I love pancit. Love, love, love it. Currently, *gasp* dare I say it, I love it more than jap chae.
The noodles are thinner and lighter and the flavor is more delicate. Actually a dangerous combination because I eat way too much of it before I realize I ate way too much of it.
I’ve been wanting to make pancit for years. Years! Now that I finally made it, I’m slightly embarrassed about how long it took me to make them. They are so easy to make. Less time-consuming then jap chae.
I’ve been looking for the perfect recipe to try. Pancit, like most dishes have 1000 recipe variations on the internet. Which one to pick?
Well, if you can believe it, I finally found the recipe (modified slightly) I like on the back of the Excellent brand rice stick noodle package. There are many different brands, but Excellent brand is highly recommended by Filipinos acquaintances.
I bought the 16 ounce package and it was a fortuitous mistake. I had enough for 3 meals, two for us, one for a friend’s sister who’s recovering from surgery. I would say 16 ounce package makes enough to serve 6 – 8 people.
Traditional pancit contains chicken and pork, but I think pancit marries well with shrimp. Plus, I’m not a fan of pork and I’m starting to get tired of chicken. I also tried to make this recipe vegan adaptable, so instead of using chicken broth, I used water as the liquid. I did use oyster sauce in combination with soy sauce, but the oyster sauce could be left out in addition to the shrimp to make this a completely vegan/vegetarian dish.
Pancit Bihon with Shrimp
Serves: 6 – 8
Prep time: 15 mins Cook time 30 mins
*If you’re not a fan of oyster sauce, use fish sauce. If you’re not a fan of both, try the vegan option and use just soy sauce. For vegan option, leave out fish/oyster sauce and shrimp. Chicken can be added as well. Boil chicken thighs or breast and shred them before adding them to the noodles.
2 tablespoon canola oil, divided
1 small sweet onion, julienned
3 carrots, julienned
3 celery stalks, thinly sliced diagonally
3 cloves garlic, minced 1 small head of cabbage, shredded
1 pound medium-sized shrimp, shelled and de-veined, lightly seasoned with salt and pepper
5 cups water (alternately vegetable broth or chicken broth)
8 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons oyster sauce (or fish sauce)
1 16-ounce package Filipino brand rice sticks (Excellent brand recommended)
salt and pepper to taste
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a wok or a large saute pan on high heat and swirl to coat. When pan is hot, stir-fry onion, carrots and celery until just softened, about 1 minute. Add garlic and cabbage and fry until the cabbage is cooked down and tender. This could take up to 10 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste and remove the vegetables to a bowl and set aside.
Add the remaining oil, swirl to coat and fry the shrimp until pink and remove from heat immediately and set aside.
Add 5 cups of water to the wok with the soy sauce and oyster sauce and bring to boil. Lower heat to simmer and add the rice sticks directly into the wok. Stir gently until noodles start to soften and absorb the liquid. The recipe of the package says to remove the noodles when soft from the liquid, but I found that by the time the noodles were cook, they had absorbed all the liquid.
Add the vegetables and shrimp back to the wok. Gently mix so as not not break up the noodles. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately or at room temperature. If refrigerated, the noodles need to be reheated.