What is Odong
Thinking of ways to upgrade your tomato sauce-based canned sardines? Or maybe you are looking for an easy to cook, healthy, and budget-friendly comfort food to satisfy your cravings? If your answer is yes, then you’ve come to the right place.
Odong is a yellowish spaghetti-like noodle famous in the city of Baguio and Visayas-Mindanao region. It is made from wheat flour, water, salt, and food color. Sometimes, they are flavored with some seasonings or chicken eggs. It is usually sold into small packs that contain a dozen sticks or sometimes more. Two packs of odong noodles are mostly enough to serve one person.
Here in the Philippines, odong is usually cooked in a noodle soup dish with spicy tomato sauce-based canned sardines and pechay as its main ingredients.
Ways to Cook
There are different methods of cooking Odong, and if you want to try this simple Filipino noodle soup, here are the two methods you can consider when cooking your very own odong.
The most common method of cooking every dish present in the Filipino household is through the stovetop method. If you plan to cook your odong on a stovetop, make sure that you have the right size of pot or cauldron to avoid spilling the soup when cooking.
If your generation is on the techy side and looking for a time-efficient way to cook, you can use this electric multi-functional cooker to make your odong. Make sure that your instant pot is in the right settings to ensure the good result.
Other Delicious Variants
Filipinos being experimental in food have brought us to stand out on the map, so if you are looking for other ways to cook your odong, here are the variations that made it into the list.
Odong With Pork
If you are looking for an alternative for sardines, odong with pork is one of the best options. With the pork’s natural flavor combined with garlic, onions, soy sauce, and oyster sauce – you’ll probably experience a party of flavors invading your mouth. If you want some flavor kick, you can add chilies, depending on your taste.
In case that you are not fond of putting sardines or any meat on your odong, then a solution for your problem is here. Instead of putting sardines or any meat, why don’t you try adding pechay, malunggay, or any green leafy vegetables that will suit your taste?
Odong with Egg
If you are looking for additional protein content for your odong, boiled chicken or quail egg is undoubtedly the best addition to your steaming hot odong soup.
Spanish Sardines Odong
If you are craving some pasta, then this one might be for you. Instead of using the usual pasta that can be bought in the supermarket, you may alternatively use odong for your Spanish sardines pasta. Just like the other kinds of noodles, make sure that your odong is cooked the right way before using it.
Pancit Odong Guisado
If the recipes above did not fit your standards, and you are still finding the best odong recipe, this one might accomplish that. Unlike the usual soupy style, in this recipe, it is not submerged in the soup, but instead, it is stir-fried together with cabbage, carrots, Baguio beans, and other vegetables you wish to add. You may use pork or chicken in this recipe instead of the usual spicy canned sardines.
Haob na Odong
If you are looking for a unique version of lasagna, try this Davao’s very own Haob na Odong which comprises some chicken gizzard, liver, ground beef and odong noodles. It is usually spiced with lemongrass (tanglad), onion, garlic, ginger, annatto extract (atsuete), kesong puti, and a few alugbati leaves. However, unlike the usual lasagna, this recipe is usually baked or fried over a hot coal, or just like how we usually cook our bibingka.
As you continue to read the article, maybe you have noticed that odong and udon sound similar, right? Well, believe it or not, it is said that odong noodles are influenced by the Japanese noodles called udon. It is believed to be introduced by the Japanese workers who helped in building the Kennon Road in the City of Baguio. After the said project, those workers then migrated to Davao to work in the city’s abaca (hemp) plantations which became the main reason why odong is well-known in the said regions. Another interesting fact is that odong noodles are known for being called the poor man’s spaghetti during the past times.
If you want to get that mouth-watering and perfect looking odong, here are some tips to achieve that.
● Do not overcook your noodles. Just like the other kinds of noodles, odong is not the best when it’s overcooked.
● Ensure that you don’t burn the garlic and onion because it will give you a bitter taste.
● When adding water to your soup, make sure that you’ll add it gradually and not just dump the water on the cauldron all at once. In this way, you can easily adjust the taste of your odong.
To avoid too much food wastage, and to save your time thinking about how to improve your odong, here is some advice.
● If you think that you can’t handle the spicy variant of the canned sardines, you can use the non-spicy variant so that you can enjoy eating odong as well.
● If you want to try to deviate using the usual tomato sauce-based sardines, you can try altering your dish using canned mackerel.
● In case that your pantry is out of any green leafy vegetables, you can also add patola, upo, papaya, or sayote on your odong.
● If odong noodles are not available, the great alternative you may use are misua and the Japanese noodles called udon.
Best Serve with
To bring out its full potential and flavor, you can experiment with pairing the newly cooked odong with this food.
- Rice – being the top staple food in the Philippines, of course, no one can beat the pairings of hot rice at any savory and soupy dish in the country.
- Bread/Pandesal – If you are looking for a rice replacement or merely having your merienda, you can have your freshly bought bread paired and dipped with odong.
- Pork Chicharon – If you want an additional crunch, pork chicharon can aid you with that. Just like lomi, you can also top your odong with pork chicharon so that you can get that additional flavorful crunch.
- Softdrinks – nothing could beat the refreshment that an ice-cold soft drink can bring, what more if you pair it with your freshly made odong recipe, surely you’ll have a blast.
The Philippines cannot deny that the colonizers left a significant influence on our food and culture. Even though odong noodles are one of the foods that have been a little bit influenced by the Japanese people, you can’t deny that Filipino creativity gave a considerable part in expanding and utilizing the use of odong in the national cuisine.
So, if you want to experiment and expand your food knowledge and experience, you will never go wrong trying the odong noodles, whether it may be the soupy style or the pasta recipe, I’m sure disappointment will be far from your experience.
For more delicious recipe, visit Eat Like Pinoy!
Best Odong Recipe
- 1 lb Odong noodles
- 3 cans Spicy Sardines in tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup Bottle gourd
- 1 cup Water
- 3 cloves Garlic minced
- 1 pc Onion small
- 2 tbsp Oil
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1/4 tsp Ground black pepper
- Heat oil in a casserole.
- Once hot, saute garlic until golden brown. Then add the onion and cook until it gets soft.
- Add-in the bottle gourd and then, add the sardines.
- Season with salt and pepper. Let it boil for 5 minutes.
- After 5 minutes, pour-in water and boil for another 5 minutes while covered.
- Then, add the odong noodles and cook for about 10 minutes.
- Transfer in a serving plate.
- Serve while hot! Enjoy.