Filipinos love soups. We enjoy them as they are, or we eat them with rice to add moist and texture. When I was a kid, I remember eating a bowl of rice overflowing in warm soup of Nilaga or Sinigang — types of pork, beef, or seafood stews. One of my favorite soup dishes is called Misua Bola-bola or Meat ball soup with Misua Noodles, and you can easily prepare this dish at home using today’s recipe.
Misua noodles originated from China which we inherited through its culinary influence in the country. Unlike rice vermicelli (bihon), which is made from rice, misua is made from wheat flour. These are very thin, white noodles that are very delicate, easily break when raw, and quickly absorbs liquid. You can buy them from your nearest sari-sari store (variety store), public market, or supermarket.
Misua Bola-bola is also known in some parts of the country as Almondigas. Because some recipes of Almondigas use rice vermicelli instead of misua, we will call it Misua Bola-bola to make a distinction. Besides, that how we call it back home in Malabon.
Perfect for rainy days, enjoy a warm bowl of Misua Bola-bola as a main dish, an appetizer, or as an afternoon snack. I still prefer the childish way by mixing it with my rice. It reminds me of the good old days.
I divided the recipe into two parts: the first one is how to prepare the meatballs; the last one is for the soup. Check the recipe below:
Aah, rainy days. It’s Saturday morning. No work. Too lazy to get up. You just nonchalantly decide to spend your entire day under the warmth of your blanket. Or perhaps, you just sit carelessly on your couch, watch your favorite old movie on DVD or maybe read that book you haven’t touched since you bought it from the thrift shop last year. What else could be more pleasant than these?
A cup of coffee?
A hefty serving of sopas?
What about a nice warm bowl of tasty and gratifying Chicken Arroz Caldo, no? Now we’re talking.
Arroz Caldo is a Spanish phrase which literally translates to “rice broth.” It has many names: rice porridge, congee, lugaw…the list goes on. It’s a common merienda/minandal (snack) in the Philippines which can be served both in the morning or mid-afternoon. I’m almost sure there’s always a gotohan (a casual restaurant; an eatery that serves a variety of meals especially rice congee) within your neighborhood that serves this.
Since Chicken Arroz Caldo includes meat and rice (which is a staple in many Asian countries), it is a complete meal by itself which can actually be served any time of the day.
The recipe below is a plain Chicken Arroz Caldo dish. There are a number of side dishes that you can serve this with. You can enjoy Chicken Arroz Caldo with hard-boiled egg, lumpia (or sumpia as we call it in Malabon which is commonly known as Spring Roll), tokwa’t baboy (fried tofu and pork), etc., and your common condiments would be patis (fish sauce), pepper, calamansi, soy sauce with vinegar, garlic, and onion.
Hey, you want it, right? Then get up and start cooking! Here’s the recipe for Chicken Arroz Caldo:
I once mentioned in my introduction that I won’t be using canned sauces in my recipes. Everything would be traditionally prepared as much as possible, which means no shortcuts. But, no, I cannot apply that rule in this recipe.
The reason is Filipino Style Spaghetti is always prepared with canned and bottled sauces. If I use fresh tomatoes alone (which I do sometimes with olive oil –> yum!), it won’t be Filipino style anymore. Tomatoes are not naturally sweet, at least that’s not how we acquired the taste; it may be too sour for the Filipino palate. Hence, we add sugar and banana catsup to balance the flavors. Why? Because that’s how we like it! Filipino Style Spaghetti is like Spaghetti Bolognese, but sweeter.
So my brother cooked Filipino Style Spaghetti yesterday, Sunday. I took some pictures, but it’s pretty much my own recipe inspired by my Tita‘s. My Lola was not a huge fan of spaghetti. She would rather eat Chinese noodles. Some credits also go to Joe, a college friend, who told me to add milk to the sauce to make it creamier. And, yes, it’s just so much better!
If you have kids, I’m sure they will love this dish. It will give Jollibee a run for its money any day. 🙂