When Menor, chef at Adobo Loko and 8th Street Treats, was growing up in Stockton, California, his family elders would make this Ilokano dish, a specialty of the northern Philippines, for New Year’s and whenever it was cold out. He loved the “hella red” pork and chicken broth with wide egg noodles, rich with bagoong monamon (fermented salted fish paste), dashes of patis (fish sauce), and squeezes of bright calamansi. Now he makes a version of his own. The recipe calls for fresh miki noodles, which you can pick up at Seafood City (5033 N. Elston Ave., Albany Park). Find the monamon, patis, quail eggs, and annatto powder at Kapatid Oriental Store (3538 W. Lawrence Ave., Albany Park).
Makes 4 servings
|2 lb.||Pork soup bones|
|2 Tbsp.||Vegetable oil|
|1||Garlic head, cloves peeled and chopped|
|1||Large red onion, diced|
|2 lb.||Chicken thighs, cut into ½-inch slices (you can also use shredded leftover rotisserie chicken)|
|3 Tbsp.||Bagoong monamon (some versions include fish bones or meat, so strain solids out if necessary)|
|1||Chicken bouillon cube (Menor likes Knorr brand)|
|2 Tbsp.||Annatto powder|
|1||15 oz. can boiled and peeled quail eggs|
|1 lb.||Fresh miki noodles|
|Patis (Menor likes Rufina brand), if desired|
|Lime or calamansi wedges, if desired|
|2 cups||Sliced green onions|
1. Sprinkle pork bones with salt. In a large stockpot, heat oil and sauté garlic and onions until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add chicken and sauté until browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove chicken and set aside.
2. Brown pork bones in the stockpot for about 15 minutes, then pour in water. Add bagoong monamon and bouillon cube. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 90 minutes. Reserve a cup of broth and mix annatto powder into it.
3. Remove pork bones, shred any meat left clinging to them, and return meat to the broth. Pour annatto-infused broth back into the pot, then add reserved chicken, black pepper, quail eggs, and noodles. Let cook until the broth thickens, eggs are hot, and noodles are soft, about 10 minutes.
4. To finish, taste the broth and adjust the flavor with a dash of patis (“Patis is an exciting and strong ingredient; you usually don’t need more than a tablespoon per bowl,” Menor says) and a squeeze of lime or calamansi, if desired. Garnish with green onions and serve.