I’m a bad friend. Every second Saturday of the month, my friend Nicole and I meet-up for coffee. We started this at the beginning of the year (maybe February) and I think we’ve only met up twice. All the missed meetings have totally been my fault. Once or twice I missed our meet-ups for a good reason (Malawi and Italy) and other times it was just because I was absent minded.
To make up for our last missed meet-up, I decided to invite Nicole over for Sunday Dinner and make Pancit and Lumpia especially for her. The easiest way to describe Pancit is to say it’s a Filipino version of Chow Mein. Lumpia is like a Filipino fried spring roll.
Before you read the recipe, I have a few things to say. First, this isn’t THE Pancit recipe. Every region, family and person has their own. Mine is like Momager’s but is different from all my Aunts’ versions. Second, Pancit can be a bit labor intensive. My version isn’t a 30 minute meal. Third, there isn’t a recipe for Lumpia below. Momager spent a year perfecting her Lumpia and it’s so good caterers have asked for the recipe. She’s thought about making it as a side business and I don’t want to give away the secret incase she goes for it. Lastly, this recipe isn’t vegetarian friendly. I know that there are versions that are but mine isn’t one of them. I tried it once and hated it. I couldn’t replicate and of the same flavors.
I learned to make Pancit in high school but really didn’t start making it by myself until my early 20’s. I was carless in DC and didn’t know where I could get good Filipino food, so I had to learn to make it myself. This is the first time I’ve actually written down ingredients or measurements for any Filipino dish. I tend to cook Filipino dishes by taste like my Mom does.
1 Package Bihon Pancit Noodles (you can use chow mien noodles or cellophane noodles too)
3 cloves garlic minced
1/6 cup sliced yellow or Spanish onions
1 medium carrot julienned
1 to 1 ¼ cup cabbage coarsely shredded
2 Chinese sausage link sliced
1 ½ cup roughly chopped chicken breast or thigh
¼ cup shrimp
1-2 cups chicken stock
2 scallions chopped
¼ cup Cilantro torn or roughly chopped
1 lemon quartered
1 ½ tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
2-3 tablespoons of Oyster Sauce
1. Cut all veggies and meats, and have them ready before cooking. There isn’t much time between steps for prep. You can substitute the chicken for shredded chicken from a leftover roast.
2. Heat the oil in a wok at medium-high then add garlic, onions and sausage. I like to get some of the fat out of the sausage and use it to flavor my oil. You can usually get Chinese sausage at any Asian grocery store. It lasts forever too!
3. Add the chicken and carrots. You want to cook it until the chicken is about half done. Add the 1st tablespoon of Oyster Sauce.
4. Cut the noodles in half using scissors and add to the mixture. My package of noodles came with 5 sheets of noodles and I only used three.
5. Add ½ cup of chicken stock and mix (with tongs) until the noodles absorb the liquid. Keep adding the stock a little at a time. You want your noodles to be cooked but you don’t want them mushy. I added about 1 ½ cups of stock over the course of cooking to get the dish to the right texture.
6. Add shrimp and cabbage. Shrimp cooks quickly so I like to add it towards the end. I like my cabbage a little crispy so I also add it at the end.
7. Add 1-2 tablespoons of Oyster sauce to taste. Sometimes it only needs a tablespoon and sometimes it needs a little more.
8. Garnish with scallions and cilantro and serve with lemon wedges. I think lemon is a must but others don’t miss it.
This dish could easily serve 6 people, possibly 8.
here’s the noodle package to look for.