There’s is this Filipino restaurant located near Hammad Hospital called Little Manila. Friends of ours have been recommending them to us many times already. We actually just shrugging off the idea of eating there for several reasons: 1.We can cook Filipino dishes. Well, not all of course but… go to number 2 reason. 2.Filipino food here in Qatar is too expensive as compared to internationally known restaurants like Applebees, Nandos, etc. Spending Q45 (more than P500 / $15) per dish without rice and drinks is outrageous. It’s not like they are importing the main ingredients (chicken, beef, fish, etc) from the Philippines, right? And it’s not like the ambiance of the Filipino restaurants are comparable to Nandos and the like. Not even close. Some looks like plain Carinderias 3. Most of the time the taste is disappointing. Not that I am bragging, but we can cook Filipino dishes better than those found in some Filipino restaurants. Now if you cannot understand our reasons, go back to the reasons number 1, 2, then 3.
There are those Filipino food we usually buy of course like jollibee foods (the chicken joy here are bigger compared to those found in the Philippines and are sold at almost the same price), kakanin from Filipino home-sellers and Filipino restaurants (Kakanin is something I need to learn how to cook), dinuguan and papaitan, because there are just some ingredients that are not readily available to homecooks like me (though we have blood pudding the Husband bought from QDC but we haven’t tried it yet)
Little Manila, what can we say, the ambiance is similar to Filipino carinderias. And YES, the food is delicious, referring to the bulalo and sotanghon guisado that we ordered so far, except for the ube ensaymada that the husband forced me to buy (my ensaymadas are way better) I love their sotanghon guisado so much that I wanted to “copy” it. Little Manila’s sotanghon guisado is not the usual sotanghon guisado that my husband and I are used too. The color is orange. So, as we are eating the sotanghon guisado, we are also trying to “decipher” the ingredients. There’s the noodles that is called cellophane noodles, sotanghon in Filipino, there’s shredded chicken that may be left over adobo or fried chicken, sliced fried squid balls are present which is a usual ingredients in Filipino pansit to give the illusion of “maraming sahog” or having a lot of toppings, then the usual veggies (snowpeas, carrots, cabbage, but wait they added celeries!) I usually don’t put that in my noodles but that’s one ingredients that made their sotanghon guisado taste good. And of course there are those hidden ingredients that are not seen by the naked eye and only a discerning palate can makit it out. We tasted patis (fish sauce) as the condiment used and of course MSG (sad). The orange color, either they made use of atsuete oil or an orange food color (evil grin). There’s one negative comment from the husband though, the sotanghon guisado came in short of his favorite black pepper (to the Husband: dduuhhh, not everyone wants the taste of too much black pepper on their dish and I am one of them! evil grin)
Without further blahs, I made my version of the orange sotanghon guisado. And here it is. This picture did not give justice to the color of the sotanghon. Promise, it was orange when I took this photo.
Sothanghon (cellophane / starch noodles) – 250g
Left over roasted pork, sliced into small bites
Left over roasted chicken, shredded – 1 cup or whatever you got
Squid, boiled, drained, and sliced – 100 grams
Snow Peas, julienned – 100 grams
Carrots, julienned – 100 grams
Bell pepper, julienned – 1 large
Shitake mushroom, dehydrated – 2 handfuls
Black pepper powder – 1 tsp or as desired
Onion, diced – 1 large
Garlic, chopped – 6 cloves
Green Onion leaves (white and green part) – 3 stems
Patis (Fish sauce) – 6 tbsp
Low Sodium Salt- to taste
Knorr Chicken Bouillon – 2 cubes
Water – 2 1/2 to 3 cups – depending on the noodles you are using
Vegetable oil – 1 tbsp
Vegetable Oil – 6 tbsp
Atsuete seeds – 2 tbsp
Cooking Procedure :
1. Read instruction of the sotanghon you will be using and follow the cooking directions. Since the brand I used has an undecipherable instructions, I just rinsed then soaked the noodles in water for 30 minutes. Drain the noodles and set aside
2. Make the atsuete oil. Place the oil and the atsuete seeds in a small pan and heat it, stir until the oil simmers and its color turns to orange. Remove from heat and set aside.
3. In a separate frying pan, heat 1 tbsp of vegetable oil in a pan and pan fry the lechong kawali until crispy.Remove the lechong kawali from the pan and set aside.
4. Pour the atuete oil in a wok then saute the garlic, onions, white part of the green onion leaves, and celery in it until aromatic.
5. Throw in the shitake mushroom and stir fry for about 3 minutes then add in the chicken, bell pepper, carrots, and snow peas. Sprinkle the black pepper powder on the veggies and chicken. Stir-fry for about a minute
6. Pour the water on the veggies along with the fish sauce and Knorr Chicken Bouillon. Let it simmer until the vegetables soften. Remove the vegetables and chicken from the pan and set aside.
7. Add in the sotanghon noodles stirring continuously to loosen the noodles. Add more water as needed. Adjust taste by adding low sodium salt as needed.
8. Once the noodles are cooked through, turn of the fire and stir in the cooked veggies, squids, and chicken.
When serving, arrange the noodles on a serving dish then top it with the roasted pork and chopped green onion leaves. Serve with lime on the sides.