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ground pork butt (or use ground beef) - 1 pound
onion - 1 large, chopped, divided, half for meatballs, rest for broth
eggs - 4 large, divided, use 2 for meatballs, rest for broth
bread crumbs - 1/4 cup
soy sauce - 2 Tablespoons
all-purpose flour – 2 Tablespoons
sea salt - 1 teaspoon, for meatballs
freshly ground black pepper - 1 teaspoon, for meatballs
vegetable or corn oil - 2 Tablespoons
fresh garlic - 2 cloves, peeled, minced
patis (Filipino fish sauce) - 2 Tablespoons
Organic soup broth or rice wash - 8 to 10 cups (obtain rice wash from water after washing rice)
Misua or Chinese Vermicelli noodles - 4 ounces, about 2 cups when cooked (from Asian markets)
zucchini - 1 whole, peeled, sliced, (optional in place of patola, a Filipino gourd), about 1 ½ cups sliced
sea salt - 1 teaspoon, for soup
freshly ground black pepper - 1 teaspoon, for soup
Prepare the meatballs: combine in a medium bowl the ground pork, chopped onion, soy sauce, 2 eggs, bread crumbs, flour, salt and black pepper. Mix and shape into 1-inch sized meatballs. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes to firm up till ready to add to broth.
In a large heavy stock pot, over medium heat, add the cooking oil. When hot enough in about 2 to 3 minutes, sauté the garlic and rest of the onion. Cook for 2 minutes or till onions are transparent. Add the patis (fish sauce) and soup broth or rice wash. Allow the broth to come to a boil then lower heat for a slow simmer.
As the broth is simmering, drop the pork meatballs into the stock pot. Cook the meatballs for about 25 minutes or till thoroughly cooked (there should be no more pink parts in the meat).
Add two beaten eggs to the soup broth while stirring the liquid. Blend the eggs completely into the broth which will become a light yellow opaque liquid.
Add the zucchini slices and the misua noodles to the broth with the meatballs. Mix it around. Let the zucchini cook and noodles soften for about 5 to 6 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper powder. Serve piping hot.
Cook's comments: use ground beef instead of pork for meatballs if preferred. The noodles will expand and thicken when cooked. If reheating the soup, add more stock if the noodles absorb all the liquid.
Elizabeth Ann Quirino, based in New Jersey is a journalist and author of the “How to Cook Philippine Desserts: Cakes and Snacks” Cookbook. She is a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals and blogs about Filipino home cooking on her site AsianInAmericaMag.com.
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