Every New Year back the Philippines locals make lots of noise both to welcome the New Year and casts out bad spirits hence everyone have their own fireworks show in their own backyard. Have a look at this video.
It’s not that crazy from above but when you are in ground zero it looks similar to this
Looks like a warzone, yes especially when you have rich neighbours who can burn lots of money. While this is one option to make noise others do it the safe way by banging pots and pans, playing extremely loud music, blowing car horns or even pulling empty cans tied on a vehicle while driving along the streets. It’s also a sad time to those who will become victims of their actions as this is also the busiest time of the day for hospitals and firefighter as thousands of people get injured and houses burned.
The victims every year lessen as public fireworks displays are introduced specially this big event called World Pyro Olympics which is annually held in the Philippines. But the Filipino New year tradition does not end there as another big part of the celebration is what we call Media Noche, a midnight feast that symbolizes hopes for prosperity in the incoming year. During this time families gather around the table and partake in a food feast similar to the Christmas Noche Buena. Popular dishes served are noodles with soup which symbolizes long life and prosperity, twelve different circular fruits as well are displayed and consumed alongside which symbolizes money and good luck for the next coming 12 months that is why today we will be posting something that follows this tradition, the Chicken Mami. Not only it has noodles and soup as well as boiled eggs to adhere to this symbolic tradition.
Chicken Mami is one of the popular Hawker and comfort food in the Philippines, it’s similar to Hotdogs on America, Char kway teow in Malaysia and Meat pies in New Zealand. Mami is an egg noodle soup which its name came from the Chinese word “mie” meaning noodle, but due to Ma Mon Luk, A Chinese entrepreneur who popularized this dish in Manila, the new name was born, some said the name mami was a combination of his name “Ma” and “Mi” for noodles but others said the word came from combining “Ma” from “Manok” (chicken in Tagalog) and “Mi” for noodles. This dish is one of the Filipino dishes that have a very rich history and defined the landscape of Chinese restaurants in the Philippines.
This is a very simple dish but you have to do it right so that you can capture the real taste of what mami is. Preparing the broth is the key and the rest would be a breeze. I was thinking of this dish for a long time, that’s why I already had prepared a lot of chicken bones for my broth. I do debone my chickens at home and kept all the bones until I had gathered a good amount of it, to be precise I guess I had around 3 kilograms of chicken bones which mostly come from thighs and legs. I guess with that amount of bones we can make a really good chicken broth. Another key ingredient is the egg noodles used, which you should never ever opt for the dried or preserved ones and always use the freshly made ones that you can buy on Asian shops or wet markets, and use it on the day it was made and do not overcook it.
So if you have gathered the key ingredients then try making this noodle soup, trust me you will never again think that Asian Chicken Noodle Soup is a boring dish. If you are not fond of this recipe to serve during the New Year there are other popular alternatives such as Lomi and Sotanghon. How about you do you have New Year traditions that you follow? Let us know through the comment box below.
Have a Prosperous New Year Everyone!
Ingredients (Chicken Stock)
3 kg chicken bones (mixture of thighs and legs)
3 pcs large chicken thighs
1 large carrot, roughly chopped
1 tbsp peppercorns
1 large stalk celery, roughly chopped
2 large onion
4 thin slices of ginger
3 tbsp toasted onions
3 tbsp toasted garlic
250g fresh egg noodles
spring onions, chopped
hard boiled eggs, cut in half
freshly ground black pepper
1. Cut the chicken thigh bones and leg bones in two, exposing the bone marrow. Now place all the chicken stock ingredients all in one pot. Add enough water to cover the ingredients that’s roughly 2-3 litres. Bring to a boil and simmer in low heat for 45 minutes.
2. Remove the chicken thighs but continue simmering the bones in low heat for 2 more hours or until the bones are soft. Debone and flake the cooked chicken and place the bones back into the simmering broth.
3. Now using a fine sieve, separate the broth from the bones and transfer it on a separate pot. Once cooled down place on fridge this will make the top layer of fat hard and easy to remove. Now remove the top layer fat and place it on a separate container.
4. Bring the stock to a boil and add no more than 2 tablespoons of fat that initially removed, further reduce liquid to get a rich stock then adjust taste by adding salt according you your liking.
5. On a separate pot add water and bring to a boil, once rapidly boiling place the fresh egg noodles and cook it for 30 seconds. Remove from heat and place on a colander, run it on tap water so cooking process would stop.
6. Place water again on the same pot and bring it to a boil, once boiling pour it on the colander with the noodles.
7. Place noodles on individual bowls, put around 4 tbsp flaked chicken, 2 tbsp chopped spring onions, 2 halves of boiled eggs, 1 1/2 tsp toasted garlic on top then pour hot broth over.
8. Season with freshly ground black pepper and juice from 1/2 lemon.