It started out when I planned to cook what is referred to in this part of the world as chicken sopas for dinner last night. It was a relatively simple thing: macaroni and diced frankfurters cooked in a milk-enriched chicken broth – except, alas, I’d run out of milk (save for a bare splash of it), there was no cooked chicken anywhere in the kitchen, and I wanted to throw in more vegetables into the menu after two weeks of meaty feasts.
This, dear readers, is where necessity became the mother of invention.
The end result of last night’s fiddling around became a spin on lomi, a thick Filipino-Chinese soup featuring vegetables and the fat, rich-tasting egg noodles known as miki. It features thick noodles cooked in rich chicken broth with plenty of fresh vegetables and a touch of soy sauce and sesame oil.
Since I didn’t have any miki, macaroni did just fine. Just to amp up the flavor (and the now-ensuing Chinese [con]fusion theme), I also flavored my soup with finely chopped bits of salty, smoky Hoc Siu ham left over from the Holidays. The end result was a tasty, chunky, satisfying bowl of soup that could quite easily have been that night’s dinner on its own – but was served alongside a platter of grilled pork belly with a fine brandy glaze.
My sister has playfully taken to calling it Ham-Mi – mi being the Chinese word for noodles and ham being one of the main flavoring components. 😀
Oh, and if you have friends or family members suffering from colds at this time of year, this is a great way to bring them comfort and [tasty] nourishment. 😉
- 1.5 liters rich chicken stock/broth
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- scant 1/4 cup Hoc Siu ham, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and finely minced
- 1/2 tablespoon each of cooking oil and butter
- 1 carrot, diced
- 1 small Chinese cabbage (Savoy cabbage/wombok), sliced into strips
- 1 cup green/French beans, diced
- 1 cup raw [dry] macaroni
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/2 tablespoon dark sesame oil
- 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
- salt and pepper, to taste
Heat a large saucepan over medium heat and throw in your oil and butter. When the fats begin to sizzle, add the onion and cook until softened and slightly translucent. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the bell pepper and ham; cook for at least two minutes before adding the carrots and green beans. Pour in the broth and bring to a boil.
Once the broth is boiling, add the macaroni. Cook for six minutes, stirring occasionally. Add all the Chinese cabbage and cook for six minutes more or until the macaroni is tender. Lower the heat and stir in the beaten egg until it coagulates into threads. Stir in the soy sauce and sesame. Turn off the heat and season to taste.
Serves 6 as a one-dish meal, 8 as a side.