Fall season is soup season! It is full on fall vibes in the San Francisco Bay Area. We had our first much-needed storm last weekend. It was major enough it was called an “atmospheric river.” Staying home to cook, bake and read is so enticing when the weather is colder and the home is so cozy with pumpkins, candles and Halloween decorations. Somehow my body has been telling me constantly that I need SOUP! Not just to eat it but also to make soup.
I really cannot remember the last time I had lomi or pancit lomi. (Pancit means noodles in Filipino.) Maybe when I was a kid in the Philippines? I really cannot recall but I remember the delicious saltiness of the soup, the thick noodles and thickness of the broth that it was almost saucy. I thought that this would be the best time to try cooking lomi for the first time. The idea came when I was grocery shopping with my mom at an Asian store and I saw a packet of lomi noodles. I grabbed a couple and told my mom that I will try to make it. My mom, who is a great cook but hates cooking, told me that she wanted to make it, too. Ha! Ha! And she did. She made us chicken lomi.
WHAT IS LOMI SOUP?
Have you heard of lomi or have you tried it? (Not to confuse with Hawaii’s Lomi Salmon which is a side dish.) Lomi is a Chinese-inspired Filipino noodle soup. It is pretty much a hearty and thick soup with very thick egg noodles.. The dish is almost a cross between a soup and a saucy noodle dish. Cornstarch slurry is added to the broth then beaten eggs are added in the end. The traditional version of lomi includes chockful of stuff that is probably unfamiliar to the Western palate such as pork liver, squid balls, fish balls, kikiam, pork rind, etc. Lomi can be made with chicken, pork, shrimp or a combination of all these proteins. Some people include crispy pork belly and hard boiled eggs as toppings and dip the noodles in a soy sauce/vinegar as the soup is being enjoyed.
WHAT IF I DO NOT HAVE THE “SPECIAL” INGREDIENTS?
Do not get discouraged if you want to make this soup but you do not have or do not want to include squid balls, kikiam, liver (Yuck! I hate liver!), etc. You can still make a basic version of the soup like what my mom and I made (except we included squid balls because we also found them in the Asian market, and I like squid and fish balls.) Lomi can be made completely vegetarian by omitting the meats and adding only vegetables and eggs (for ovo-vegetarians).
What makes lomi soup well, um lomi soup?
To make pancit lomi, it is important to use lomi noodles which are thick egg noodles in order to distinguish it from other pancit (noodle) dishes. The broth should be thick and traditionally, beaten eggs are added to the broth.
Lastly, lomi soup is so quick and easy to make most especially if you are using store-bought broth. It is filling and very comforting. The slightly chewy fat egg noodles are just so nice to bite into, while the flavorful broth warms up not the just the body but the heart and soul as well. So perfect for cold, rainy, stormy, fall and winter weather. Check out the recipe below. Please see my notes as well for more information.
LOMI SOUP (PANCIT LOMI)
(This recipe is for one to two servings)
- 3 ½-4 c pork or chicken broth (homemade of store bought)
- Lomi noodles (1 package)
- Squid or fish balls (1/4 package) *Optional if you do not have these or do not want to add
- Crispy fried pork with skin, cubed (from about 1/4 lb or 100g pork belly)
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp cornstarch + 1/8 c water
- 2 eggs (beaten)
- 2 tablespoon oil for frying, (Extra Virgin Olive Oil, canola or vegetable oil)
- Shredded cabbage, about a cup
- Fish sauce to taste (optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Optional toppings: hard boiled eggs, green onions, cilantro, pork rinds
- Open lomi noodle package, wash lomi in strainer and set aside.
- If using pork broth, boil pork belly in 3/12 – 4 cups water in a soup pot. Once boiled, remove pork. Strain broth through cheese cloth, then set aside.
- If using an air fryer, cook pork until the skin is crispy, cube, then set aside.
- If not using an air flyer, cube boiled pork into 1 inch pieces. In medium-high heat, saute cubed pork in 1 tbsp olive oil or neural oil until crispy. Set aside.
- Lower heat to medium. In the same pot where pork was fried in, fry squid balls or fish balls until brown (if using).
- Without removing squid or fish balls, saute onions, celery and carrots until vegetables are soft.
- Add pork or chicken broth. Boil then reduce heat to medium.
- Add about ½ tablespoon fish sauce or more depending on your taste. (optional)
- Add washed lomi noodles to the pot.
- In a small bowl, mix cornstarch and water to create a slurry.
- Add slurry to the soup and simmer for about a minute until thick.
- In another bowl, beat 2 eggs then add to the soup while gently swirling the broth.
- Add the shredded cabbage and cook for about a minute or until soft. Do not overcook.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Add the fried pork cubes to the soup, saving some for toppings as well as desired toppings such as hard boiled eggs, green onions, (optional)
- Just like with any traditional dishes from any country, there are regional variations of food. I found very different variations of lomi while looking for a recipe. I just learned as I was looking into the recipe that the province of Batangas in the Philippines is the place to get original and authentic lomi soup. What makes Batangas lomi special is their soup is piled high with toppings I mentioned above. I also read that Batangas lomi has no vegetables added. Next time I go to the Philippines, I have to eat a bowl of lomi from Batangas.
- In the Philippines, cassava starch is used as a thickener. Cornstarch can be used in place of cassava.
- My mom made the chicken lomi version. It was like chicken soup. She boiled the fresh chicken for broth, then added the cooked chicken meat to the soup. Pretty much the recipe I had above except she used chicken instead of pork.
- I only made pork lomi because my sister in law gave me cooked pork belly. Otherwise, this is probably the very rare pork recipe that I will post on my blog as I am not a big meat eater. It was actually really good!
- I also tend to cook “clean.” A lot of times, Filipinos add bouillon to the soup. I never do. My dish might not be as flavorful but I like cooking from scratch and tend to stay away from commercial seasonings. I do like to use “Better Than Bouillon” broth pastes. There is no added MSG and the sodium is lower because I can control how much I use in my cooking. (This is not a sponsored post.)
DID YOU MAKE LOMI SOUP (PANCIT LOMI)? PLEASE LET ME KNOW BY LEAVING A COMMENT BELOW.