Chicken Mami

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I’ve been dreaming of cooking chicken mami (noodle soup) since I had miki (flat noodles) soup back home that my sister prepared. Thanks to Karen for her recipe I didn’t have to ask my sis for hers.

I remember dad serving me chicken mami when I was a sick child and beef mami when I was working for overnight projects during my college days. Now it’s me cooking for myself.

Chicken soup is the answer to all these inconsistent weather patterns in Beijing making me wickedly sick with a bad cold.Anyways, here is how I prepared mine using Chinese-style dry noodles instead of fresh noodles.

1 chicken breast
1 bowl of shredded cabbage
1 carrot, julienned
1 large onion, minced
3 packs of Chinese-style dry noodles
10 whole peppercorns
2 bay leaves
fish sauce

Hard-boiled eggs
1/4 cup of fried garlic, golden brown and crispy
1/2 cup of chopped leak
patis (fish sauce)

In a pot, boil chicken in about 5-6 cups of water with peppercorns, bay leaves and a dash of salt until tender. Remove the chicken, debone and return the bones to the pot. Bring to boil. Add in the shredded cabbage and julienned carrots and boil until the vegetables are al dente. Take out more than half of the vegetables and set aside with the chicken meat and condiments.

Add the onions and about 2 tbsp of patis to the stock, add more water when necessary and continue to simmer the remaining vegetables and chicken bones for about 10 minutes or until you are ready for mealtime.

Add the noodles to the stock and cook until al dente. Transfer the noodles into serving bowls. Pour chicken broth to fill the bowls and garnish with vegetables, chicken, hard-boiled eggs, leek and fried garlic. Serve hot.

By the way, I like to really mix the yolks of the hard-boiled egg with my soup.

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I am not a professional cook. My only claim to having a culinary background is a short stint as my dad’s teen ‘sous chef’ in his carinderia ages ago. Dad ran small eateries since I was a young kid - serving standard ‘turo-turo’ food ranging from the likes of menudo, adobo, pritong isda, dinuguan, binagoongan, bopis, munggo, pinakbet and giniling to merienda fares like goto, ginataan, pancit bihon, halu-halo and saging con yelo.

My father, a farmer in his hometown before working his way to becoming an accountant, definitely influenced my cooking in a lot of ways than I thought. My siblings and I were raised in a backyard full of fruit trees and vegetable garden. We spent weekends and the summer breaks running around with ducks, chickens, goats and pigs. I had wonderful memories of gathering eggs, butchering chickens, selling vegetables and the sweet aroma of preserved fruits. But my love for art led me to a degree in Architecture. Just few months after getting my license, I went abroad and lived independently at age 23. Definitely no maid, no cook, and a totally different food culture. Along the way I met lots of friends and spent what seemed a lifetime learning new tricks and recipes.

Now living in Auckland, I am a work-from-home mum who juggles time between work, fun and family - in pursuit of work-life balance. No matter how busy I am, I love the idea of cooking for my family. My blog chronicles home cooking greatly influenced by life outside my home country from Southeast Asia to Beijing and Auckland. And most of the time, being busy also means easy (sometimes quick), affordable meals.

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