- 2 500-gram packs miki (egg noodles; the ones that I used were bundled but already soft and ready to use, with a shelf-life of only 3 days)
- At least 8 – 10 medium-sized prawns, head and shell intact, but with barbs (the rostrum) and whiskers snipped
- 3 – 4 cups water to cook the prawns
- 1 30-gram pack annatto/atsuete seeds
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons patis/fish sauce, or more to taste
- Salt and pepper
- 2 pork broth cubes, or more to taste
- Cornstarch slurry: 6 – 8 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in 1 cup warm water
- ¼ kilo pork belly, sliced into small cubes
- Pork chicharon, crumbled
- Spring onions, cleaned and sliced thinly
- Napa cabbage/Chinese pechay, cleaned and sliced into strips
- 5 – 8 hard-boiled eggs, sliced in half
- Over medium heat, boil prawns in a pot with the water. When thoroughly orange all over, turn off the heat.
- Using a slotted spoon, remove the prawns and place in a bowl. Allow to cool. Reserve the water for use later.
- Meanwhile, in a pan, add the pork with enough water to cover the bottom of the pan. Cook over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper. Allow the water to evaporate and the pork’s fat to render. Sauté the pork in its own fat until lightly toasted.
- Peel the prawns and remove the heads. Place all the prawn heads in a mortar and using the pestle (the heavy bat shaped object), pound the prawn heads until juices have been released and the mixture looks “pulpy”.
- Place everything in the pot of water that was used to boil the prawns and mix everything together.
- In a small pot, make the atsuete oil by heating the vegetable oil over medium heat and adding the atsuete seeds. Toast until fragrant and the oil takes on a shade of dark orange.
- Add the oil to the shrimp water, together with the seeds. Mix everything together and let the color bleed into the soup, leave for 3 – 5 minutes. You will want a slightly dark yellow-orange colored liquid.
- Run the mixture through a sieve and into a slightly larger pot. Heat the pot over medium heat. Add around 1 – 2 more cups water. Season with salt and pepper. Add the broth cubes and the fish sauce, starting with 2 cubes and 2 tablespoons, respectively. Add more if desired.
- When it starts to simmer, add the cornstarch slurry. Allow to boil, stirring frequently. Adjust taste and consistency to your liking. I personally want a liquid that’s thick and gravy-like, which may need more of the slurry, or not – it’s your call.
- Place the miki noodles in a bowl of hot water to wash and soften it. Drain.
- Put everything together: In a plate, place a generous mound of noodles. Ladle an equally generous amount of sauce. Add the toppings (toasted pork belly, sliced spring onions and Napa cabbage, shrimps, hard-boiled egg) and sprinkle with the crumbled chicharon. Serve with calamansi on the side. Enjoy!
Source: The Hungry Giant
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