Lomi Noodles, A Filipino Treat

What is lomi noodle?

Lomi noodle is 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. Fresh here means the one that is tender, wet, available from your local market and has a shelf life of less than a week compared to its regular dry counterparts that are soaked in water and cooked longer.  The dry type has a shelf-life of “the longest time you can dare accept.”  I mean, a month or more. A year?  More?

The shelf life of noodles in my pantry is always less than a month – that is my little confession for today. Noodles are always attractive for me, and it is a sin to make them wait. I cook lomi on the same day of purchase. Lomi’s lifespan is short, it is preferably cooked immediately. The thick sauce of lomi noodles is another thing that makes it different from other noodle recipes you might already know, and lastly, the addition of breaking an egg or two on top of the lomi dish at the end of cooking.

Fresh, uncooked lomi noodles

Uncooked fresh lomi noodles – MMK

The beauty of lomi noodles

Lomi noodles, when cooked, will turn out with a bit of sauce. For that, it is best eaten hot. I want mine extra hot, and I mean straight from the pot, no interruptions on the way to me.  My little confession is becoming bigger now, aha! While I pamper myself with lomi noodle, I make sure its temperature does not die on me for it loses its magic when that happens – as far as I am concerned. Just imagine how fast I repeatedly dig my spoon in the bowl of steamy hot lomi until its last piece of noodle and last drop of sauce. 

Perspiration forming on my forehead, I have sheets of tissue paper within reach. A box of tissue paper is always my decent preparation for a rendezvous with lomi. Inevitably, I would be celebrating my gastronomic satisfaction with that OMG-stare in nothingness, asking myself “what have I just done?”  I believe I am not alone in this indulgence!

Meat choices for lomi noodles

Chicken, pork, beef meats are usual. Others include chicken liver, beef liver, sometimes shrimps. Or a combination of any two. I prefer chicken and chicken liver, or chicken and shrimps. It is actually a matter of taste for anyone. Other ingredients you can include in this dish are commercial fish balls (halved and thrown into the pot in the middle of cooking), quail eggs.

Vegetables for lomi noodles

This dish basically calls for napa cabbage of the simple cabbage, carrots and bell peppers. I add green beans to my lomi noodles and it does not go wrong. I probably could add zucchini, although that is already deviating from the norm. Zucchini would be safe as it does not have a strong taste, and it in fact takes from the dish’s character.

Vegetables for lomi

Lipa and Binondo Lomi Noodles

Lipa City, Batangas in South of Manila, is most famous for their lomi noodles. When you travel to Batangas, you would see many lomi houses along the road all over Batangas, calling themselves lomi house or just lomi with a word or two in front, e.g.,(Jackie’s lomi, etc.) to differentiate from others and each of them brag about how deliciously different their lomi is. No matter how you try, you won’t be able to sample all the lomi in different outlets in Batangas. What is sure is that there are differences resulting from their choice of ingredients, or the order/method of cooking, but I guess only a lomi afficionado can spot those differences.

I have a different recollection. In my childhood, lomi noodle was something my parents brought home from Binondo, a place in the heart of Manila.  Well, yes, the noodles would have been cold by the time they got home.  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 of a treat!

Trips for that good lomi taste

So, as people talk about how good Batangas lomi noodles are, I made a day-trip to Batangas with an empty stomach sometime in 2015 only to feast on different versions of their noodles. And a feast, I called it. What I found out is that their version pride itself with more meat than vegetables, and I was told that it is what makes their version authentic. I saw a feature on Philippine television once, saying that Batangas lomi is known for its abundance of meat, no vegetable!

And as my memory longs for that childhood taste, I did not miss the opportunity of indulging myself with the version I am familiar with when my hubby, big brother and I had a trip to Binondo in 2019. Need I say more? I have a declaration with vegetables from this post. Connect the dots, please.

Chopsuey in lomi noodle recipe

Here’s the deal. If you are familiar with chopsuey, you can easily have lomi noodles with that recipe. You only need more water or chicken broth, the addition of corn starch and fresh egg at the end of cooking. Presto! You have a lomi noodle recipe right there.

A stand-alone noodle recipe

Often, noodle dishes are associated with another side dish like 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 include fried spring rolls as a side dish with their noodle dishes.  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!

 

Lomi Noodles - A Filipino Treat

Fresh lomi noodles with vegetables and meat
Author Magida

Ingredients

  • 1/2 k lomi noodles miki, washed in running water and drained
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 chicken breasts cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 250 g 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
  • 100 g green beans cut diagonally
  • 100 g 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

Instructions

  1. Sautee garlic and onions for 2 minutes.
  2. Add chicken liver and stir till the meat is opaque in color.
  3. Add shrimps and stir a few times.
  4. Add carrots and green beans and cook for 2 minutes.
  5. Add bell peppers and cabbage, noodles and water and cook for another 2 minutes stirring occasionally.
  6. Add salt, black pepper and patis and stir once more.
  7. Add corn flour, stir once, followed by beaten egg and stir again.
  8. Top with hard-boiled eggs.

You may want to try this recipe from My Mothers’ Kitchens, that is close to the heart of lomi:

 

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