Sotanghon guisado has always been a personal favorite. There are so many versions of it, that I often have to boil my likes or dislikes with respect to this dish based on the following criteria: noodles, broth, volume of meat, shrimp and veggies. Buy the best sotanghon you can find/afford. It will be more elastic, less mushy, and carries the flavors of the dish well, rather than seeming like waterlogged starch. Ideally the broth should be made with love, from scratch. No cubes in this dish. And more often than not, I use pork broth, but sometimes I use shrimp broth and some homemade chicken broth. Finally, I like “laman” or lots of shrimp, ham, chicken, pork, veggies, etc. This is essentially a one-dish meal for me. :)
One of my favorite sotanghon recipes is the one used at La Cocina de Tita Moning, the recipe of which was generously shared with readers in this old post, by Suzette Montinola of LCdTM. This version that I did here was a bit of a shortcut and adjusted because we didn’t have any pork in the house… I think I was just so eager to keep using the wok, it was the cooking more than the dish that was in focus. Nevertheless it turned out pretty scrumptious. The occasion was our gardener’s birthday. “Gardenman” has been our part-time gardener for some 10 years or so, and some of you might recall, has brought us some wonderful food items to our home over the years, see crispy pata, here. Whenever one of the crew has a birthday, we try to have some noodles, a favorite protein of some sort (pork, chicken, etc.) and of course, a cake.
For this sotanghon guisado, I first stirfried a bit of garlic, onions, sliced green beans and cabbage and set that aside. Next, I added some oil to the pan, more garlic, onions, carrots, sliced red capsicum or bell peppers, and stir-fried that a bit.
Next lots of small shrimp, shredded chicken, and majestic ham.
Add some homemade shrimp broth, and chicken broth (from boiling the chicken to be shredded).
Pre-soaked noodles go in next.
Sit this up nicely until still a bit wet but not soupy. Add some achuete oil if you want color; personally, I do like it with a little color to make it a bit more appetizing to look at.
Add the sauteed vegetables back in at this point and mix well. Add some chopped green onions to garnish and it’s done!
Serve with sliced dayap or kalamansi on the side. Happy Birthday Gardenman! :)