27 Aug2007


On our recent trip to Ilocos, for which I am SO BEHIND on posts, we had a delicious chicken soup with miki and bagnet for merienda at our hotel. As soon as I got to Manila, I decided to try my own version, and these are the results of that experiment. Chicken soup is incredibly satisfying, no matter where you are in the world… there must be thousands of versions of chicken soup with noodles, rice, potatoes, vegetables, etc. that all provide an incredible amount of comfort and nourishment to millions of people. Many years ago I read that someone even did a study to see what there was in chicken soup that made it a seemingly universal tonic for those with the colds or flu. I don’t recall the results of that study, but I suspect steaming broths help to clear one’s sinuses and warm/comfort the body…


In the markets in Ilocos, several vendors sell freshly made miki, an egg-based flat noodle. You can also buy them dried and packaged in plastic. In Manila, I started by making a chicken broth from scratch. I made sure the liquid was boiled down to concentrate the flavors even more. I also shredded the meat of 1/2 of a boiled chicken. To make this soup, I started with a pot half filled with simmering home made chicken broth. I added the shredded chicken, tons of achuete water (achuete steeped in hot water), salt, white pepper and the miki and stirred for a few minutes until cooked. I transferred this to a serving bowl and topped it with chopped homemade bagnet.


The results? Very good. A nice flavorful broth chock full of noodles, chicken and slowly melting bagnet. The achuete color was appealing, if a bit nuclear for my taste. But overall, this was an incredibly easy and extremely satisfying bowl of soup to make. I can understand how it would be considered merienda fare, it is quite heavy and filling on its own so it would be difficult to have this as a starter to a meal, unless the portions were extremely small.



  1. Catalina says:

    I love this miki from Ilocos. We’ve always used chicken and lots of chopped kuchay–yummy, especially during rainy days like today. Thank God for holiday economics :-)

    Aug 27, 2007 | 10:13 am


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  3. noemi Dado says:

    Oh yes chicken broth is one of my cold remedies whenever my kids have colds. This might just be an alternative chicken soup recipe.

    Aug 27, 2007 | 10:21 am

  4. wil-b cariaga says:

    mmmmmmmmmmmm. . . this is so perfect for this am. . .rainy morning here in maldives, sooo perfect for breakfast, this chicken soup is either served for breakfast or merienda in ilocos, stalls earn a lot just from selling miki. . . lots of people wait in line for breakfast just to eat miki in the town plaza, after the early morning mass or before going to work, or after your daily jogging. . . i’ve been missing this noodle soup so much. . . sometimes we also make seafood miki with mussels, shrimp, squid rings for lent. . . by the way MM you forgot to add chopped flat chives/ chinese chives, makes a difference. . .

    Aug 27, 2007 | 10:25 am

  5. Marketman says:

    wil-b, thanks for that, I had no idea they were needed, but I can see how they would enhance the soup…the version we had didn’t have it. So is that the kuchay mentioned up in Catalina’s comment? I will add that next time…thanks! Oh, and if you have time in the Maldives, I am sure you can make a basic egg noodle in wide flat shapes like a fettucine and replicate this soup if you want a taste of home! noemi, yes, its perfect for someone down with a cold!

    Aug 27, 2007 | 10:28 am

  6. allen says:

    Is this a cousin of Batchoy the with the chicharon bits? I agree, the cuchay, maybe even chopped coriander leaves or spring onions would add zest to this dish. Looks good enough to die for, literally .When the cold is gone, next comes the heart attack! At least the “last supper” is the best miki mami ever because of the bagnet ;)

    Aug 27, 2007 | 2:04 pm

  7. elaine says:

    Marketman, where can I get fresh miki noodles? I would like to cook this for my mom. I’ve seen some at Shopwise and SM but the noodles are thinner so I suppose they are just regular noodles not the miki. I will use your recipe sans the bagnet(and maybe substitute good chicharon? he he). They look so good and may turn even better after a day or so I guess. Thank you for sharing, as always.

    Aug 27, 2007 | 2:54 pm

  8. mila says:

    Ah, i have happy memories of that miki for merienda this past summer. Made our arrival at the resort a memorable one. I think Ilocano cooks just adds bagnet/chicharon to make any dish better (or worse depending on one’s health perspective hehehe)!

    Aug 27, 2007 | 7:05 pm

  9. Silly Lolo says:

    Soup is the best! This one certainly looks and sounds like one of the better ones. And with the lechon/bagnet topping, this soup falls in the highly indulgent category. I would add some sort of veggie tho’ just to notify my body that I am trying to eat “healthy”. What is it about us Pinoys? Why do we love total indulgence so much? Is it in our DNA perhaps? Ahhh, so many life questions.

    Seriously tho’ MM, how about a healthy meal post from you one of these times. You do realize you have bit of responsibility on your hands being the foodie guru that you are.

    Aug 27, 2007 | 11:56 pm

  10. brenda says:

    looks yummy….. I’ll have to top it with fried garlic and green onions.

    Aug 28, 2007 | 4:03 am

  11. eumir213 says:

    In ilocos, we sautee garlic first in oil or margarine and shredded chicken then patis and then chicken stock then the miki… topped with bagnet and kuntsay and for really spicy treat, lots of spicy sukang iloko. great pics, as usual MM!

    Aug 28, 2007 | 5:58 am

  12. annette says:

    Yes Mr. MM the achuete color made it look so good, pahingin nga ng paminta please.

    Aug 28, 2007 | 7:59 am

  13. MegaMom says:

    Thanks MM, in our barangay in Vigan, we also call this “pansit musiko”, because it is what we serve the members of the marching band during fiesta. :) Must have some energizing qualities to it, as the band always plays heartily after having some of this soup.

    Left-over bagnet is used to “parabaw” (i.e. put on top of) almost anything in Ilocos. Try it over Ilokano pinakbet or dinengdeng. I love it when the balat becomes chewy after absorbing the broth – certainly an acquired sense of taste/texture.

    Silly Lolo, my 3 year-old daughters like julienned carrots in their pansit musiko. I can never get them to eat carrots except when they pick it out of this soup.

    Aug 28, 2007 | 8:01 am

  14. MarketFan says:

    gotta have my eyes checked…the first time I read this post, it was “MILK with Bagnet..”…I wonder how that tastes?..yeew

    Aug 28, 2007 | 12:27 pm

  15. Blaise says:

    Ultimate comfort food.. just like arroz caldo.. haay.. ;)

    Aug 28, 2007 | 12:28 pm

  16. suzette says:

    probably needs some chopped greens to make it more visually appetizing…

    Aug 28, 2007 | 8:34 pm

  17. mfwrites says:

    Can I ask how you do homemade bagnet? Want to replicate in the Swiss Alps.

    Aug 29, 2007 | 4:05 pm

  18. anne says:

    Wow marketman! Now the undiscovered, fave merienda of ilocanos is revealed haha. It’s my fave ilocos food. The miki noodles is fairly easy to make, our helper does the noodles using just flour and water. Sometimes we also add julienned carrots, kuchay and red bell peppers.

    By the way, if you make the fresh noodles, you can also use the noodles to make miki guisado which is the more familiar dish for non-ilocanos.

    Aug 29, 2007 | 7:23 pm

  19. Marketman says:

    mfwrites, I did the bagnet/lechon kawali post just a few weeks ago, its in the archives.

    Aug 29, 2007 | 11:53 pm

  20. Silly Lolo says:

    To MFWRITES: Maybe somebody from Ilocos can find you a bagnet vendor/maker you can contact who can then supply/ship you bagnet ready for “final fry”. I mean the stuff has to “dry” prior to final fry anyway and the dry time could be the shipping time. Hmmm, I wonder?

    Aug 29, 2007 | 11:55 pm

  21. mfwrites says:

    Thanks for the tips, Marketman and Silly Lolo.

    After reading the posts and realizing I’d need that ingredient ‘time’, all too rare over here, may I ask for the hotel where you had this wonderful merienda of miki soup in Ilocos?
    Seeing as I’ll be going at Christmas…

    Great blog you have, with wonderful pics!

    Sep 1, 2007 | 4:39 pm

  22. Marketman says:

    mfwrites, it was a small seaside hotel in Currimao called Sitio Remedios… I wasn’t thrilled with the hotel and will write a post on it in the weeks ahead… but the miki was terrific!

    Sep 1, 2007 | 10:29 pm

  23. diana says:

    Hi, just to share, I’m from aparri and one of the best tabi-tabi places that serve miki there let me in on their secret which i’m going to share: a few tablespoons of boneless bagoong. i think the pangasinan variety works well. as an added kick, try dusting the soup with dried chilli poweder or drip some sukang may sili before eating. i love your blog by the way. cheers! :)

    Oct 12, 2007 | 10:10 pm

  24. Marketman says:

    diana, thank you so much for those tips. The bagoong makes sense, adds character to an otherwise light roth. And the chili powder and sukang sili are also a nice flavoring touch. Will hae to try those options the next time I make this. Thank you!

    Oct 13, 2007 | 7:29 am

  25. Bianca says:

    one of my friends makes miki by boiling bagnet bones/crispy pata bones using that as soup stock then adds the miki noodles (very floury which makes soup thick). The meat is then used as toppings to the soup. To make the miki more Ilocano, add suka/sili (Ilocos Norte’s black vinegar) to your miki. It gives life to the miki. (I also learned to pour vinegar on pancit in Ilocos)

    Feb 25, 2008 | 7:41 pm

  26. cristina says:

    how abuot the history of fresh miki?

    Jun 26, 2008 | 6:05 pm


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