This soup, sponge gourd and thin wheat noodle soup, is one of my favorites, as well as a comfort food for me. It is usually cooked with ground pork, but chicken strips are used as well, and, if a more decadent version is desired, with shrimps.
In my household, we always use a combination of ground pork and shrimps. But depending on the state of the local treasury, the amount of pork and shrimp used vary!
1 large patola (sponge gourd)
2 to 3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 small onion, minced
50 to 100 grams ground pork
12 pieces shrimp, trimmed and cleaned
40 to 60 grams misua, or thin wheat noodles, or as desired
3 to 6 cups shrimp stock, or water
salt and pepper, to taste
toasted garlic bits or chips, optional
Begin by preparing the sponge guard. Peel the skin off and slice the gourd into thin rounds. Rinse and dry.
If desired, the shrimps can be shelled and diced. The shells and head can be used to make shrimp stock, which can be added to the soup for more flavor in lieu of water. Otherwise, use chicken or vegetable stock.
Saute the garlic and onion. Add the ground meat and shrimps. Stir fry several seconds. When the ground meat and shrimp are cooked, add the stock, or water.
Let the mixture boil. Add the wheat noodles, simmer a couple of seconds until the misua is softened and cooked. Season with salt and pepper, as preferred.
Garnish with toasted garlic bits or chips, if desired.