Hot Soup for Vigor
Elena Peña (The Freeman) - February 7, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — During my college days in Cebu, there was a soup that was quite a go-to for those of us who needed a quick boost of energy. True enough, it would almost instantly perk us up to face a day at school. It was a delicious hot soup called Maki.

To this day, Maki soup is served at old Chinese restaurants in the city, especially those along Manalili Street. It is a very thick soup made with fluffy tender pork pieces and has the consistency similar to that of raw egg white. The soup is very filling by itself, without need for rice or bread.

Pork tenderloin is the usual choice of main ingredient for Maki, because it is tender and takes less time to cook. The pork, cut into bite-size pieces, is first marinated in soy sauce, pepper and other seasonings. The pork pieces are then dropped and cooked in boiling brown broth.

Tapioca starch is used to thicken the broth. Maki can also go with noodles or ramen, in which case its name becomes Maki-Mi. The noodles are simply added to the Maki towards the end of the cooking or the hot Maki poured over it.

The thick soup with tender and flavorful pork pieces is not only satisfying but also good to have on a cold windy day. Maybe the current damp weather is a good time to try it. To make delicious Maki soup at home, the website shares the following recipe:



½ kg Pork Tenderloin, sliced and cut to bite-size pieces

4 pcs dried Shiitake Mushrooms

4 cups Beef Stock

1 cup Hot Water

½ cup Tapioca Starch

Soy Sauce

2 Egg Yolks

2 tbsp Chinese Cooking Wine

1 tbsp light Soy Sauce

3 tbsp Cornstarch

½ tsp Baking Soda

2 cloves Garlic, minced

Spring Onions, chopped


Black Pepper, preferably freshly ground


1. Using the back of the knife or a meat mallet, pound the meat slices a bit to tenderize it further. This step is needed to have a fluffy meat texture and let the starch cling easily.

2. In a bowl, mix together light soy sauce, Chinese cooking wine, garlic, baking soda, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Once evenly mixed, add sliced pork then set it aside for at least 30 minutes. Place pork pieces on a plate, sprinkle cornstarch on one side, turn over then sprinkle remaining cornstarch on the other side.

3. Rehydrate shiitake mushrooms in a cup of hot water. Once mushrooms are soft, chop it and then set it aside.

4. In a pot, pour water from rehydrated mushrooms, beef stock, chopped mushrooms and soy sauce for color, bring it to a boil; then once boiling, drop pork pieces one at a time to avoid sticking.

5. Mix together tapioca starch and ½ cup water, gently pour it on the soup a tablespoon at a time; and once desired consistency is achieved, set heat to low.

6. Add egg yolks and mildly stir soup to form strands.

7. Add sesame oil, and then season with salt if needed. Garnish with spring onion.

Serve hot. Enjoy.

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