chicken mami

Mami vs. Sopas

Which one is your favourite?

In this video, I’m gonna show you how to take a chicken and make a simple but flavorful broth that we’re going to make into 2 styles of Filipino noodle soup. One is called Mami, which is like ramen with long egg noodles and various toppings, and the other is called Sopas, which has macaroni and a creamy broth. Both are iconic Filipino dishes that you are going to love and the best part is that they are both incredibly easy to make because I’m going to show you how to do it right now. So what are we waiting for?

You will need:

  • 1 whole chicken
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorn
  • A couple of bay leaves
  • 300g mami noodles or ramen noodles (for Mami)
  • 300g macaroni noodles (for Sopas)
  • 1 can evaporated milk (for Sopas)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Soy sauce

For toppings:

  • Napa cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Firm tofu
  • Shiitake mushrooms
  • Chopped scallions
  • Hard-boiled eggs

The first thing we’re gonna do is cut a thumb-sized piece of ginger and whole yellow onion in half. Add it to a dry cast-iron skillet on medium-high heat and char the surfaces. This is going to release some flavours that are going to make the broth more complex in a relatively short time. This is similar to the process of making Vietnamese pho, with the addition of a few more aromatics. Just turn the pieces over so you get a good char on all sides. If you have a gas range, just put them straight on the flame. Once they’re good and charred, remove them from the pan and set aside.

In a large pot, place a whole chicken and fill with water until it just covers. Bring the water to a boil and gently skim out the scum that rises to the top. Alternatively, you can also let the chicken boil for 5 minutes, remove and rinse the chicken and pot, refill with water and bring to a second boil. This will ensure a more clear broth, but if you’re in a hurry, just do the skimming method. Once you have removed the scum, turn the heat down to a gentle simmer, add the ginger, onion, a tablespoon of whole black peppercorns, and a couple bay leafs and set your timer for 1 hour.

After an hour, you will have a tasty chicken stock with a perfectly usable chicken with plenty of flavour. Carefully remove the chicken from the pot and transfer to a sheet pan or large dish where you can remove the meat. 

Season your chicken stock to taste with some salt and soy sauce. When you get it to where you like it, it’s ready to use. Let’s start by making a bowl of chicken mami.

For chicken mami, boil some mami egg noodles or ramen according to the directions, strain, and put into your serving bowl. The toppings are fairly simple and common. Today we are using some firm tofu, shredded carrots and napa cabbage, shiitake, and chicken. Top with chopped scallions and it’s done. 

Typically with either the beef or chicken version of mami, the flavour is mostly defined by the bones or in this case, the chicken. Seasoning the bowl to taste is usually done by the diner and will include soy sauce, Maggi, white pepper, chili oil, or spicy vinegar. 

So let’s say you have this broth handy and you want to make a quick bowl of sopas. Put it into a small saucepan and add a ¼ cup of evaporated milk. You can adjust to taste with salt and soy if you like until the flavour is perfect. 

This time, we have macaroni pasta in our bowl and we’re just gonna do the same toppings as we did for the mami. If you really want to make this Pinoy-style, add some sliced hot dog as well. The milky broth with the macaroni is such a comforting combination that I’m sure you will enjoy.