Bam-i

When I first tried this dish in the Philippines, I don’t have any idea of its name, only until recently I learned of its name from a Visayan in our Filipino community here in New Zealand. She cooks this a lot, brings it on most occasions and even caters for it, I asked her one time what does she call this dish and told me its Bam-i.


The time I heard what that dish is called, it instantly reminded me of an Indonesian dish called bakmi sometimes also called bami goreng. Bakmi in Hokkien Chinese means “meat noodles”, Bakmi goreng in Indonesian means fried noodles, similar to the Filipino Bak-mi, it is stir fried noodles with generous amount of meat. Both noodle dishes are considered a level up from the usual stir-fried noodles due to the different arrays of meat that accompanies it, hence it’s not your typical noodle dish since it consist of at least 10 ingredients to start with, lavish versions can have 15 or more ingredients.

Indonesian Bakmi and Filipino Bam-i will be highly related based on my observation. While Filipino Bam-i does not have any written history that can support its origins, what I know is that the Fujian Chinese brought the Indonesian Bakmi to Indonesia, similar demographics of who were the early Chinese settlers in Visayas region where this dish is popular. To further strengthen that claim, the Indonesian Bakmi is made prepared with a wheat-based noodle topped with minced pork seasoned in soy sauce and some char siu and Chinese green vegetables then served with a bowl of broth. That bowl of broth is the key since tradition states that the Filipino Bam-i should not be served dry and a pot of hot caldo should be served on its side if the diner wishes to add it to the noodles. Bam-i is also made with wheat noodles but with the addition of another noodle which was added by some cook when he ran out of noodles, but that happened after the dish was already introduced in Visayas. Lastly the names are almost similar, coincidence? It’s all up to you to decide.

Going back to Bam-I, like any other pancit recipes there are many ways to cook this, but one thing remains the same, the two noodles that it is prepared with. Another important aspect is that this dish, since it’s mostly served on occasions the ingredients won’t stop with two types of meats and vegetables, the more, the merrier, hence you see this dish usually prepared with at least 3 types of meat like Chinese sausage, pork, chicken, beef, prawns, squid, fish balls and squid balls to name some. In addition to that a variety of vegetables are used as well.


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Bam-i 3

Bam-i

  • Author: Raymund
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 25 mins
  • Total Time: 45 mins
  • Yield: 6-8 1x
  • Category: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Filipino

Description

Bam-I or pancit Bisaya is a Filipino stir-fried noodle dish cooked with different meat and vegetables together with two different noodles, glass noodles and egg noodles.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 300 g fresh Chinese egg noodles
  • 100 g sotanghon noodles
  • 1 cup pre-boiled chicken thighs, shredded
  • 1 cup pork belly, sliced
  • 15 pcs medium sized prawns, head and shells reserved
  • 1 cup rehydrated wood ear fungus, sliced
  • 1/4 head cabbage, sliced
  • 3 stalks spring onions, sliced
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 white onion, sliced
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • fish sauce
  • white pepper
  • oil

Instructions

  1. Soak sotanghon noodles in water for a maximum of 10 minutes. This makes it soft and easier to handle when cooking.
  2. Using a mortar and pestle pound the prawn shells and head, add 1/2 cup of chicken stock to the mixture, drain and press on a sieve to get the juices. Reserve the juice and discard the shells.
  3. Using a wok, heat oil add pork belly, cook in medium heat until brown on all sides.
  4. Add garlic and onions then sauté until onions are soft.
  5. Add cabbage and carrots, stir fry for 2 more minutes. Remove from wok stir fried pork and vegetables then set aside.
  6. Using the same wok, add chicken broth, reserved shrimp juice, soy sauce, wood ear fungus and shredded chicken bring to a boil.
  7. Once boiling add the sotanghon noodles then cook for 3 minutes while occasionally stirring.
  8. Add the Chinese egg noodles and prawns then stir fry for 5 more minutes or until noodles are cooked, add water if necessary.
  9. Bring back the vegetables, add the chopped spring onions, stir fry for a minute to combine.
  10. Season with fish sauce and white pepper then serve.

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10 Responses

  1. Such a fun name for a noodle dish. And it looks very tasty and moreish.

  2. What an incredible bowl of flavor! A few ingredients I will need to source after we reopen in Arizona (if everyone hasn’t gotten COVID…) I can almost taste the intensity of the flavors…

  3. Zaza says:

    This dish looks absolutely scrumptious!

  4. suituapui says:

    Can’t go wrong with those prawns, bet that tasted good!

  5. sherry says:

    this sounds really delicious raymund. yum to all those great flavours!

  6. Sarah says:

    I bet this is so flavorful! Looks just great!

  7. Hannah says:

    Noodles never fail! Especially with such a richly savory sauce, I can see why this recipe would be a big hit. I don’t know why more people don’t try combining different types of noodles in one dish, for more textural interest. I want to play with that concept now.

  8. This looks amazing. And pretty sure even my picky daughter would love it!

  9. Sammie says:

    This really is too similar to Indonesian Bakmie Goreng! It takes me back to my childhood where my grandma would prepare this! Thanks for sharing! And very inspired to now cook this 🙂

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