If by any chance I am asked, what is the Filipino comfort food? I have only one answer: Pancit! Pancit is the generic term for noodles in the Philippines. Made of rice flour, it comes in different varieties and sizes. The most common version is Pancit Bihon as shown in the photo above.
I don’t think you’ll ever find a Filipino who doesn’t love pancit. Come to any birthday party, anniversary party, or whatever reason you may have to celebrate this dish is sure to be there. We eat it anytime of the day – lunch, dinner, snacks and, yes, even for breakfast. Well, at least I do! It’s just my number one comfort food.
My mom makes the best pancit and am so proud to say it! Ask anyone from Gasan, Marinduque particularly those who have studied at Gasan Central School and they are sure to agree. So, everytime my mom visits me in the US, she is required to make this for us many times (at least once a week!) . The problem though is that my mother never uses any kind of measurement when she cooks. She just has the knack for it! She knows how much ingredient to put in to achieve the perfect balance of saltiness with a small hint of sweetness. I do miss her cooking when she’s away!
I try my best to promote Filipino recipes whenever I can so when we have people over, I always have pancit on the menu. So far, no one has ever complained (or gotten sick!) and a few have even requested for the recipe. Also, it is gluten-free, no need to use wheat for this recipe.
Here’s my attempt to do Pancit. I have specific measurements here to leave out any guesswork but let this serve as your guide and tweak it to your liking. Hope you like it!
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 onion, chopped
Shredded cooked (pre-boiled) chicken – (Use 1 breast or 2 thighs).
1 1/2 cups of any two of these
veggies, chopped (except for snow peas): carrots, green beans, snow peas and cabbage (I prefer using carrots and green beans)
2 (8 oz) packs of Pansit Bihon (Rice Noodles)- can be found in Asian stores – look for the Philippine
Note: If you do not have wheat or egg allergy try this 2 noodles combo – replace one pack of Bihon noodles with another 8 oz pack of Pansit Canton (Egg-Wheat Noodles) Philippine Brand. Of course, you can use other Asian brands but the Philippine brands I have tried and tested for this recipe. Other Asian brand of noodles (especially the Bihon variety) may take longer to cook and may have to be soaked in water first before using.
5 Tbsp dark soy sauce (regular or wheat/gluten-free)
1 1/2 Tbsp oyster
sauce (regular or gluten-free)
2 tsp sugar
Salt and pepper, to taste
Boil the chicken breast or thighs in just a little over 3 cups of water (or enough water to cover the meat). Cook until tender. Reserve about 3 cups of the stock. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred them or chop into small pieces. Set aside.
Heat oil in a big wok. Saute garlic and onion for a minute. Add the
cooked chicken and season with a little salt and pepper.
Stir in the
veggies and cook for another 3-4 minutes or until a little tender.
Pour about 2
1/2 cups of the chicken stock into the wok. Season with the soy and oyster sauces and sugar. Bring to a boil.
When it begins to boil add the rice noodles. Stir to ensure it gets soaked in the sauce. When it starts to soften a
bit stir in the egg/wheat noodles/Canton (if using). Continue to stir the noodles while trying to
soak them in the sauce until all the liquid has dried up.
Add some more
stock or water if the sauce dries up before the noodles are tender. Adjust
seasoning if necessary. Don’t forget the calamansi (or lemon/lime) – squeeze a few drops on your noodles for some tang! Enjoy!
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