Lomi is a A Filipino dish prepared with fresh egg noodles, vegetables and a choice of meat or seafood. “Noodles, vegetables and meat? So what makes it different?” you might ask. The answer is fresh noodles.
Oh no, we do not cook rotten noodles! I mean fresh as in tender, wet and has a shelf life of a week or less, compared to its regular dry counterparts that need to be soaked in water and/or are cooked longer. The dry type has a shelf-life of “the longest time you can dare accept,” I mean, a year? More? Lomi can be bought from your local market and, because of its short lifespan, is preferably cooked immediately.
Lomi, when cooked, will turn out with a bit of sauce unlike canton, bihon and sotanghon dishes that you are already familiar with. For that, lomi is preferably eaten hot. I order mine extra hot, and I mean straight from the pot, no interruptions on the way to me. Ha-ha! While I pamper myself with this noodle, I make sure its temperature does not die on me for it loses its magic; well, as far as I am concerned. So, you can imagine how fast I repeatedly dig my spoon in the bowl of steamy hot lomi till its last piece of noodle and last drop of sauce. Simply thinking about lomi makes me envision the perspiration forming on my forehead. Sheets of tissue paper within reach is a decent preparation for a rendezvous with lomi. Before long, I would be celebrating my gastronomic satisfaction with that OMG-stare asking myself “what have I just done?” I believe I am not alone in this indulgence.
Batangas, a province in the southern part of the Philippines about two hours away from Manila, is most famous for lomi. There are restaurants, eateries, cafeterias, canteens, etc. that offer this dish and each of them brag about how deliciously different their lomi is. Some of these eateries offer lomi as their main dish, even naming their outlets lomi houses – or the like.
In my childhood, lomi was something my parents brought home from Binondo – a place in the heart of Manila. Well, yes, the noodles would have been cold by then. Not a problem, because reheating lomi does not take away from its original taste. The sauce would be thicker and that makes it even more a treat!
Often, noodle dishes are associated with fried tokwa (bean curd) swimming in a mixture of vinegar, soy sauce, a pinch of sugar and topped with fried garlic and fresh onions. Some associate it with fried spring rolls! Lomi does not ask for any of these. A bowl of it is satisfaction guaranteed. Probably a glass of cold drink afterwards would do good to diffuse one’s body heat! For me though, another load of lomi would be a welcome idea!
- 1/2k lomi noodles (miki), washed in running water and drained
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 250g chicken liver, sliced thinly
- 1 medium sized onion, cut into slices
- 1 small-sized red bell pepper, diced
- 1 small-sized green bell pepper, diced
- 1 medium-sized carrot, julienned
- 100g green beans, cut diagonally
- 100g cabbage, cut roughly
- 1/4 cup corn flour, mixed with 3 tbsp water
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 egg beaten
- 2 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 4 tbsp Patis (fish sauce)
- Sautee garlic and onions for 2 minutes.
- Add chicken liver and stir till the meat is opaque in color.
- Add shrimps and stir a few times.
- Add carrots and green beans and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add bell peppers and cabbage, noodles and water and cook for another 2 minutes stirring occasionally.
- Add salt, black pepper and patis and stir once more.
- Add corn flour, stir once, followed by beaten egg and stir again.
- Top with hard-boiled eggs.