My birthplace is known for many things, like patis and kakanin, to name two. But the mention of Malabon always brings to mind one iconic dish—pancit.
Because of the thriving seafood industry as well as the relatively large number of mestizo Chinese families residing in the the area, panciterias can be found on practically every corner of the city. I grew up eating in one almost every week.
Contrary to popular belief, these noodle shops serve a wide variety of pancit, not just pancit Malabon. There’s bihon, Canton, miki, pancit sabaw and also pancit alanganin. Name it, they most likely have it. And most of them, if not all, cook the dish upon order, which guarantees that it gets to the table piping hot.
When I was a child, my family and I would watch movies at the Art Deco movie theaters in Malabon, namely Estrella, Concepcion, Leonor and Filipinas. It became a habit for us to eat two things before going back home—pancit and tortang Macau. No-fail combo.
Tortang Macau is like egg foo young. It’s basically an omelet with chopped longganisang Macau and drenched in sauce. Since the Chinese sausage is an ingredient included in many pancit, they have come up with a dish that cooks with it for practical use.
Mom the home cook
My loving mother, Dolores Perez Yang, being a foodie and a good home cook, had her own version of the much-loved egg dish. Whenever there was a family celebration, like a sibling’s birthday, she would always serve pancit, and lunch the next day would also always be tortang Macau.
I no longer live in Malabon, but whenever I want to be reminded of my childhood, I cook this easy-to-do dish in my small condominium kitchen. With the pandemic, I make sure that I have enough stock of the ingredients in my pantry so that I’m ready whenever I crave it.
My mom has already passed on, but I still try to practice our age-old habit of cooking and eating torta right after having pancit. In line with keeping traditions, my mom left us with heirloom recipes that my family in Malabon continues to cook to this day, and we sell them under her namesake brand, Mommy Dolor’s Kitchen.
There’s fiesta hamonado, tortang alimasag, adobong pusit en su tinta, bagoong alamang, albondigas, to name a few. Tortang Macau is not available just yet because it is supposed to be eaten hot, like the way they serve it in panciterias. But, I am generous enough to share with you our family recipe so you can enjoy it at home.
1 medium onion, chopped
2 longganisang Macau or Chinese sausage, diced
Cooked chicken liver, chopped (optional)
3 large eggs, beaten
Salt and pepper, to season
Spring onion, chopped
For the sauce:1 Tbsp flour
1 Tbsp vinegar
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp sugar
2 c water
Heat oil in pan. Saute onion and longganisang Macau until onion turns translucent. At this point you can also add the chopped liver.
Pour egg and season with salt and pepper. When it starts to set at the bottom, gently flip to cook the other side. Transfer to a plate. Set aside.
Make the sauce. Combine everything in a sauce pot. Stir until dissolved. Place over medium heat. Continue stirring until it thickens. Season.
Pour the sauce over the tortang Macau. Garnish with spring onion. Enjoy.
Serves 2-4. —CONTRIBUTED INQ
The author, a travel agent, is also head of sales and marketing of the family-owned Mommy Dolor’s Kitchen.
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