Monday, September 06, 2004

Beef Mami

A Soup for all seasons. A meal in inself. Mami in particular reminds me of my university days. When I was in university many years ago, I used to get my allowance every Monday of each week and I had to learn how to stretch that money to last me a week. My mother used to prepare lunches for us but there were days that I felt like eating, just eating at the school cafeteria. The cheapest then that my daily budget would allow is mami. An order of ordinary mami was Php3.00. If you wanted to make it special, you had to pay an additional Php .50 and it came with onions and a boiled egg.

I bought a bulk of skirt steak from a friend this summer and I didn’t know what to do with it because this part of the beef was quite grainy. I tried grilling it but it wasn’t the kind of meat for grilling. However, the grains reminded me of how those university days were then and voila an idea got hatched.

What you need:

¼ cup Soy sauce
¼ cup Brown sugar
25 gms of Star Anise
1 lb Beef

3 tbsp Olive oil
Lots of garlic, chopped
1 head of wombok or Chinese cabbage or in grocery stores, sui choy, sliced thinly
5 medium Carrots, Julienne sliced
4 hard-boiled eggs
Green onions
2 Beef bullion
1 pack of 500 gms Chow mein noodles
calamansi or lemon

I cooked the beef a day ahead in a slow cooker for about 3 hrs. I put the first four ingredients. I set it aside in the refrigerator overnight. Some recipes taste better if put in the fridge overnight. This is one of them.

Just before the meal, I cook the garnishing.

Boil water for the soup. I boiled 6 cups and added the beef bouillion. Today was not the day for me to make a healthy soup stock. We were going to a party, that's why. Also cook the noodles for about 3 minutes in a separate saucepan. Drain when cooked.

Sauté the garlic in 1 tbsp of olive oil until it becomes light brown and crispy. Set aside. Garlic is one of the secrets of a good mami noodle soup.

In the same pan, heat the remaining oil. Put the carrots and sauté for about 1 minute. Add the wombok. Season with salt or soy. Set aside.

I put all these cooked ingredients in separate bowls and my family just put whatever they want in their bowls. We were lucky to have bought calamansi from our Filipino store otherwise we could also use lemon. This is a recipe my kids are looking look forward to having next week again according to my daughter.

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