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Pancit

Pancit

Pancit is a beloved Filipino noodle dish.  It’s right up there with adobo and sisig. There are many versions of it, and this Pancit Bihon is one of my favorites. It’s a one pot wonder filled with tempting goodies like Chinese sausage, shrimp, chicken, pork and veggies; something for everyone! The ingredient list may look long, but it comes together quickly and feeds a crowd. It feels festive, looks impressive, and is perfect party food, so let’s get into it.

pancit ingredients

Pancit Noodles

There are two styles of Pancit-Pancit Canton and Pancit Bihon. The main difference is the noodle type. While Pancit Canton uses a lo mein style noodle made of wheat flour, Pancit Bihon favors use of thin rice noodles, sometimes called rick stick or rice vermicelli. Rice noodles make this dish easily gluten free (make sure to substitute gluten free sauce ingredients), and the noodles only need to be softened in a bowl of water before proceeding with the recipe. If you are at the Asian Grocery store faced with many types of rice sticks, choose one that is not superfine, but one that is a tiny bit thicker, like thin spaghetti. It has better texture for this dish and will not cook up as gooey as superfine noodles.

One bit of advice: I know it can be intimidating going into an Asian store where everything may look similar and it can be difficult finding help in English. If you are unsure of whether you are getting the right kind of noodle, read the ingredient list. Often the same item will carry different names depending on how it is being translated. Furthermore, a lot of white noodles look the same but are in fact made with different ingredients. So to be 100% sure, read the ingredient list. The ingredient should list only rice flour. If it reads mung bean flour, wheat starch, tapioca flour, or anything else, you are not buying the right package of noodles.

Making the Pancit Sauce

While the noodles soften, I start by mixing up the sauce. Pancit has a very straight forward flavor profile so there isn’t anything too exotic included. It’s tangy and savory from the soy sauce and oyster sauce. White and black pepper add both fruity and earthy flavors that I love.

white pepper pancit

Set It and Forget It

One of the things I love about this dish is how easy it is-everything gets piled together in one pot and then cooked. First veggies, then meats, then noodles. It’s the perfect set and forget it recipe. I’ve used this dutch oven technique before with my Mushroom Japchae. The secret is creating steam in the pot by adding some water and then cooking it long enough with a closed lid so the dish steams first and then sautés once the liquid has been cooked off.

You can prep the dish, then clean up and get the table ready while the noodles cook away on the stove. I’ve even prepped this dish earlier in the day and left it in the fridge until dinner time. I love the fact that you do not have to cook ingredients individually or dirty a bunch of bowls to put out the ingredients. Just chop and layer your pot with the ingredients as you go.

Prepping the Pancit Veggies

 

onion pancit

cabbage shreds

matchsticks

green beans

Once the veggies are cut and put into the pot, I mix in the minced garlic, water, and oil. The oil coats the vegetables which helps to keep them from burning and the water creates the steam that will cook the ingredients quickly. Toss everything well with your hands to make sure all of the veg is well coated with the oily water.

Prepping the Meat for Pancit

Now that the base of veggies is ready, I quickly chop up the meats and add them to the pot as well. The key to this Pancit Bihon is to keep all of the ingredients roughly the same size so they cook at the same pace. Because you will not be adjusting the cooking as you go, you need everything to finish cooking around the same time. Also, make sure you separate the pieces of meat as you add them to the pot. Wet, raw proteins have a tendency to cling together as they cook, so if you just toss them into the pot, you will end up with one big ball of meat that’s probably raw in the middle and difficult to pick apart.

Cooking the Pancit

Now it’s time to add the noodles, sauce, and shrimp to the pot and cook it up. I put the shrimp at the very top because they cook very quickly and you do not want them to be tough and rubbery. For that reason, pick large shrimp for this dish. If you only have small shrimp, do not add them until the dish is almost done cooking. They will only need a couple of minutes of cooking time.

shrimp

Once you have everything in the pot, add the lid, turn the heat onto medium, and cook the Pancit undisturbed for 12 minutes. Trust the cooking process and resist the urge to peek. Every time you open the lid, you are letting heat escape which will not only delay the cooking time, but also affect the dish.

When you take the lid off after 12 minutes, the shrimp should look pink and cooked through. Give everything a good toss with tongs and check to make sure the noodles are cooked through. If you’re using thicker noodles, and they still taste a bit firm, you may need a couple more minutes of cooking time. Put the lid back on and continue cooking until the noodles are cooked through.

I always take a quick taste and add a little salt or pepper if it needs extra seasoning. Then pile a serving platter with the pancit and garnish with the scallions and a squeeze of lemon.

This is an excellent dish for the picnics, potlucks, and holidays; everyone loves noodles! Pancit bihon tastes great hot, warm, and at room temperature. Plus, leftovers make a wonderful lunch the next day too. Let me know what you think by commenting on the recipe, and tag us in your pics @funkyasiankitchen, we love hearing from you!

feature pancit

 

 

 

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recipe pancit

Pancit

  • Author: Funky Asian Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: serves 6
  • Category: Main
  • Cuisine: filipino

Ingredients

Scale
  • 4 Tablespoons neutral oil
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ large onion
  • ½ head small cabbage
  • 1 large carrot
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 ½ ounces (small handful) green beans
  • 6 ounces boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 6 ounces boneless pork shoulder country ribs (any pork that’s not too lean is fine)
  • 2 ½ ounces dried chinese sausage (2 links)
  • 10 ounces thin dried rice noodles (also called rice stick)
  • 6 ounces shrimp (large is best so it doesn’t overcook)

Garnish:

  • Minced scallions
  • Lemon wedges 

Sauce:

  • 4 Tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 6 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons neutral oil (I like avocado)
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground white pepper

Instructions

  1. Soak the noodles in water for 10-12 minutes until softened. Then drain and set aside.
  2. Make the sauce by mixing the oyster sauce, soy sauce, oil, ground black pepper, and white pepper together. Set aside.
  3. Peel the onion. Cut the onion into thin slices and place into a 5-6 quart dutch oven or equally large heavy pot. 
  4. Core the cabbage and then slice it into thin shreds, like coleslaw. Add it to the onions.
  5. Peel the carrot and cut it into thin slices. Stack the slices and cut through them again to create thick matchsticks. Place the carrots into the pot.
  6. Cut the green beans on an angle similar in size to the carrots. Place them into the pot with the other vegetables. 
  7. Add the minced garlic, water, and oil and toss the vegetables together making sure to coat them well with the oily water.
  8. Cut the pork into small pieces and then into thin strips and add it to the pot, making sure to separate the strips.
  9. Next cut the chicken into similar sized strips and place it in the pot, again taking care to separate the individual pieces so they won’t clump together while cooking.
  10. Cut the sausage into small coins and add it to the other meats.
  11. Place the drained noodles on top of the meats and pour the sauce on top of the noodles evenly.
  12. Arrange the shrimp on top of the noodles and place the lid on the pot.
  13. Put the pot on the stove on medium heat and cook for 12 minutes.
  14. Take the lid off and mix the ingredients well with a pair of tongs.
  15. Depending on the thickness of the rice noodles, you may need to cook the noodles a little longer. Take a quick taste to check. If the noodles are done, continue cooking with the lid off for another minute to cook off some of the excess liquid, using tongs to mix the noodles with the ingredients. If the noodles are still a little firm, put the lid back on and continue cooking for an additional 3-5 minutes.
  16. Taste the pancit and add a little salt or pepper if it needs additional seasoning.
  17. Transfer pancit to a platter and garnish with minced scallions and lemon wedges. Serve immediately.

Keywords: noodles, rice noodles, filipino, chinese sausage, shrimp, party food



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