The Philippine term sopas refers to a soupy dish that usually has chicken or pork components, as well as some sort of macaroni or short pasta. When I was a kid, I’m usually served sopas whenever I’m sick. It -is- some sort of chicken soup, and in general I am very fond of soup.
I’ve been meaning to share this recipe for sometime now, but it always seems to slip my mind. And it’s not because I’ve not been making this. Quite the opposite, in fact! This recipe is very versatile, easy to make, and relatively quick, and it makes a perfect baon too!
Just a bit of introduction: I got this recipe from my friend and coworker Seth, who has developed this over the years by trying out different variations and component brands. Now perfected, it became her trademark dish and is always in demand among her friends. I got permission to share it on my blog so you can try it out too.
- 1 cup ground chicken (or any ground meat), or chopped hotdogs, or corned beef, or any combination thereof
- 1-1.5 cups uncooked macaroni
- 1 470-ml can (large) evaporated milk, preferrably Angel’s brand
- 1 large white onion, diced finely
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped finely
- 2 pcs bouillon cubes, preferrably pork
- 1 medium carrot, diced (optional)
- 1/2 cup shredded cabbage (optional)
- 1-2 cups chicken broth (optional)
- salt and pepper, to taste
This batch has: (big plate) onions, carrots, potatoes, enoki mushrooms; (small plate) chicken hotdogs, garlic, sliced chicken thigh fillet
1. Saute garlic in a little oil until golden brown. Immediately add the onions. Saute until onions are a little limp.
2. Add the meat, uncooked macaroni, and any optional vegetables. Melt one bouillon cube in the oil, and toss to coat everything with the melted cube.
3. Add the chicken broth if using, otherwise just add enough water to cover everything. Bring to boil and simmer until the macaroni and meat are cooked and the liquid is mostly evaporated.
4. Slowly pour in the evaporated milk. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix thoroughly and turn off heat.
Here I used homemade vegetable stock and a pack of cute colorful vegetable bowtie pasta.
– The original recipe actually called for boiling chicken parts until the flesh is soft enough to pull off the bones. The chicken flesh is shredded before being added to the pot, and the water used to boil becomes the broth to be used in the sopas. I almost never did this except the first time I tried the recipe because it uses up so much time. I find that pre-ground supermarket chicken is a good substitute, and I use any broth I have on hand.
– Leftover sopas keeps well in the fridge for around a week. I haven’t tried freezing this.
– I usually cook up a batch on my rest day, pack in 1 serving-sized containers, and throw them all in the fridge. I just grab a container for baon for the day (I usually have separate containers for rice or side dishes). It’s great as baon food, especially if there’s microwave at work.
– There is a lot of room for variety here. As you can see, I threw in some enoki mushrooms I had lurking in the fridge and it was a great addition! You can add almost any vegetables, a combination of diced/ground meat, fresh or reconstituted dried mushrooms, probably even tofu (I haven’t tried this). You can even go as minimal as you want! I once tried a pure-veggie sopas, and it was still as satisfying.
– Why Angel’s brand? I have been told to use that, and it does taste better than if I use other brands. Perhaps it’s sweeter? Try it and find out for yourself!
I managed to eat three small bowlfuls of this batch of sopas I made.