After living in the city for 30 years, EC moved to the countryside. He writes about life in the mountains, dogs, plants, and cooking.
The Philippines had been a Spanish colony for several centuries but the Chinese merchants were among the first people to set foot on this country. The Filipinos find the interesting and delicious array of most Chinese dishes healthy and fulfilling so they learned to cook them with the ingredients available at home.
The most popular Chinese-Filipino dish is the Pancit Guisado -- sauteed rice noodles (bihon) or egg noodles (canton). Meat ingredients may vary from chicken to pork and shrimp to squid. Knowing how to cook pancit is a must in every Filipino household.
Pancit bihon is considered as one of the favorite everyday staples. Pancit canton is made very easy to prepare when manufactured as an instant noodle product. Just boil the dried noodle in water and blend in the powder seasonings included in the packet with cooked noodles.
The second in the Top 3 list is the Siomai -- considered as the current 'darling of public consumers' because siomai is has just turned as one of the best-selling street foods like the fishball. It is mixture of meat and veggies rolled in molo wrapper and steamed until cooked. The original ingredient was shrimp but pork was preferred for easy and quick preparation. Best served with a dip made of chili paste, soy sauce, and calamansi.
The third runner-up is the Lumpia Shanghai -- also a mix of meat and veggies rolled in rice wrappers and fried until crispy gold. Choices for dip: sweet chili sauce and sweet chili vinaigrette dressing.
Quick and Easy Siomai Recipe
- 1 kilo ground lean pork meat
- 2 pieces large egg
- 1 medium white turnip, finely chopped
- 1 medium carrot, finely chopped
- 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
- 10 stalks spring onion, finely chopped
- 2 boullion cubes, pork flavor
- ground pepper and salt, according to taste
- a dash of soy sauce (optional -- only for color)
- 1 cup flour
- 3 packs medium-sized molo wrapper
Simple Steps to Make Siomai
- In a bowl, melt the crushed boullion cubes while lightly beating the eggs. Mix in the ground pepper, salt, and soy sauce. Fold in the ground pork and blend thoroughly.
- Add the veggies to meat mixture: turnip, carrot, red onion, and spring onion.
- Flour is sprinkled in small amount while mixing to distribute stickiness.
- Leave inside the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Shape 1 teaspoon of siomai into a ball at the center of a molo sheet and wrap the mixture by sticking the edges on top.
- Arrange the wrapped siomai on oiled surface of steamer pot.
- Steam for 30 to 45 minutes. Serve hot with dip.
Note: Siomai wrappers turn brittle when exposed to air. Do not unpack when not ready to use.
Hot Chili Sauce: Put 1 cup chopped red chili and 1/2 cup vegetable oil in a pan. Stir-in 1 Tbsp sugar and let simmer for 30 minutes over low heat.
Pancit Bihon - Bijon Guisado
5-Ingredient Recipe: Everyday Pancit Bihon
- 200 grams pork meat, cubed
- 1 500-gram pack Rice Noodles
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 small cabbage, cut to strips
Seasonings: soy sauce, ground pepper and salt
5-Step Guide: How to Cook Pancit Bihon
- With a small amount of vegetable oil in a wok, stir-fry the pork cubes over low-medium heat until golden brown.
- Over low heat, sauté garlic until golden. Stir in onions until transparent. Add the seasonings, according to taste. Cover and simmer for 2 minutes. Stir occasionally to avoid burning.
- Mix in 4 cups of water. Cover and let boil for 5 minutes over medium-high heat.
- Add rice noodles. Stir and flip over until noodles goes limp and well-coated with soy sauce mixture.
- Fold in the cabbage strips and mix until half-cooked and well-blended. Remove from heat. Serve hot.
Optional: Garnish with sliced boiled eggs and shrimps.
Additional ingredients may include chicken meat, chicken liver, and pork liver. Vegetables that can be added are carrots, snow peas, chayote, green beans, and celery.
To enhance flavor, add boullion cubes and wild mushrooms (taingang-daga).
How to Cook Special Pancit Canton
- Over medium-high heat, measure 2 cooking spoonful of vegetable oil in a large wok. Stir-fry garlic. Add onion, when garlic starts smelling good.
- Over high heat, stir-fry pork strips, chicken meat, chicken liver, pork liver, shrimps, squid balls, and kikiam. Keep on stirring energetically to avoid burning.
- Stir-in mushroom, spring onion, and celery.
- Pour 2 cups water and cover until it boils. Mix 3 Tbsp cornstarch in 2 cups water then pour into the wok.
- Add the egg noodles and the Chinese pechay. Use a couple of cooking spoon to blend all the ingredients well.
- Serve hot.
Pancit Canton Special Recipe
- 1 500-gram pack egg noodles
- 5 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 large red onion, sliced
- 1 cup pork strips
- 1 cup chicken meat
- 1/2 cup chicken liver
- 1/2 cup pork liver
- 1/2 cup shrimps
- 1/2 squid balls
- 1/2 kikiam
- 1/2 cup mushroom
- 2 stalks spring onion
- 1 stalk celery
- 1 whole Chinese pechay or bok choy
Other Ingredients: vegetable oil, ground pepper, salt, soy sauce, cornstarch, water
Wild mushrooms come in white and black. They are sometimes called 'taingang-daga' (mouse ears) because of their shape.
The white mushrooms are commonly sold fresh in supermarkets. The black mushrooms are dried and packed, and require soaking before use.
Lumpia Shanghai - Filipino-Chinese Egg Rolls
Easy Steps: How to Make Lumpia Shanghai
- In a large bowl, mix all ingredients thoroughly.
- Cover the bowl and leave inside the refrigerator to give all ingredients time to blend their flavors together.
- The lumpia wrappers become crisp and unmanageable when dry so keep the separated sheets soft by covering with slightly damp cloth.
- Mix cornstarch with small amount of water in a shallow dish. Use this as paste to seal the ends of the wrapper of the rolled lumpia.
- Place 1 Tbsp of mixture on near side of wrapper and spread in one long shape. Roll the wrapper firmly to form a thin tube.
- Heat 2 cups oil in a deep frying pan. When smoke appears on the surface, drop the lumpia rolls one by one.
- Remove from oil when golden. Drain oil and cut lumpia diagonally.
- Serve crispy lumpia shanghai with sauce or vinaigrette dressing.
Simple and Easy Recipe: Lumpia Shanghai or Fried Egg Rolls
- 4 cups ground lean pork
- 2 eggs
- 2 medium carrot, chopped
- 1 large onion, chopped
- ground pepper and salt
- 4 Tbsp cornstarch
- lumpia wrapper
Sweet and Sour Sauce: Simmer 1/2 cup water, 2 Tbsp vinegar, 2 Tbsp sugar, 1 sliced red chili, 1 chopped onion, a pinch of salt, and a dash of red food coloring. Stir in 1 Tbsp cornstarch and water mixture to thicken the sauce. Note: Do not stir when mixture is not in boiling point to avoid strong vinegar taste.
Sweet Chili Vinaigrette: Mix 1/2 cup vinegar, 2 Tbsp sugar, 3 sliced red chili, 1 chopped red onion, and a pinch of salt. Put in a bottle with air-tight lid and shake vigorously. Leave overnight before use to enjoy the full taste.
The Chinese also introduced some sweets and one of the favorited desserts is the Buchi-buchi. Shaped like balls and covered in toasted sesame seeds, the buchi-buchi is made from sticky rice batter and sweetened bean paste at the center.
The petal-shaped cracklings made from shrimp or fish could be the equivalent to french fries or chips when included with other Filipino-Chinese dishes like pancit, lumpia shanghai, and siomai.
Chop Suey - Assorted Chopped Vegetables
The Siopao is one of the many steamed delicacies that Filipinos enjoy to eat as snack or as one full meal, depending on the size. The smooth and fluffy bread-like exterior hides a delicious concoction tucked in the center. The most popular flavors are asado and bola-bola. Asado is meat chunks slowly cooked in tomato or soy sauce. Bola-bola is meatballs partnered with slices of salted egg.
The Chinese dumplings, both steamed and fried, have similar ingredients in their fillings but they taste differently when fried or steamed. The choices of meat vary: chicken, shrimp, fish, and shark's fin.
- 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 5 clovers garlic, minced
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 cup chicken meat
- 1 cup shrimp
- 1/2 cup chicken or pork liver
- soy sauce, ground pepper and salt
Classic Chop Suey Recipe
- Green beans
- Snow peas
- White pechay
- green bell pepper
How to Sauté Chop Suey
- Heat oil in wok. Sauté garlic. Add onions.
- Stir-fry shrimp and meat ingredients.
- Add soy sauce, ground pepper and salt.
- Pour 1/2 cup water. Cover and simmer. To thicken sauce, add cornstarch and water mixture.
- Add vegetables one by one, according to length of cooking time needed: chayote, carrot, green beans, and snow peas.
- Stir in cabbage, white pechay, cauliflower, celery, and green bell pepper.
- Stir occasionally. Do not cover so veggies will retain shiny and crispy texture.
- Do not overcook. Remove from heat when half-cooked.
- Transfer chop suey in large platter and arrange 12 pieces hard-boiled quail eggs on top.
CZCZCZ from Oregon on January 11, 2012:
Nice and tasty, Pancit and lumpia - looking really yummy!
EC Mendoza (author) from Philippines on November 10, 2011:
@Farmer Brown Thank you for reading and leaving a cheerful comment. :)
Farmer Brown on November 10, 2011:
Lumpia - Thank you China!!!