Molo Soup for a Hot Summer Night

Summer came suddenly. One day it was cool and breezy; the next day, it was scorching hot. The moment summer began, my daughter Sam had been asking for soup every day. There was a time when hot soup for summer did not make sense to me until my husband pointed out the logic of consuming a lot of liquid during the hot summer months to help fight against dehydration. So, I’ve learned not to ask anymore what the heck anyone would want to sip hot soup for in this heat.

Anyway, just as we decided to stick to a fish, chicken, and vegetables diet, there was a sale at the fresh meat section of the supermarket two days ago on ground pork mix for making lumpiang Shanghai. Buy one kilo, and get another kilo for free. I couldn’t resist. So many savings. Besides, it’s not like we’re reverting to the meaty diet we have been used to in the past. And although the package said Shanghai mix, I didn’t use the ground pork mix for lumpiang Shanghai. On Tuesday, dinner was fried hito (catfish) and Molo soup or pancit molo.

On Wednesday, we had pieces of frito and nilagang manok (boiled chicken with vegetable soup). Just follow the links for the recipes. No need to reproduce the recipes but I did want to write something about molo soup or, as it is more popularly called in the Philippines, pancit molo. Molo soup is siomai soup is wonton soup. Ground pork and vegetables (with minced shrimp, usually) are stuffed into wrappers made with flour and water, cooked in broth, and served as a soup dish. Strictly speaking, the difference between siomai and wonton is that siomai is steamed and served as an appetizer while wontons are served in a bowl with broth. Wontons are also smaller than siomai.

Where molo soup fit in, I wasn’t sure. It is very similar to wonton soup, all right, so why it should be labeled as pancit (noodles) was something I pondered for a long time. Then, I read somewhere that the wrapper is considered noodles. You know, much like lasagna is pasta, and pasta is popularly referred to as noodles. That’s one theory. There’s another theory that says molo soup or pancit molo is named after the town that popularized the soup the town called Molo in the province of Iloilo. Meanwhile, pins frito is a Latinized name for fried wontons. Just one more proof of how the world has embraced glorious Chinese cooking. Of course, the history of the dish won’t determine whether it is good or not. Only the cook and the eaters can judge for themselves. So, again, the links for the recipes molo soup or pancit molo and pins frito.