Pancit Parade

Fellow food blogger Marvin of Burnt Lumpia lamented that I made no mention of Filipino noodles in my article Oodles of Noodles. So I dedicate this blog post to him–Marvin, this one’s for you!

Now, no two Filipino families make pancit the same. In fact, there are several different types of pancit: pancit miki, pancit Malabon, pancit luglug, pancit sotanghon, etc. In the Filipino vernacular, pancit simply refers to noodles. 

And for fear of a Pinoy uprising, I’d like to clarify that I’m not saying this is the definitive way to make pancit. This recipe below is actually an amalgamation of two recipes, one from Aunty Neneng, and another from my friend Tisa Escobar’s mother.

Here are some other variations/tips on cooking this popular dish:

  • Instead of using both vermicelli and egg noodles, either or is fine too.
  • Boil the chicken first and then shred it, adding the cooked chicken in at the end. The stock can be used as below.
  • Instead of pre-cooking the noodles, after the meat and veggies have browned, add chicken stock followed by the uncooked noodles and cook them right in the wok.

  • Use any combination of meat or seafood you like: everything from shrimp to lap cheong (Chinese sausage).

  • Same goes for the vegetables–bean sprouts, long beans, snow peas, etc., all work well in pancit.

  • If using fresh egg noodles, blanching in boiling water and draining removes most of the salt and excess oil.

  • Not everyone uses toyomansi (see below) which is soy sauce combined with calamansi (also spelled kalamansi), a citrus fruit native to the Philippines. Read Marvin’s ode to the fruit here. You can use plain soy sauce and/or oyster sauce.

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If you have some pancit tips, please drop me a comment!

Hybridized Pancit 

Time: 35 minutes
Makes: 6-8 servings

8 oz dried vermicelli (rice noodles) (1/2 package)

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8 oz pancit canton noodles (you can also use Chinese egg noodles)

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2 tablespoons vegetable oil (I like canola)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, chopped finely (about 1-1/2 cups)
1 pound chicken breast or thigh, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/4 cup toyomansi (if you don’t have toyomansi, use 1/2 cup soy sauce and squeeze in 1 to 2 tablespoons of lemon or lime juice to taste)
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 head small cabbage, shredded (about 4 cups)
2 large carrots, peeled and shredded (about 1-1/2-2 cups)
2 stalks celery, trimmed and chopped
2 stalks green onions, cut into ‘O’s (optional for garnish)

Soak rice noodles in warm water for 10-15 minutes until soft, then cut into 4-inch lengths. Place the egg noodles in a large heat-proof bowl. Pour boiling water to cover. Let stand 1 minute. Drain and set aside.

In a wok or large skillet, stir fry garlic and onions in oil until fragrant and onions are translucent, about 2 minutes, over medium-high heat. Add chicken and fry until no longer pink. Add toyomansi and soy sauce. Toss to coat chicken. Add vegetables and stir fry until cabbage wilts. 

Add noodles and keep stir frying until well coated and heated through. I know it looks very unprofessional but I recommend using the two-handed method to evenly toss the noodles like below.

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Add water or stock a few tablespoons at a time if noodles are looking too dry. Test rice noodles for doneness. Scatter green onions for garnish and serve.

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