My surrounding family consists of primarily Filipino decent. Many of my dishes are stemmed from flavors of their dishes, and much of their food is really good, especially the snack-like items like lumpia, and pancit bihon, and sisig, only to name a few. I am always trying to extract stories and other information from family members in order to see what was, and still is really comforting to them. One dish is always mentioned, especially from my sister-n-law, and that is pancit canton. Canton? I only thought there was bihon, as that is what I have always made for my wife, but canton?
While shopping at my favorite Asian mart, I came across a package of canton noodles. Dry, and much thicker noodles that I was used to, almost Chinese style. Well, you know what I was thinking right? I’m going in and making this pancit bihon, and see what it was really about, and thankfully I did. This dish, as the ingredients are similar to how I make my pancit bihon, is really comforting and delicious. The great thing is that you can make this with whatever vegetables you want. Want cauliflower? Bell pepper? Broccoli? Go for it, but if you want a standard pancit canton, then try mine.
- One package of Canton noodles
- 2 ribs of celery, sliced
- 2 carrots, cleaned, sliced
- 1/2 yellow onion, course chopped
- 2 chicken breasts, skinless, boneless, thinly sliced
- 1/2 lb of uncooked shrimp, peeled, deveined
- 1/2 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 cup of water, approximately
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- cracked pepper, to taste
- soy sauce, to taste
- 3 tbsp of olive oil
Begin by heating a large wok, or big pot on high heat. Add the oil, and let it come to heat. Toss in your garlic, and enjoy the smell for about 30 seconds before adding the chicken. Cook for a few minutes until cooked through. Now, toss in your onion, celery, and carrots, and continue to wok and roll for a few minutes. Add your pepper (I like about 1 tbsp or more), fish sauce, soy sauce, and about 1/4 of the water. Continue to cook. Add your shrimp. Just before turning a light pink, add in your dry noodles.
Now here is the trick. You have to be careful, as you want the noodles cooked, but not overcooked. You don’t want overcooked noodles. Once the noodles are added on the top, break them down with your wok utensils, add a bit more water, and try to add a cover, only for a minute, to build a steam. Now you can begin to wok and roll again as the noodles begin to soften with the steam. Cook, and continue to mix through the vegetables, chicken, and noodles.
Plate and serve. Feel free to top with chili flakes, more soy sauce, or scallions.
Now I know why pancit canton was a big hit in their house. One word. Yum.