Wednesday, March 21, 2012
My mother-in-law was born in the Philippines, and raised in Hawaii. Over the last 20 years, I have been introduced to many yummy dishes that are popular with Eric's family. My two favorites are Pancit and Lumpia (Filipino eggrolls). Pancit is like spaghetti, in that, the exact recipe differs from family to family. My version may be very different from yours. The measurements are vague and it is made to taste. Here is my version as learned from all the Aunties.
1 whole boneless/skinless chicken breast (about 1.5 lbs)- or thighs if you wish
1 small onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
toasted sesame oil
2 cups water
4 medium carrots peeled and cut into matchsticks
half a head of green cabbage, cut into medium pieces
msg-free oyster sauce
reduced-sodium soy sauce
8 oz. pkg. pancit canton noodles (flour sticks) or your favorite asian noodle
1 pkg. rice noodles (rice threads) or your favorite thin rice pasta
chopped green onions
I like to use my 5 qt. cast iron Dutch oven.
This batch makes enough for my family of 6 plus leftovers.
Preheat your cast iron on med-high. Add a little sesame oil and the chicken breasts. Turn down to medium heat. Let the chicken cook, turning half way through, until just done. Leave the chicken in the pan and shred it with the side of a wooden spatula. Add the chopped onion, garlic, and about 2-3 tablespoons each of soy sauce and oyster sauce. Simmer until the onion softens a bit, and then add about 2 cups of water. Let this come to a nice simmer. Check for taste. The flavor should be quite salty and strong. It will balance out when the noodles are added.
The rice threads need to be soaked for 30 minutes in very hot water, Do this now.
Let the chicken mixture simmer for about 15 minutes, and then add the matchstick carrots.
Let this cook for about 10 minutes.
While the chicken is simmering, prepare the pancit noodles. They are cooked a very short time, like 3 minutes until al dente. Rinse, drain, and set aside.
Add the cabbage to the chicken/carrot mixture. Cook 5 minutes and cover. Turn off heat.
After the 30 minutes, rinse and drain the rice threads, and use kitchen shears to cut then into shorter pieces.
In to the chicken mixture, add both types of noodles and toss to combine evenly all the flavors. Cover this for about 5 minutes, to let the noodles finish cooking and soaking up the juices.
At this point I usually taste it to see if more soy sauce or oyster sauce is needed for flavor. I usually end up adding a bit more.
I garnish the top with green onions and serve immediately.
Trust me on the noodle thing. Even though it seems like we have not precooked them very much, this type of noodle will become soggy very easily. Adding the noodles to the hot chicken mixture really does cook them just perfectly. If you choose to use a traditional pasta cook to al dente per the package instructions.
In the past, we have also added baby shrimp, cooked egg, ham, anything that you have that sounds good. The vegetable medley of carrot, onion, cabbage always stays the same though. The oyster sauce is really what gives the distinctive flavor, don't leave it out.
I hope that I have given enough detail.........it really is a vague sort of recipe that evolves depending on what each family likes.
Have a blessed day, Tami