Pancit is definitely one dish that comes out of love. At least, that’s how I feel about it. Know that a lot of love and effort are put in every pancit dish before it actually goes to a plate. While pancit is a simple sauté and stir dish, I find that cooking it really requires some sort of restraint to maintain composure in the kitchen. Since the main ingredients of pancit (vegetables and noodles) are sensitive to heat, one needs to be quick in stirring the veggies in a big wok, wait for them to subside just enough for the noodles to be added; and then later on, stir once again so that the two marry each other without turning them into a soggy dish. More so, imagine the number of ingredients that needs to be cut before the cooking actually starts. That is why I think pancit is a product of love. And that is why this recipe post goes to all the moms and homemakers who take the time to cook pancit for their families and friends.
-Egg noodles, 1pack
-Sotanghon (cellophane or vermicelli noodles)
-Pork shoulders, 200g cut in small pieces
-Pork liver, 200g cut in small pieces
-Fish balls, 6pcs cut in halves
-Garlic, 5-7 cloves, crushed and chopped
-Onions, 1 whole, cut in strips
-Carrots, 1 whole, cut in strips
-String beans, 100g, cut in strips
-Cabbage, 200g, cut in thin strips
-Chinese celery, 1-2 stalks cut in thin strips (optional, but preferred)
-Red and green bell peppers, cut in strips (optional)
-Soy sauce, 4tbsp
-Fish sauce, ½ tbsp
-Salt and pepper, to taste
-Cooking oil, 2-3tbsp
1. Immerse the noodles in tepid water.
Let the water loosen up the noodles. Put them in water and forget about them. Proceed to the next step.
2. Put cooking oil in a heated pan.
3. Saute the garlic under medium to high heat.
4. When the garlic turns golden and sticky, put in the onions.
5. When the onions turn sweaty, put in the pork.
6. Season the dish with ½ tbsp fish sauce.
Cooking the pork well is essential for any dish. My husband always reminds me to sauté the dish well… over and over. I understood what he meant when I finally listened to him . Since then, I make it a point to really wait for the pork to cook well until the pork fats have been rendered and form part of the dish. (See the 2 photos below.) For this dish, I cooked my pork for a good 10-12minutes under medium to high heat. After getting the color that I was aiming for, I proceeded to the next step.
7. Add in the pork liver. Stir well.
Avoid cooking the liver too much into the pan. Otherwise, it will be tough and it will hardly be tasty. After it changed color, go to the next step.
8. Put the fish balls in. Stir well.
9. Start putting the vegetables in.
First the carrots, then the beans, followed by the bell peppers. Stir well until the carrots are cooked or at least changed in color.
10. Add the water.
11. Put in the soy sauce. Continue stirring.
12. Put in the cabbage.
I used 2 wooden spoons in stirring because it is just difficult to toss up the vegetables in a wok for this much vegetables going on. When the cabbage has finally softened a bit, proceed to the next step.
13. When the water boils, put in the noodles. (Just the noodles, not the water!)
14. Put in the Chinese celery (kinchay).
15. Continue stirring until the dish becomes one.
16. Season with salt and pepper, if need be.
17. Do not cover the pan. Else, the vegetables might be overcooked because of the enclosed heat. At this point, the pancit in ready to be served.
That’s it! You’ve got to love this dish! Remember me when you cook.