Pork and Vegetables Mami Noodle Soup

The girls are due home at around four o’clock this afternoon from a three-day community service field trip to the Pawikan reserve in Morong, Bataan and I am whiling away the time productively trying to, at least (what a slow and quiet day without the kids in the house) until Speedy and I have to leave for the school to pick them up. The girls left on Thursday evening and, as a result, Friday and Saturday were cooking for one day for me. I had this bowl of pork mami on Friday evening. All the talk about the Chinese New Year and the Year of the Pig may have entered my subconscious mind surreptitiously that I cooked two Chinese noodle dishes last Friday.

Mami is what we Filipinos call the traditional Chinese noodle soup with vegetables and meat or seafood. I have no idea who coined the term but I am pretty certain that the term mami is peculiar to the Philippines. I boiled two chunks of pork spare ribs for the broth then deboned the very meaty ribs before assembling my noodle soup. I used the same noodles that went into the pancit canton that I had for lunch on the same day. My decision to prepare the noodles as a soup dish was a sort of experiment. See, I was very impressed with the texture of the noodles when I made the pancit canton and I was wondering whether they would retain their shape and texture if immersed in very hot broth when served. What do you know? I wasn’t disappointed at all.

Of course, you can use fresh egg noodles instead of the dried variety. But if you are in the Philippines, note that commercial fresh egg noodles are very, very salty. You will need to blanch them in boiling water for a few minutes to get rid of the excess salt. Cook the egg noodles in boiling water until tender but not mushy. Arrange at the bottom of a deep soup bowl.

Heat the meat broth. Season with patis (seasoning with patis rather than salt gives the broth a light golden color). When the broth boils, add the pork slices, carrot, and peachy and boil gently for a few minutes over medium heat. Scoop out the meat and vegetables and arrange around the noodles in the bowl. Pour in the broth. Sprinkle the chopped onion leaves and toasted garlic on top.