Filipino Pancit as a recipe is a little confusing, as it is the name of the dish and also one of the ingredients. Pancit is the word for noodles and to add to the confusion there are different types of Pancit, with Pancit Canton—egg noodles, Pancit Bihon—rice noodles and Pancit Miki—thick egg noodles.
This recipe is using the Canton, the egg noodles as they are the easiest to work with and ones which are possibly the most familiar. An excellent oriental supermarket will sell the Pancit but be aware that Pancit Canton can also be instant noodles already spiced and ready to eat. Look for a packet of plain dried noodles and if you can't find them, then use Chinese egg noodles the thickness of fresh spaghetti.
As with most noodle dishes, the vegetables are stir-fried quickly to retain all they goodness, color and snap, that is the same here. You choose what you like, but traditionally there will be sliced cabbage, thin slivers of carrots, bell peppers and onions as a starting point.
Make traditional pancit with meats (pork is very popular), shrimp or only vegetables; the method is the same except the cooking times will be longer for the meat.
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 cups mixed vegetables (chopped)
- 1 onion (thinly sliced)
- 2 cloves garlic (peeled and minced)
- ½ teaspoon ginger (minced)
- 1 cup medium-sized shrimp (peeled)
- 2 ½ cups chicken broth
- 8-ounces dried Pancit Canton noodles
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
Heat the oil in a large wok or deep, heavy skillet. Add the chopped vegetables and onion, wok fry for three minutes over high heat. Add the garlic and fry for one minute more.
Add the ginger and the shrimp and continue to stir-fry until the shrimp have turned pink and are cooked through, this will only take a few minutes.
Add the broth and bring to a boil, then add the pancit canton noodles. Stir gently to help soften the noodles, once softened reduce the heat and cook for five minutes for the noodles to soak up the broth
Finally, when the noodles are cooked and the broth well-reduced, add the soy and the fish sauce, taste and adjust with more of either depending on your taste.
Serve the cooked pancit in large, warmed bowls, spoon out the noodles, shrimp and vegetables then spoon over the broth. Garnish with finely chopped cilantro if you wish.
The quickest way to vary the pancit recipe is to change the vegetables, or the meat, fish, or noodles. The method though is similar for all, a stir-fry of vegetables, meats or fish and a tasty broth to cook it in.
Add tiny cubes of pork or beef rather than shrimp, or sliver of chicken breast. Switch out the shrimp for crab, lobster meat or any meaty fish chopped into small pieces; these will not be authentic recipes but will still taste good.
Types of Pancit
There are three types of pancit to try. Which will be your favorite?
Pancit Bihon - thin rice noodles
Pancit Canton - egg and wheat noodles
Pancit Miki Guisado - thick egg noodles