Sunday, April 19, 2009

Mom's pancit recipe.

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I always feel really cool when I make pancit, probably because not many people other than Filipino moms know how to cook pancit. It's like having a secret key to someplace really special, and no one else can get in without you. And everyone wants in. Friends, I'm giving you the key.

Filipino cooking isn't an exact science, and the recipe below certainly isn't an exact formula. Add vegetables and seasonings according to your own tastes. Pancit has a very mild flavor, so be sure not to go crazy with the soy sauce. Pork can be substituted for the chicken, or added with the chicken if you're into that sort of thing. Make it vegetarian by eliminating the meat and oyster sauce and using vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. Add tofu if you want.

pancit, before the noodles

Be prepared to become very popular after sharing pancit with others. People will try it at a party and spend the rest of the night saying, "Who made this? It's awesome." And then they'll track you down and corner you and invite to their house next weekend. They weren't planning on throwing a party next weekend, but they will if you come. Just be sure to bring some pancit.



Pancit Bihon
This feeds a lot of people. I suggest throwing a party and serving this dish. Or bring it to a potluck. Everyone will love you. 

You can find Bihon rice noodles at any Filipino grocery store and most Asian grocery stores. If you can't find them, you can substitute angel hair pasta, broken in half and cooked in the chicken broth/water/soy sauce mixture, below. I often use angel hair if I'm making pancit as a quick weeknight meal for me and Murdo, when I want to skip the step of soaking the noodles and reduce the quantity significantly.

Chinese sausage is a very fatty pork sausage that adds a salty bite to the dish. It can be found at most Asian grocery stores, usually in the frozen meat section. 

I've also made this dish vegetarian by using veggie broth instead of chicken broth, soy sauce instead of oyster sauce, omitting all the meat, and adding firm tofu (marinated in soy sauce, sauteed beforehand in garlic, and added along with the rest of the veggies). 

1 package (16 ounces) Bihon rice noodles
2 tbs vegetable oil
3 medium carrots, sliced thinly into 1-inch matchsticks
1/2 medium cabbage, sliced
2-3 celery stalks, sliced
2 cups pea pods, sliced diagonal
1 medium onion, sliced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 can chicken broth
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup oyster sauce (can be substituted with 1/4 cup soy sauce)
1 chicken breast, sliced small and seasoned with lemon pepper
1/2 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined with tails off (optional)
3 links of Chinese sausage, thinly sliced (this is optional but I strongly recommend adding it)
lemon wedges or lemon pepper (these are definitely not optional)

In a large pot or wok, brown garlic and Chinese sausage in oil. Add the onion and chicken. When the chicken juices start to run, add the shrimp and cook until almost done. Add oyster sauce and black pepper and stir to coat. Stir in pea pods, carrots, and celery, and cook until slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in cabbage and cook another 2-3 minutes, until cabbage is slightly wilted. Season with a generous squeeze of lemon.

Meanwhile, soak the rice noodles in water for about 5 minutes, or until soft. In a large pot, boil chicken broth, water and soy sauce. Add the rice noodles and lower the heat. Stir to keep the noodles from sticking. When soft, spoon the noodles into the veggie mixture, reserving any extra broth. Toss the noodles, veggies and meats together, adding more broth as needed.

Serve with lemon wedges.

23 comments:

  1. Oh, I love this stuff! I grew up on it too but we just called it fried beehoon!

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  2. White Boy taste tip: It is quite delicious as is, but I find that adding lots of lemon pepper makes it perfect. So, season with lemon pepper to taste, and then shovel huge forkfuls at a time into your mouth. I mean HUGE-you get the full effect that way. One of my favorite Filipino dishes.

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  3. That looks really colourful! I've never tried it, but it looks like the type of dish I'd enjoy.

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  4. MMMMMMM...Your mom's pancit looks delicious! Yum!
    We love our mom's recipes, don't we!!
    Sure successes!!

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  5. I have to try this!
    It's really easy and looks great.
    Nice shots : )
    I'll show you when I'll cook it.

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  6. su-lin - isn't it funny the names we give certain foods when we're younger? i'm still learning the real names of foods i grew up with!

    murdo - thanks for the tip, love. lemon pepper definitely gives it an extra kick, but a simple squeeze of lemon is more mild.

    katie - i've never met anyone who doesn't enjoy pancit! give it a try!

    sophie - there's nothing more special than a recipe from mom. i need to get her to write them all down!

    190.arch - yes, definitely try it! it'll make a great lunch. :) can't wait to see your version.

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  7. I'm definitely going to try this. I've never had pancit before, but I have friends over all the time for dinner, so this will be good. I'll let you know how it goes.

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  8. I just made pancit bihon for my sister's b-day, although she's in CA and I'm in Minnesota! Still, it was tradition. Love all kinds of pancit!

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  9. brittany - definitely try it and keep me updated!

    tangled noodle - can't go wrong with noodles and veggies. :)

    modern crush - why thank you. and welcome!

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  10. The amazing things you find doing a google! Recipe looks amazing, I might just make the 100+ round trip to Boston's Chinatown to find supplies! The last few place I've lived -- New Hampshire and South Australia have a noticeable lack of Filipino food and very few Filipinos. I slobber at the thought of pancit, adobo, sinigang.. yum..

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  11. Where am I going to get Chinese sausage????????????????

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    1. You can get Chinese sausage at your local Asian grocery store, usually in the frozen meats aisle or the refrigerated section. If you can't find it, I've seen a recipe that uses bacon, instead.

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  12. made this receipie last night. super spot on - tasted like my childhood. thumbs up on this and props to your moms.

    p.s. there isn't a single link of chinese sausage in the world that isn't chalk full of MSG. there, i said it.

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  13. Another way is to replace the lemon pepper and soy sauce w/ "toyomansi". It's a mixture of calamansi (lemon taste) and soy sauce.

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  14. The best pancit recipe I have found online! My parents make a mean pancit but never can give me the correct measurements since they go by taste every time they make their filipino dishes....this recipe comes the closest! Now I can print and keep so hopefully my children's children can know how to make it! Thank you, Thank you!

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    1. this comment makes me so happy! My parents are the same way -- they never use measurements, so if I ever want a recipe from them I have to watch them cook and take notes. Or, just wing it in my own kitchen until the dish looks/smells/tastes like theirs. Thanks for dropping a line!

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  15. This looks great! But it looks like there is canton noodles in the pancit too. Ive seen people cook canton noodles for a couple of minutes and others for almost an hour! How would you or your mom cook it?

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    1. Oops, sorry for the super late reply .... canton noodles are thicker than bihon, and yes, before I updated the photos in this post, the original photo showed my mom's version, with a mix of canton and bihon. I believe my mom soaks the canton along with the bihon and cooks them all together, but I'm not positive. I've only cooked with bihon.

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  16. We usually squeeze a little kalamasi juice on ours. I've tried lime juice and it works nicely. Also - we use longganisa sausage, not lap cheong.
    YMMV

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  17. Looks like the pandit my mom made. Yum! Thanks!!

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  18. This looks just like the Pancit my best friend use to make. I have to try this recipe. I found the Bihon at the regular grocery store. My Bf said if you are in a super rush you can use cole slaw mix for veggies add onion and celery. I found an Asian cole slaw blend making Pancit tomorrow whoo hoo! Thank you for the awesome recipe post!

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  19. Oh I forgot to say yes when you make this be prepared You Have Been Warned LOL You will be Very Very popular. People who say they don't like Asian food will follow you around for the last bite of your pancit with this recipe if it's as good as it looks.

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