In my previous installment of this series, The Pancit Library Part 1: Sauce & Sabaw, I wrote about the various types of noodles one could find at their local grocery store, more modern pancit dishes, and ones that included a soupier sauce consistency. I’ll be documenting what I’ve learned about Filipino soup dishes and the ingredients that make them distinct from one another in this second installment. But first, I’d love to point out that many of the following soup dishes have its origins set in Binondo, Manila—Philippines’ historic Chinatown and the oldest Chinatown in the world. You’ll be able to learn more about the trade of noodles in my previous post, Pancit Molo for Your Lolo, and through the video below:
The Pancit Library—Part 2: Soup
The Filipino soups and stews I knew while growing up included specialties like sinigang and nilaga; however, I was never familiar with Filipino noodle soups until I practically lived off of instant la paz batchoy in college. The media below outlines eighteen different pancit meals where we can pull Filipino flavor profiles, compare and contrast ingredients, and get inspired to make our own variations using the information we’ve learned together.
Let’s dive into these bowls of flavorful liquid, noodles, meat, and vegetables!
Three new introductions to pancit that will be further discussed in the soups below are lomi, mami, and odong.
Mami: These wheat flour noodles are known to have firm and springy qualities. Additionally, a 1930s method called ‘kabayo’ meaning ‘horse’ is the traditional way to shape these noodles to have more bite; watch the method here.
Odong: Odong is short, flour-based, yellow noodles that closely resemble udon and was brought to the Philippines by Japanese immigrants.
Lomi: The word ‘lomi’ comes from the Chinese words ‘lo’ meaning ‘stew’ and ‘mi’ meaning ‘noodles.’ These noodles are egg noodles that are thicker than the typical miki noodles and can stand longer cooking times without breaking apart in broth.
Atay con Misua | Binondo, Manila
This super simple, filling soup literally translates to ‘liver with misua.’ In this particular case, the misua is paired with patola (long, green gourd), and broth that has been flavored with onion, garlic, and fish sauce. Make it at home using the following recipe: 1
La Paz Batchoy | Iloilo City
The term ‘batchoy’ comes from the Chinese word ‘bac qui,’ which refers to the ‘pieces/slices of meat’ that lay on top of this miki soup. Made in the La Paz market in Iloilo City, the soup was created by combining leftover piece of meat with nearby Chinese noodle dishes; these pieces of meat could offal and are prepared with bones that have been boiled with aromatics, guinamos (brined anchovies), bagoong (fish paste), and seasoning to make a sweet and salty broth. Additionally, this soup is topped with fried garlic, green onions, and chicharron.
Batchoy Tagalog | Tagalog Region
The difference between batchoy tagalog and la paz batchoy is that the former uses misua in place of miki. This dish also includes ginger, chili leaves, and is more heavily pork-based through the typical use of pork blood, stock, and meat. Reference: 1
Lomi Tagalog | Tagalog Region
The soups that have been mentioned so far are watery in consistency; this changes with lomi tagalog—a soup that’s thickened with a cornstarch slurry, cassava, or rice flour. The soup is made by cutting small pieces of meat (i.e. pork, chicken) and pork liver then sautéing aromatics. Then, seasonings are added along with soup stock, lomi noodles (defined above), and chopped cabbage. Lastly, a beaten egg is added to the pot and stirred in. Toppings for this dish include kikiam (a type of Filipino sausage), fish balls, chives, shrimp, and some meatballs.
Note: There is also a pancit dish called Lobihon, which is the same as lomi tagalog but cooked using bihon noodles.
Lomi Batangas | Lupi, Batangas
Lomi Batangas is a meat lover’s delight in comparison to lomi tagalog. Instead of filling the soup with cabbage and other vegetables, lomi batangas is primarily made up of sautéed onions, soy sauce, chopped meat, broth, cassava starch for thickening, and a beaten egg. This dish is then topped with a myriad of meat including but not limited to bola-bola (meatballs), kikiam, liver, chicharron.
Note: In Ibaan, Batangas, their lomi is made using turmeric.
Maki Mi | Binondo, Manila
Ongpin Mañosa opened in 1942 and is the oldest maki house in Manila. Their pioneering recipes include maki mi—a thick, brown Filipino soup containing fluffy and marinates pork tenderloin bits, miki noodles, and thin egg strands. Follow a recipe that I found: 1
Maki Mi | Cebu
The maki mi in Cebu is quite different from the version in Binondo. I learned that the Cebuanos create a sweet, thick, and somewhat sticky soup by cooking caramelized sugar and adding it to the kind of maki mi soup found in Luzon. Talk about sweet and savory, right?
Mami | Binondo, Manila
Filipino mami soup is broken down into two parts, ‘ma’ meaning ‘any kind of meat’ and ‘mi’ meaning ‘noodles,’ all of which came from Fujian, China to Binondo, Manila in 1918. This complete meal is known to be a quick-preparing comfort food in the Philippines and has carbohydrates, proteins, and vegetables as its three main components to round everything out.
Pancit Molo | Iloilo City and Bacolod City
Pancit molo is a clear wonton soup that is considered a noodle dish because of the wrappers used. I wrote more about this comforting bowl of heaven and the origins of pancit in one of my previous posts called, “Pancit Molo for Your Lolo.”
Pancit Miki | Ilocos
In The Pancit Library Part 1: Sauce & Sabaw, I’ve documented that miki noodles are fresh eggs noodles; however, pancit miki in Ilocos—the northwest region of the Philippines—is a soup that is made using garlic, butter, chicken, broth, fish sauce, bagnet (lechon kawali), annatto powder, and topped with scallions and chicharron crumbles.
Abra Miki | Bangued, Abra, Ilocos Sur
While pancit miki (mentioned above) and Abra miki both use annatto powder for their flavor and color, the difference between the two is that the latter uses flat rice flour noodles. Watch a brief video about it below:
Odong ug Tinapa | Visayas and Mindanao
Odong was brought from Baguio to Davao by Japanese immigrants. Check out the video below to see how the soup comes together using odong noodles, canned sardines, tomato sauce, and patola.
Almondigas or Bola-Bola | (Spain)
‘Bola’ in Tagalog means ‘ball’ and is also part of the soup name bola-bola (also known as almondigas)—a meatball noodle soup created through Spanish influence.
Pancit Pansate | Cavite
Pancit pansate is a noodle soup based on Indonesia's sweet and spicy satay. It is a guisado (a Spanish way of cooking ‘stir fry) of fresh miki noodles along with the infusion of special satay sauce (must include sesame oil) and mixed spices that give the soup its notably peppery taste. The broth is thickened with a starch slurry and usually topped with meat slices, chopped baguio beans, carrots, and cabbage.
Pancit Kinalas | Naga City, Bicol
"Kinalas" means "to rip apart" and refers to the ripped up pieces of facial meat from pigs or cows that are traditionally placed on top of this soup. What's unique about this dish is that it also has a special gravy added over top of luglug (cornstarch noodles) or mami (firm and springy egg noodles) to make the broth even more tasty. This sauce is said to include ingredients such as shrimp, cornstarch, fish and soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, shallots, vinegar, and salt (a couple of sauces to pair with your pancit kinalas here: 1, 2).
Miki Nilad-dit | Aparri, Cagayan
Miki Nilad-dit is a spicy soup made up of miki noodles and uniquely includes fish sauce, longanisa from Tuguegarao, and an added mixture of vinegar, chili pepper/powder, and plenty of chopped garlic.
Pancit Musiko | Vigan, Ilocos Sur
Pancit musiko is a comforting, sweet noodle soup that's most commonly served as a snack to marching bands during fiestas. It uses a pat of butter and Ilocano miki noodles, which are flat egg noodles that have been flavored with annatto oil. Here are two recipes of this popular dish to make at home: 1, 2
Pancit Sotanghon |
The soup version of pancit sotanghon is made with sotanghon noodles, your choice of meat, and broth made up of annatto oil, fish sauce, and pepper. Watch below to see how it all comes together: