Thursday, August 11, 2005

fine wheat vermicelli soup with meatballs and green gourd (miswa, bola bola at patola)

i've wrestled with this bug so long it seems. i've tried to get rid of it naturally with ginger tea, chicken and ginger congee (rice soup or lugaw) , dozens of throat lozenges and honey ricola, fountains of is one tough bug. i now have the gravelly raspy voice of a heavy cigarette smoker--better than yesterday when i teetered between squeaks and stage whispers--and my ears seem to be stuffed with cotton.
there's nothing like feeling sick to make you forlorn for the carefree days of youth, when all you had to do was seek solace from the warmth of a grandmother's i conjured up more soup visions, despite the sweltering heat, to transport me back to the days when my lola nursed me back from asthma attacks, hives, and the flu.
i had to consult with my ma in california for help with this recipe. the result: everyone liked it... i think we cranked up the a/c too high the kittens craved soup as well!

miswa con patola et bolabola, ole!

i found this beautiful gourd at the market and it smelled like it had just been picked. the scent of green. they're quite a sight, hanging down from trellises in the summer gardens around here where there are many Asian immigrant neighbors.

first start off with making your favorite chicken broth recipe. mine is quite plain, just three chicken "torsos" or about 2 lbs. of chicken bones, or 1 whole chicken leg quarter, with enough cold water to cover 1 inch, seasoned with 1-inch piece of peeled ginger, one peeled shallot, and enough salt and peppercorns according to your liking.

bring up to a boil, skim off the scum and simmer uninterrupted about 3 hours.

prepare pork meatballs:

1/2 lb. ground pork
2 tbsps. finely chopped onion
1 quail egg (or 1 egg, beaten but use only half; save the rest for another use)
a few drops of soy sauce or kikkoman
2 tsps. potato starch or corn starch
salt and pepper.

mix all ingredients well.

pinch off a teaspoonful with your fingers and roll around between the palms of your hands to shape into little balls.
heat vegetable oil, then pan fry until lightly browned. drain on paper towels.

for the miswa soup:
2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1/4 cup chopped onions
1 green gourd (patola) trimmed of top and bottom and sliced 1/8 inch across into rounds
4 ozs. misua (fine wheat vermicelli)
saute garlic, onions, and patola in vegetable oil until onions are fragrant and translucent. pour in about 6 cups of strained chicken broth. bring to a boil then lower heat and simmer about 10 minutes until the vegetable is somewhat soft but retains shape. add meatballs and 4 ounces misua(4 bundles from this box) and let boil 1 minute. immediately remove from heat and serve.