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.
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.
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.
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