I miss the New Year celebration in the Philippines. As early as 9pm, you'd be scared to walk down the streets due to the firecrackers being thrown left and right. The smoke would also be enough to gag you and make you stay in the comforts of your own home. Loud music can be heard from houses, and neighbors would be trading home-cooked meals with each other. It was chaotic and crazy, but it was fun.
Growing up, I remember a couple of things that we never go without for Media Noche (midnight meal). They have some sort of novelty meanings so my mother always made sure that we have them on the table at the strike of midnight. They are: 12 fruits symbolizing the 12 months of the year, sweets so that the coming year would be "sweet", and noodles with egg (or anything round) symbolizing long life and good health.
I made this dish a week ago, but hubby loved it so much so I am planning to make it again for our New Year meal. Noodles for long life and meatballs for good health. ;-)
What you need:
For the soup:
- 2 bundles Udon noodles
- 8 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 small yellow onion, sliced
- 5 cloves of garlic, smashed
- kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- dash of sesame oil
- 1 lb ground pork
- 1 small onion, diced finely
- 8 cloves garlic, minced finely
- 2 large eggs
- 1 carrot, coarsely minced
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
What to do:
Make the meatballs. In a large bowl, combine all the meatball ingredients and mix well with your hands to distribute evenly. Get about a tablespoonful of the mix and shape it into a ball. Continue doing so until you have used up all of the meat/mix.
Cook the udon noodles according to package instructions. Drain and set aside. Heat a pot over medium-high and add a dash of sesame oil. Saute the garlic and onion for about a minute. Pour in the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Gently drop the meatballs in the stock (careful - you don't want it to splatter on you!) and cook for about 10 minutes over low heat.
Add the cooked udon noodles and adjust taste with salt and pepper. Cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat and drizzle with sesame oil. Enjoy!
Tips, Tricks and Tweaks:
1. Substitite water with bouillon for chicken broth. You can also try beef broth!
2. Don't beat the egg - I noticed that regular egg does better in binding the ingredients than beaten eggs.
3. Use other type of noodles like vermicelli or soba.
4. Garnish with toasted garlic or chopped parsley.
Happy New Year!