Cheap Chinese

Nothing cheers me up like good noodles, and even better dim sum.

While Chinese recipes rarely make their way intact to other countries, I still love our local versions just the same because one, they’re cheap, and two, they’re cheap.

Here are the ingredients for what I consider a “Great Cheap Chinese Meal”.

Mr. Noodles Choy sausage – P59

As the menu says, this contains garlic sausage bits, vegetables, and unagi sauce (a sort of sweet version of teriyaki sauce). I like the sausage bits, the crunchiness of the vegetables, and the dainty silkiness of the egg noodles. Though this is standard fare for all those noodle kiosks we have now (Mr. Panda, Hong Kong Noodles, etc.), I still think it’s a hearty snack.

Siomai House Shark’s Fin Siomai – P25 for 4 pieces

I checked inside the molo wrapper, and this contains minced pork, small sections of sotanghon noodles (or glass noodles if you want it posh), some shitake, and maybe even some cornstarch for extenders or monosodium glutamate (MSG) to enhance the flavors. Thank God they don’t use actual shark’s fin, because that’s endangering deep-sea sharks.

MSG brings back memories of the year I had to take summer classes after I flunked Math 17 the previous semester. I survived on MSG-filled maling, rice, and egg. Every single day for the entire summer. So I think on it fondly.

You can tell based on the wrapper if something’s been made fresh, or if it’s been frozen and steamed directly. This one’s old stock, but at least it manages to lock in the flavors well.

Better than those siomai/dimsum with yellow wrappers that taste like they’re made out of flour and glue.

It always cheers me up, these meat and vegetable pockets. Little wonder why dim sum in Cantonese literally means “bit of heart” or “touch the heart.”


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