Mami: Philippine Chicken Noodle Soup


I finally made a Chicken Mami that satisfied my craving for this very common Filipino dish.  The noodles were always the key, for me anyway, and it so happened that I found a good brand of noodles at the Filipino Sari-Sari Store today.

Chicken and noodles go so well together every country probably has its own version.  In Southeast Asia, the chicken noodle soup you’ll find is most certainly Chinese in origin.  Mie is the Chinese word for noodles.  So in Indonesia, Malaysia  and Singapore, this dish is called Mie Ayam or Chicken Noodle.  It’s only the Philippines where there came a slight change. 

Filipinos will forever call our chicken noodle soup “Mami” owing to an enterprising Chinese peddler and later restaurant owner who added his name to the dish.  His name was Ma Mon Luk, as were his restaurants, and the  noodle soup he offered was called Mami.

The noodles I used are from another popular Fil-Chinese chain of restaurants, Ling Nam.  The package said “DO NOT FREEZE” but I found it in the freezer section and I think that didn’t do the noodles any good.  I had to poach it in  hot water to heat.  Frankly, it got too soft for my taste.  I prefer my mami noodles to have some structure and bite.

This recipe I used is based on Rosario Fabian’s recipe in her cookbook, “Aling Charing Filipino & Foreign Recipes.”  It’s very simple and the resulting dish is light.  I made a few changes and made sure I started with my own chicken broth that was  flavorful but free of grease.

Chicken Mami

14 oz. egg noodles

4 skinless/boneless chicken thighs

1.5  quarts homemade chicken broth

1 small white onion, minced

1 medium carrot, sliced thin on the diagonal

1/4 head savoy cabbage, cut in thin strips

3 green onion, sliced thinly on the diagonal

2-3 cloves garlic, mashed and fried till golden brown.

1 boiled egg

Start by boiling the chicken in about 1 c. salted water until all pinkness is gone.  Don’t overboil.  Stringy and dry chicken meat is not what you want.  Take the chicken out of the cooking liquid. Add the broth to the same pot at this point.  Cool the chicken enough to handle then shred. Set aside.

Bring your stock to a simmer and then add the onions.  Check for seasoning.  Keep it simmering while you boil your egg in  salted water in a medium stockpot.  Set the egg aside to cool. Peel and slice.

In the same pot you boiled your egg, poach the carrots then the cabbage.  Poach the carrots about 3-5 minutes and the cabbage just until it turns a bright green.

Prepare your noodles according to package instructions.  Transfer to individual bowls.  Around the noodles, distribute the shredded chicken, poached vegetables and spring onions.  Top with a slice of hard-boiled egg.  Ladle the hot, simmering chicken broth over this.  Top with some fried garlic and serve immediately.

Serves 4.

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12 Replies to “Mami: Philippine Chicken Noodle Soup”

  1. I like my noodles to have a bite too 🙂

    Now you got me craving some soup! Unfortunately, i can’t get this type of noodles here – i’ve looked already for the same purpose, noodle soup. Sigh.

    I have to stop looking at the photo before i start to lick the screen! lol!

  2. lol mae, you’re too funny! i’m thinking of making my own mami noodles next time, it would make a good post if not for anything.

  3. Thank you!!!! it’s been raining in Seattle (what’s new?!)

    This would make a good rainy meal. I find your recipe easy to follow.

  4. Hi,
    This looks absolutely delicious!
    Thinking of this soup reminds me of the soup my grandmother used to make…her own twist of Chicken noodle soup…it was called Mickey…do you know it?

    If only I can remember how to make it!

  5. Hi Anna, yes I know that soup. It’s spelled Miki after the noodles…thicker and sturdier than the mami noodles shown here…

    My mom’s version is to use pre-boiled meat, usually pork, then slicing it into strips. Then you saute some garlic until light brown, add the onions, the meat, some fish sauce, the broth used to boil the meat, the veggies and then the noodles. It’s as simple as that. But you do have to find some good noodles.

    Mami and miki noodles here in the Philippines are made with lye to preserve it and this gives it a very distinct taste. I remember my mom parboiling her noodles to lessen that lye flavor. These days, that strong flavor is not so bad…

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