Let’s have a few recipes before I tell you about the rest of the food we enjoyed during our six days and six nights vacation in the Visayas last week. There’s more to write about. Boracay wasn’t the only place we visited and the food we enjoyed after Boracay was much more stupendous. But more on that in the coming days. It’s back to reality for me which means cooking for the family at least twice a day, meeting twice weekly deadlines with the newspaper I write a column for, and all that real stuff.
This bull noodle soup was a way of putting to good use a large pot of broth made with beef bones. This is not a bulalo soup in the strict sense of the word because the bones used were not bulalo-cut bones but scrap (soup) bones with the bone marrow intact. I get them cheaply from Shopwise. I buy two kilos of bones, simmer them for hours, divide the broth into portions, and use them for several different dishes. I’ll post two more soup dishes made with the broth from the same pot later. Right now, I’d like to tell you about my bulalo noodle soup.
Bulalo soup is a classic Filipino dish. It is a testament to the frugal ways of Filipino cooks for whom no part of an animal should go to waste. Bulalo is especially popular in the Southern Luzon provinces of Laguna, Batangas, and Cavite. In Tagaytay City in Cavite, bulalo soup is available morning, noon, and night time.
Noodle soups are an Asian staple. You will find noodle soups in every Asian cuisine. The fundamentals are the same a good broth, noodles, vegetables, meat or seafood, and garnish. Noodles vary from rice sticks to egg noodles to everything in between, vegetables include every imaginable variety and combination, and garnish can be something as simple as toasted garlic bits or something as exotic as ground chicharron (pork cracklings), such as what we find in the Ilongo classic la paz batchoy.
This bull noodle soup combines traditional Filipino bulalo soup with Vietnamese noodle soup. Why? Because the greens I used are ones commonly used in pho dishes cilantro, mint, and lemon basil. For an even more piquant flavor, I threw in a few slices of lime. Can you already imagine the flavors inside your head?