Sometimes I am asked where I get my inspiration from while in the kitchen. Often, the answer is I get it outside the kitchen… :) On the way home from the office yesterday, I dropped off three colleagues at the “Whitegold Warehouse” in Cebu City, which I had never been to. I decided to take a quick look inside. It’s like a massive bodega (warehouse) with closeout items and a grocery! Not everything was low-priced, but there were some unusual finds to say the least. Amongst them, a few Chinese clay pots for about PHP100 or $2.50, roughly double the price from side streets in Hong Kong, but they were already here in Cebu. So I bought a couple thinking I would try a dish or two today…
…at the office, I unwrapped the clay pots, washed them with water, placed them on a burner and boiled some water in them to “temper” the vessels. I decided to try a quick dish with whatever was nearby so I added some onions, ginger, two heaping spoons of cooked lechon sisig that the commissary was portioning for branches, some chicken broth, hoisin sauce, a bit of soy sauce, some chopped napa cabbage and green onions. Add in some sotanghon noodles, and voila!
This tasted pretty good for a fairly haphazard approach. It was my version of crab sotanghon with no crab… :) The noodles were oh so flavorful, and the little bits of lechon sisig and vegetables just added texture and flavor. It’s important not to overcook the noodles, and to bring this to the table still bubbling (the pottery retains a lot of heat for a few minutes). Folks at the office had this for breakfast. By itself. With rice. And oddly, sandwiched in white bread!
When the first portion was gone (in minutes), most of the ingredients except the noodles remained at the bottom of the claypot, so I simply added more noodles, some hot water and a bit more seasoning and let this cook again for a slightly less intense version the second time around. So quick, easy, economical and delicious! I think this would work with leftover roast chicken/chicken broth. With shrimps and the same sauce. With crabmeat and noodles and all sorts of combinations. :)