The rich past of the Chinese migration and Pinoy-Sino trade have been well written in Philippine history transcripts. The pieces of evidence for these phenomena have been manifested in various practices and scenarios. Today, the Philippines has a relatively substantial Pinoy-Chinese population with sprawling business and trade areas, such as the Chinatowns located all over the country.
One of the many manifestations where we see the Pinoy-Sino connection is through the culinary endeavor. Numerous Chinese dishes have been adapted to the Pinoy recipe book. As such, we shall highlight the prominence of Mami in the Pinoy-Chinese culinary scene.
Whenever we feel under the weather or just merely not in a mood to do anything, Chicken Mami is one of the recipes that will always save the day. Just a slurp of the simple yet tasty soup, along with the thin and springy noodles, will brighten anything up! Well, it’s your lucky day today as we are about to teach you how to make the ultimate Mami!
You can feel instantly relieved whenever you eat this dish, but there is no magic required for you to prepare it! To add to the positive news, we will also feature different ways to prepare it using different kitchen devices and the other variants that you might want to try. Moreover, we know that you will enjoy some mami trivia and nutritional benefits that you’ll read along the way!
We shall refrain from the rambling now, so let’s get going!
What is Filipino Chicken Mami
The dish is simply the Filipino version of the world-famous Chicken Noodle Soup. It is a light and comforting dish made with homemade chicken broth, shredded chicken, and freshly made egg noodles garnished with fried minced garlic and chopped green onion. It is perfect to be consumed during the cold weather as it will instantly fight the chill and gloominess away.
To trace its birth, Ma Mon Luk, a Chinese immigrant to the Philippines, introduced the dish to the country in 1920. Hence, this marked the establishment of the famous mami and siopao restaurant after the owner’s name. Ma initially named the dish “gupit” (a Tagalog word which means “cut” in English).
Eventually, the dish inventor renamed the dish “Ma mi,” from the Mandarin word “ma” (which means Mother) and mi (which means noodles), hence directly translates as Mother’s noodles. However, Mr. Ma did not have the name of the dish trademarked. Thus, numerous imitation noodle shops and stalls have mushroomed in the entire country using the recipe and its representation that he created.
This dish is one of the many pancit variants in the Philippines. We cannot get enough of Pancit in our blood, and that we can’t run out of excuses for getting some because we can get any kind we want for any day. Yet, Chicken Mami is genuinely one of a variety.
Ways to Cook Chicken Mami Soup
One of this dish’s qualities is that you can prepare it with a full kitchen device option. Name what you have at home, and you can go with it!
Instant Pot Mami
You won’t be needing the meat tenderizing function of Instant Pot anymore for your dish. Hence, the only goal of using this device is to save you some time and effort to make the dish. All you have to do is set it up, put all the ingredients in the pot, wait for a few minutes, and be set for a meal!
This method is ideal for on-the-go food-lovers who still want to pursue home preparation but always lack time. However, you will have to compromise some of the elements and the authentic flavors that you can only get in a traditional version of the dish. Besides, you can fully utilize your kitchen device by preparing some eggs on mami through the use of egg racks– the product of this “pot in pot” method is steamed hard-boiled eggs.
The crockpot is a particular type of slow cooker. You cannot use the terms of those two kitchen devices interchangeably. For such a reason, that crockpot is a specified version of a slow-cooker.
Besides, the nice feature of this “set it and forget it” kitchen tool is that the heat comes from the top, bottom, and sides of the pot, which leaves you nothing to worry about.
The taste of the crockpot version of this dish will be almost as similar as the instant pot version but with enhanced flavors and expect a more tender chicken.
The slow cooker mami is ideal if you want to extract all the flavors in the chicken broth. The kitchen device is the obsolete version of the crockpot. Nevertheless, you can still achieve the same gastronomic results from the advanced version of this device, but it requires more effort and attention.
No instant pot, there is no problem. Having a pressure cooker mami will do just fine, especially when it is not your first time using it. The use of a pressure cooker is the other tool when you don’t have an instant pot.
The gastronomic result of using this kitchen device will be almost as similar to the instant pot version. However, using such an outdated tool will require more effort and patience to achieve a perfectly flavorful and tenderized chicken.
It might be hard to believe, but you can prepare a mami using a rice cooker. However, the only limitation of utilizing this device is that you can’t produce fresh chicken broth. Hence, you will need a chilled pre-cooked soup or chicken bouillon cube to boil your noodles and veggies.
Various Chicken Mami Recipes
Mami’s flavor is relatively straightforward but tasty. You don’t get to expect a lot of colors and texture.
However, as time went by, and as people learned to adjust their dietary preferences with their meals, different varying recipes of mami have continued to emerge.
Making a vegan version out of a chicken-based dish can be a challenge. For the veggie lovers, this is one of the recipes for you. How can one imitate a flavor of the meat without having to use it? Positive news for vegans out there as it is possible!
To do so, replace all animal-based ingredients with a vegetable counterpart. To do so, put salt, garlic powder, onion powder, celery salt, sage, turmeric, paprika, summer savory, and parsley into a food processor and grind it until thoroughly combined. Do not be surprised by the number of ingredients used as this is what it has to take to produce such an impossible task–make a chicken powder without chicken.
You may use non-meat protein sources such as Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP) or tofu in terms of the shredded chicken alternative.
When there is keto, there should be little to no carbs. For the diet-conscious, this is one of the recipes for you. Hence, to prepare Keto Mami, replace the flour-based noodles with thin shirataki noodles. This keto-friendly noodle is made from the fiber from the Konjac plant and has zero carbohydrate content.
You will have no problem with the garnish if you stick to the original style of using shredded chicken and several aromatics.
To make a gluten-free Mami, ditch the fresh egg noodles and replace it with non-gluten alternatives such as shirataki noodles or zucchini noodles. Soba noodles will also do well as it is made from buckwheat, hence not containing any gluten.
Despite the simplicity of making this dish, sometimes, things don’t go as planned. This reality applies to other recipes. Here, we have some troubleshooting remedies to follow when you feel like Lady Luck has left your kitchen.
- When your mami is too bland, it will help if you have fish sauce to rescue the dish. Just add some drops in your bowl, and there’s no reheating required.
- If your noodles are undercooked, mix it with the soup to continue its preparation process.
- Meanwhile, if you boil your noodles way too long, soak it with cold water immediately after draining to halt the cooking process and retain its chewy and firm texture.
Trivia: Nutritional Benefits of Mami
As if we still need more convincing to prepare a sumptuous serving of Mami, we present you with the nutritional benefits you can get in this heartwarming meal!
- Chicken: Poultry meat has high protein content, which helps build muscles and prevent muscle loss. Further, chicken is also rich in Vitamin B, which can help prevent cataracts and skin diseases, boost immunity, improve digestion, and avoid high cholesterol.
- Cabbage: This cruciferous vegetable is loaded with vitamins and minerals that can protect you from radiation, prevent cancer, and reduce your risk of heart disease.
- Spring Onion – Do not underestimate the power of this garnish as spring onions can lower cholesterol levels, lower your risk of heart attack, and have antibacterial and antifungal properties.
- Garlic: This wonder bulb contains a compound named diallyl sulfide, which is 100 times better than antibiotics when fighting campylobacter bacterium, causing intestinal infections.
- Miki noodles: There is not much of vitamins and minerals contained in Miki noodles. It is high in calories as one cup of serving is already equivalent to 274 kcal. You’ll be instantly loaded with energy.
- Salt: Sodium Chloride is needed for the maintenance of the human body. Sodium aids in nerve and muscle function and is also essential in regulating fluids in the body. It also partly controls blood pressure and volume.
- Black Pepper – The “King of Spice” contains a compound, piperine, rich in antioxidants that help fight free radicals that damage the cells in our body.
As much as we like to provide you with everything Mami-related, here are some tips that will surely help you achieve the ultimate version of this dish.
- If you prefer chewy and springy noodles, use fresh egg noodles or the wet Miki noodles instead of the dried counterpart. However, when the fried packaged noodles are the only ones available in your local market, follow the procedure accordingly to avoid it from getting mushy.
- Always use some chicken bones to achieve a flavorful and umami-rich dish. The magic comes from the marrow that releases all the savory goodness and natural meaty flavor.
- The rule of salting always varies in every kind of dish. For the mami, you need to salt lightly to improve the chicken flavor in the meat. But do not put too much to avoid getting too salty; you can add some more upon boiling to adjust the taste.
Ideally Served With
The non-complexity of Mami makes it a non-intimidating partner to a long list of recipes. Anyway, we shortened it into five, so you’ll have an idea of what to prepare along with our featured dishes!
- Pork and Shrimp Siomai: This most famous dim sum in the Philippines makes for a meaty and tasty pair for the lightly seasoned mami. Pork and Shrimp Siomai has the perfect umami combination that will leave you wanting for more in every bite!
- Asado Siopao: During the original version of the mami in the Philippines, Asado Siopao was alongside the dish. It is almost automatic to order siopao together with Mami, especially in most Chinese food-chains. This steamed pork bun along with the mami makes for a satisfying and filling quick lunch!
- Beef Pares: This dish is a Filipino take on braised beef stew. It is ideally consumed with Mami for a midnight comfort snack or when you need a hungover meal to eat with your friends in a humble carinderia.
- Lumpiang Shanghai – Thinking of an ideal viand or side dish to serve with your mami, this another Chinese favorite will do a terrific job. The crunchy and meaty lumpiang shanghai, together with mami, will make your comfort meal more comforting. The variety of flavors and Lumpia’s crispiness complement well with the noodle soup’s lightness and warmth.
- Chili-garlic Paste: Better prepare and stock up on chili-garlic paste as this always comes in handy when you need a spicy kick in your dish and even dips. Just add a tablespoon of this paste, and your mami is instantly fired up!
Chicken Mami is what we usually turn to when we need nourishment and comfort when we feel unwell. A bowlful instantly warms your body and soul as if your wellness is already restored. It is surprising how simple ingredients and the preparation procedures can result in such a fantastic dish.
Now that you have learned everything we provided you, Mami-wise, there is no turning back! You cannot return to your instant 3-minute mami or seek some rescue by purchasing some maming gala (mobile carts selling Mami) when you already know how to make mami in the comfort of your kitchen!
For more delicious recipe, visit Eat Like Pinoy!
Superb Mami Recipe
- 1 lb Chicken breast bone-in
- 2 pcs Boiled egg
- 1 cup Cabbage
- 1/4 cup Spring Onion
- 1/4 cup Garlic toasted
- 1 lb Miki noodles
- 1 lb Chicken feet for broth
- 1 tsp Salt to taste
- 1/2 tsp Black pepper
- 6 cups Water
- Wash the chicken feet and place in a casserole. Let it boil and skim the scum.
- Sprinkle it with salt and black pepper, then add the chicken breast in the casserole. Simmer for 30 minutes. Then remove the chicken breast from the casserole and let it cool. Save the chicken feet's broth to be used later.
- Then shred the chicken meat from the bone and set aside.
- Prepare the noodles. Put it in a bowl with the cabbage on top, shredded chicken, garlic, spring onions, and 2 slices of boiled egg.
- Then carefully pour-in the chicken feet's broth.
- Enjoy eating!