Mmm .. Pancit Canton!
December 9, 2009
There is no doubt that Filipino cuisine has an array of cultural influences including the Malay, Chinese, Spanish and Americans. Aside from the Spanish, the next biggest influence on Filipino food were the Chinese traders who sailed across the South China Sea around 300 AD and by 1000 AD, they were already on a regular trading pattern with the Philippine islands. By the 1400, the Chinese had become an established part of the Philippine culture. In this, they were able to contribute their influences to cooking that is most notably recognized through a well-loved dish amongst Filipinos around the world – Pancit – especially Pancit Canton.
Now, you could be the typical contemporary Filipino and just cook yourself some of this delicious stuff using Lucky Me brand’s instant pancit canton – but what fun is that? It’s affordable and easy to prepare – two things every Filipino likes to hear whether they’re preparing for a baptismal party or just coming home from the fields. Here are some of the ingredients you’ll need and a recipe to help you:
- 1 whole chicken, hacked into pieces, boiled in a big casserole with one medium sized onion, 2 sticks of celery and pepper corns. Cover chicken with enough water. Remove meat from bone and don’t forget to save the stock!
- 1 lb pork, sliced into thin strips
- 1 cup shrimp, cooked, deveined and unshelled
- 1 can straw mushrooms
- 1 can water chestnuts
- 1/2 head of bok choy (pechay) or 1/2 head cabbage, sliced into julien (sp) strips
- 1 piece of carrot, julienned a few pieces of snow pea pods
- 1/2 lb mussels or scallops (optional)
- soy sauce to taste
- patis to taste
- salt to taste
- 2 cloves of garlic, chrushed
- 1 medium sized onion, sliced ground black pepper, fresh if you can
- oil for frying
- 1 or 2 packages of pancit canton or a package of vermicelli or angel hair pasta. If you really can’t find pancit, try egg noodles – although they may be soft, or spaghetti if you’re that desperate
- 4 or 5 green onions
- 1 lemon
Heat oil in a pan (or wok if possible). Sautee garlic and onion slices until the onion is transparent. Add chicken and pork. Cook until pork is brown. Add half of the chicken stock. Boil for about three minutes. Add salt, soy sauce or patis to taste. Also sprinkle some ground black pepper. Simmer for about another three minutes. Add shrimps, mushrooms, carrots and other ingredients except the noodles itself. Simmer for another 3 minutes or so (covered). Add the remaining stock. Adjust the taste with salt, pepper, patis and soy sauce. Add the noodles. Mix thoroughly until noodles are soft.
Garnish with sliced green onions and sliced lemon. Serve with lemon juice.