Reina simply loves cooking at home. Like her late father, she can improvise dishes out of leftovers in the fridge. .
A Noodle Story
You must have heard of that ancient Chinese tradition of eating noodles. They say that noodles can give you a long life. You should not cut the noodles or else you will ruin the spell.
True or not, Filipinos just love eating noodles. They call it pancit and cook it in a variety of ways. The dish is so popular in the country that almost every region in the archipelago has its own unique pancit recipe.
The name pancit comes from the Hokkien word which means convenient food. Filipinos grew a love for noodles through their Chinese ancestors. These immigrants from the orient brought noodles with them when they settled on the Philippine shores several years ago. Since then, the dish became a Filipino favorite.
Nancy Reyes Lumen is a renowned chef, food writer, and television host who became popular with the title Adobo Queen. She wrote an article for the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism about the ancient Chinese tradition of eating pancit. She said that the pancit should be eaten on one's birthday but you should not cut it so as not to destroy the essence of the tradition. Hence, the pancit became a staple dish in many Filipino gatherings.
Bowl of La Paz Batchoy
Noodles should be eaten on one's birthday.
— Lumen, Nancy Reyes. (2005). Republic of Pancit. Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism
Nine (9) Famous Pancit Recipes In The Philippines
How do Filipinos enjoy their pancit? Here are my top 10 favorite pancit recipes:
- Pancit Bisaya - Bam-i is a Cebuano specialty. Hence, it is known as Pancit Bisaya. I've grown up eating bam-i during family gatherings and festivals. It is one of my favorite dishes to cook. I love serving it for my birthday. It uses two types of noodles.
- Bihon Guisado - If the Cebuanos have Bam-i, the Tagalogs love Pancit Bihon. While bam-i uses both bihon and canton in the recipe, bihon guisado only use bihon. It is sauteéd with meat, chopped vegetables, and soy sauce.
- La Paz Batchoy - A native dish in Iloilo City, the dish had Chinese origins. The name batchoy means meat water. It is a soup dish made with either pork or beef stock poured into Chinese noodles and garnished with fried garlic, spring onions, a slice of boiled egg, and bits of crispy chicharron.
- Pancit Lomi - This type of noodle is a little bit thicker than the noodle used in L Paz Batchoy. It uses similar ingredients as the latter but adds a little bit of cornstarch to the broth. Pancit Lomi is a native soup dish of the eastern part of Batangas.
- Pancit Malabon - You'll know where to find this dish. The name suggests where it comes from. This stir-fried noodle dish is a native of Malabon City in the National Capital Region of the Philippines. You'll recognize this dish by its color which is a yellowish-orange shade.
- Pancit Palabok - It is called Pancit Luglug by the Kapampangans, although it's a totally different dish. They just use similar ingredients. We can call this dish the Asian spaghetti because it is served like such. Tasty seafood sauce is poured over rice noodles. That's how you enjoy pancit palabok.
- Mami - Ma Mon Luk is a Chinese immigrant to the Philippines in the 1920s. He is the man responsible for the creation of this delicious batchoy-like noodle soup. He started selling his mami in Binondo, Manila which he first called "gupit" which means cut. He decided later to simply call it Ma mi meaning his noodles.
- Pancit Molo - We go back to Iloilo City to taste this delicious pork dumpling soup. Molo is a district in Iloilo City where this famous soup dish came from. The dish is made with ground pork wrapped with wonton wrappers. It resembles the Chinese wonton soup.
- Sotanghon - Basically, the name sotanghon refers to the clear, glass noodles famous in almost all parts of Asia. You can use it as an ingredient with any type of pancit recipe but it is best enjoyed as a soup dish.
How To Cook Pancit Guisado
It basically works the same as bihon guisado but using egg noodles instead of bihon. You can actually make up your own recipe for a pancit dish. Just don't forget the star of the show. You can use whichever type of noodles you like. I have made my own pancit guisado recipe with little bits of dried fish or 'bulad' in Filipino.
I am also fond of collecting recipes from various cooking websites to try cooking at home. I usually get ideas from these cooking websites to make up my own recipe. I found this quick pancit canton guisado recipe from Maggi's website which I served up for my mom and siblings recently. Let me show you my recipe below.
My Dried Fish Pancit Guisado Recipe
You will need:
- 1/4 cup pork belly, cut into small bits
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 pc small onion, chopped
- 1/2 pc small red bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
- 1/2 pc small carrot, sliced into thin strips
- 200 grams dried pancit canton
- 1.5 cups water
- 1/2 pc dried fish, cut into strips
- 1 leaf Chinese pechay, shredded
- 1 small stalk spring onions, chopped
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- a dash of salt and pepper
- 1/2 pc beef broth cube
- a dash of Ginisa flavor mix
Lard is a soft white solid or semisolid fat obtained by rendering fatty pork
— Merriam-Webster Online
- Render lard from the pork belly fat in a pan. Set aside the fried pork belly bites.
- Using the lard from the pork belly bits, sauté onions, garlic, bell pepper.
- Drop in the halved beef broth cube and bits of dried fish. Sprinkle with a small amount of Ginisa flavor mix.
- Stir in the carrots and soy sauce. Add water and simmer.
- Stir in dried pancit canton. Add the shredded Chinese pechay. Season with salt and pepper.
- Turn off the heat and transfer noodles to a serving plate.
- Garnish with spring onions and crispy pork belly bites. Mix well before serving.
So, these are my top 10 favorite pancit dishes but you may be wondering. I only gave you nine on the list. What's the top ten?
Well, it's my personal dried fish recipe that I just shared here. I couldn't guarantee a spectacular flavor for my recipe because I'm not a professional. But, my personal critics in the house seemed to enjoy it. It must taste good. You can always whip up your own recipe if you wish.
Pancit is indeed a comfort food. You can enjoy it in a meal or as a snack with bread. It's also pretty easy to cook. There are plenty of pancit recipes on the Internet. How about making one of them at home one of these days?
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Reina Mendoza