Legend has it that bam-i (“bam-ee”), a stir-fried Cebuano noodle dish that uses both egg and bean thread (glass) noodles, was invented by a cook who ran out of noodles while cooking for a party. Some historical sleuthing, however, reveals bam-i’s close relation to Indonesian, Malaysian and Singaporean noodle dishes likely brought over by immigrants from Fujian, China. Bam-i is rich and filling, with its base of noodles plus 10 to 15 ingredients comprising meat (bits of pork and pig liver), poultry (shredded chicken breast), seafood (shrimp and squid), vegetables and herbs, plus a mushroom locally called tengang daga, or “rat’s ear” (tenga = ear, ng = of, daga = rat), because of its appearance. The Chinese associate noodles with long life and bam-i’s southeast Asian cousine are sometimes referred to as “birthday noodles.” In Cebu, bam-i is likewise festive food, typically served to symbolize long life during birthdays and special occasions. Thankfully, the influence of Cebu’s huge Filipino-Chinese community has made this dish available everywhere—a guarantee that you can chow down on bam-i even if it’s not your birthday.
- 200g pork strips
- 200g chicken boiled and shredded
- 4 pieces Chinese sausage sliced (chorizo bilbao)
- 100g shrimp shelled and heads removed
- 100 mussels or calamari
- 450g flour sticks pancit canton noodles
- 350g rice noodles sotanghon soaked in water
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 200g cabbage chopped
- 200g carrots julienne
- 100g red bell pepper
- 100g snap peas
- 50g dried wood ear "black Fungus" soaked in water and chopped (also known as tengang daga)
- 1 medium onion diced
- 100g celery root julienne
- 1/2 cup shrimp juice derived by pounding the head of the shrimp
- 100ml kikkoman soy sauce
- 3 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
- 250ml chicken bouillon
- 1 tablespoon garlic minced
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
- pinch of hondashi powder
- pinch of white sugar
- 2 to 3 tablespoons sesame oil
- Heat a cooking pot or wok pan then pour in sesame oil. Sauté garlic and onions then add the pork strips and cook for three minutes.
- Put-in the Chinese sausage and shredded chicken and cook for three to five minutes. Add soy sauce, oyster and hoisin sauce, shrimp juice, salt, Hondashi powder, sugar and ground black pepper, chicken bouillon, and then let boil.
- Simmer for 5 to 8 minutes.
- Put the shrimp,mussels or calamari, celery root, cabbage, carrots, bell pepper snap peas and wood ears in then cook for three minutes.
- Add the soaked noodles then stir. Cook for a minute. Put-in the flour sticks then stir well. Cook for three minutes or until the liquid is gone.
- Top with green onions and drizzled with sesame oil on topped.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chef Esmo Fernandez III career includes being a CHEF DE COUSINE at Quatro Asian Bistro, sous chef at Burj-al Arab dubai UAE and chef de Partie at the Hilton Creek Side Dubai UAE.