Drop by any Filipino food stall, restaurant, or canteen in the Philippines and you are likely to catch sight of the most popular pancit that Filipinos all over the country just love to eat – pancit canton.
Yes, pancit canton is massively popular that it defies regional specialties and local flavors to become one of the few dishes to arrest a national appeal and retain an almost consistent taste across the Philippines’ cities and countryside.
A Plate of Pancit Canton: What to Expect
Pancit canton is actually a very unassuming dish, made simply of flour sticks or noodles, a medley of vegetables, and slivers of meat.
A special kind would have sweet shelled shrimps and meatballs.
Almost always, pancit canton is served or sold with calamansi and/or soy sauce, two indispensable seasonings that add to the taste of this scrumptious noodle dish.
Filipinos love pinching calamansi and dashing soy sauce over a platter of pancit canton shortly before eating it.
When to Eat Pancit Canton
Pancit canton is such a standard in Philippine cuisine that it can be eaten during most parts of the day and special occasions.
In the morning, Filipinos often buy freshly cooked and warm pancit canton for agahan or breakfast at food stalls before heading off to work or school.
It’s in fact a complete meal in itself with all its noodles, veggies, and meat.
In the afternoon, Filipinos also opt to buy pancit canton for mid-afternoon snacks or merienda, a quick and light meal meant to keep the tummy full until dinner.
During special occasions like birthdays, gatherings, baptisms, weddings, or even graduation parties, Filipinos also serve pancit canton on the dining table.
It is definitely a staple in Philippine banquets.
Origins of Pancit Canton
Just like all the kinds of pancit in the Philippines, pancit canton traces its roots to Chinese cuisine, specifically the Chinese chow mein or lo mein.
Chow mein is a Chinese noodle dish that is stir-fried and has tons of varieties across China.
Lo mein, on the other hand, is very similar to pancit canton. It is made with wheat flour noodles, vegetables, meat, seafood, and even wonton.
Recipe for Pancit Canton
Now, it is time to share with you the recipe for pancit canton – the Philippines’ most popular kind of pancit.
Ingredients for Pancit Canton
- cabbage = ½ head; chopped
- carrots = 2 cups; chopped
- chicken stock = 4 cups
- cooking oil = 2 tablespoons
- garlic = 1 tablespoon; minced
- onion = 1 cup; chopped
- oyster sauce = 2 tablespoons
- pancit canton noodles – 500 grams; alternatively, you can use flour sticks
- pepper = 1 teaspoon; grounded
- pork = 2 cups; cooked; sliced into tidbits
- salt = 1 tablespoon
- shrimps – 8 pieces; cooked; shelled
- snow pea = 1 ½ cups
- soy sauce = 4 tablespoons
Steps for Cooking Pancit Canton
- In a pan set over medium heat, pour in cooking oil.
- Sauté garlic and onion until onion is clear and garlic is slightly brown.
- Place pork and cook for about five minutes or until slightly brown.
- Add a dash of oyster sauce.
- Pour in chicken stock.
- Simmer for 20 minutes or so.
- While simmering, blanch vegetables in a separate pan.
- Back to the pan with stock and meat, add shrimp.
- Sprinkle salt and pepper.
- Add in pancit canton noodles.
- Wait until the noodles have absorbed the stock.
- Add blanched vegetables from the other pan.
- Serve on a platter with calamansi and/or additional soy sauce.
Enjoy and share your Philippine pancit canton!
Copyright © 2012 Kerlyn Bautista
All Rights Reserved
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Midasfx on February 22, 2012:
I have not had good pancit noodles in such a long time, your hub made my mouth water! We need a Filipino restaurant around here ^_^
Derek James from South Wales on February 22, 2012:
Thank you for this recipe. It sounds easy to make so will give it a try. Voted up and useful.
rob_allen from MNL, PH on February 22, 2012:
Wow, Pa-canton ka naman :) Heheh. BTW, seriously, I love my pancit saucy and laden with squidballs and kikiam. Yum Yum! :)