Most Asian delicacies are either served with rice or noodles which is said to bring longer life for the person who eats it. These long strands of pasta sticks boiled until it’s soft is one of the main ingredients for meals from Japan down to Singapore.
There is a number of noodle recipes that are in demand in Filipino meals. It can be served as a regular family meal and even on special occasions making it one of the mostly used element in Filipino recipes. This also proves that pancit or pancit, which is the local name for noodles, is on of the most favored food in the country.
Early Filipinos learned to cook pancit from the enterprising Chinese merchants. The latter called their indigenous food as pian i sit, which is a Hokkien term for “convenient food”. After hundreds of years, pian i sit was assimilated into the local culinary menu and becomes more than a convenient food.
Try making this unique Filipino noodle dish now. Here is how you do it:
1 pack, 500-gram pancit noodles
1 ½ cups pork meat, thinly sliced
¾ cups sliced chorizo
3 cups chicken stock
¼ cabbage head, chopped
3 pieces carrots, chopped into thin strips (julienned)
1 cup snow pea (sitcharo)
2 ½ tablespoon oyster sauce
3 to 4 ½ tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon salt
A dash of pepper to taste
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 bulb onion, sliced
1 to 2 cloves of minced garlic
Cooking oil for sauteing and frying
¼ to ½ cup shrimp, shelled and deveined
Procedures for cooking:
Prepare two pans separately; one for sauteing garlic and onion and the other for blanching vegetables. See to it that the vegetables are not over-blanch so it does not lose its crunchiness.
After blanching the cabbage, carrots and snow pea, set it aside. While letting the vegetables sit, you can use the other pan to sizzle the pork meat until its golden brown then add chorizo.
After frying the meat, add in the oyster sauce, soy sauce and chicken stock. Let it simmer for 16 to 18 minutes. (If you decide to add shrimps and parsley in your pancit, add them into the second pan after the meat simmers.)
Sprinkle some salt and pepper to add more flavor then add in the pancit noodles. Continue cooking until the stock has been absorbed by the noodles then add the blanched vegetables.
Mix it with the other ingredients evenly. Make sure not to overcook it because the noodles might stick on the pan. Remove the pan from the fire and serve it hot.
For Filipinos, pancit canton can be served any time of the day. Most eat it during their meals and afternoon snacks (merienda). Virtually every province in the country has their own version of it. Each is claiming they have the best-tasting pancit in the country.
Traditionally, pancit is served on birthdays, important celebrations like fiestas, and during New Year’s Eve. The popular belief is it delivers both long life and good health to the person eating and his family as well.
Either you subscribe to that belief or not, the best way of eating it is not to cut the noodles short. Enjoy eating it using your fork – like pasta – and savor its delicious taste. Next time you visit the country or have a Filipino friend visit you, don’t forget to ask one of the tastiest meals in the Filipino recipes – pancit canton.