier to transport the jellyfish to Kuching as lorries can come directly to our factory without having to wait for the ferry any more,” he said.
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