Filipino food

Mami and ramen? This new ‘Mamen’ combines the best of both soup worlds

Steph Arnaldo
Mami and ramen? This new ‘Mamen’ combines the best of both soup worlds
This Filipino resto's rich and flavorful combo of mami and ramen comes as a pleasant soup-rise!

MANILA, Philippines – This hybrid may come as a soup-rise to many, but the mami-ramen combination actually works!

The meet-cute of the Filipino classic and Japanese staple is the Mamen, homegrown resto Kuya J’s latest menu offering. It’s a hearty, flavorful soup that combines the typical egg noodles of our mami and the consistency and complexity of a good ramen broth.

BIDA MAMEN. Photo courtesy of Kuya J’s

As someone who isn’t a hardcore fan of ramen, I surprisingly enjoyed this hearty, flavorful soup – it has that nostalgic warmth and distinct “beefiness” of mami and its signature thick egg noodles, combined with the smooth yet slurp-y consistency of good ‘ol ramen broth. It’s a comforting companion to the rainy weather, especially since the flavors don’t taste unfamiliar at all – it’s like an elevated version of mami, and a localized version of ramen.

PORK MAMEN. Photo courtesy of Kuya J’s

The Mamen’s two variants are Pork and Spicy Chicken (don’t worry, it’s not that spicy). The Pork Mamen is rich and robust – it’s got a pork bone broth that’s cooked for more than 10 hours to really squeeze out all those meaty juices, with mami egg noodles and steamed bok choy added into the mix. A huge cut of slow-cooked, marinated, grilled pork belly is placed on top (similar to chashu) for a smoky addition.

SPICY CHICKEN MAMEN. Photo courtesy of Kuya J’s

The Spicy Chicken Mamen also uses the same rich pork bone broth, but is milder in terms of “meatiness,” since stir-fried ground chicken is used as the main meat (still tasty, nonetheless)! A house-made chili oil is drizzled on top for some heat, which you can customize from level 1 (mild) to level 3 (hot). As someone not so keen on spicy food, level 1 was just right for me.

A bowl of Kuya J’s Bida Mamen costs P239 for dine-in orders and is available to order in all Kuya J branches in Metro Manila also for take-out or delivery via website. – Rappler.com

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Steph Arnaldo

If she’s not writing about food, she’s probably thinking about it. From advertising copywriter to freelance feature writer, Steph Arnaldo finally turned her part-time passion into a full-time career. She’s written about food, lifestyle, and wellness for Rappler since 2018.