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Friday, February 12, 2010

Misua: A Favorite Comfort Food

I wasn't feeling well the whole day today.  I don't know why but when I woke up this morning, my head was throbbing with pain.  I took some paracetamol and decided to go back to bed.  I woke up before noon and my headache was still there, and I already have a stuffy nose.

I asked our house help to cook some misua, a soup with pork, Chinese noodles and a vegetable called patola.  I don't know the exact English name for patola but its fruit slightly resembles a cucumber with ridges.  I think this is the same vegetable which, when fully matured,  is dried and turned into a cleaning sponge for bathing called loofa.

Anyway, misua along with rice porridge are two of my favorite comfort foods. I can still remember that when we were still small children, our mother would cook either misua or porridge whenever we have fever and have no appetite to eat.  Back then, mother would put dried shrimps called hibe instead of pork and patola to put a little flavor to the soup.  The belief then was not to give sick people oily food or they will throw up.

Later, I found out  that most of my friends and other people of my age were also given either misua or porridge when they were sick as children.  Perhaps this is why many of us, consider these two food as food for the infirm.

But I love  misua, especially when it is prepared with patola.  The vegetable adds a sweet flavor to the soup.  The secret of course is not to put too much water while cooking and let the juice of the fruit come out and mix with the broth.  I enjoy this soup especially on cold rainy nights and if there are still enough soup left, I still have it as breakfast the following day.

That is why when I was not feeling well today, I had several bowls of the soup throughout the day.  Every bowl made me feel better as the level of my headache and stuffy nose was relieved.  I think I will have another one before I go to sleep tonight.

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