Filipino Pancit Canton Recipe: When you really want to impress your family
If your family loves Asian dishes but you're looking for something a little different from the five or six that you've already mastered then pancit canton is guaranteed to earn you raves when you put it on the table.
The ingredients are basic supermarket shopping trips (with two exceptions) and the skill level is a 4 out of a 10 scale. Our girls were making this when they were about 12 years old.
Pancit is a traditional Filipino noodle dish that they adapted from the Chinese and made their own. It's the star of a lot of parties and special occasion dinners. It's a mixture of vegetables, chicken, pork and shrimp with noodles.
One of the secrets to successfully cooking most Asian dishes is to ensure that the meat and the vegetables are all approximately the same size. The chicken and pork should be cut to the same size, and the beans/carrots should be cut the same. I like a little thicker shred on my cabbage but that is an individual preference.
My version here is called Pancit Canton because it uses the thicker, wheat noodles so loved in China. You can use a number of different Asian noodles instead but you have to follow the instructions on the packages to get them ready for the Pancit.
This one is really the easiest,, and in my opinion, the best.
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (or pork fat if you want that authentic Asian flavor)
1 onion, sliced
- cloves garlic, crushed
1 lb pork shoulder, sliced thinly
1 chicken breast or 3 chicken thighs deboned and sliced thinly
1/2 lb shrimp, peeled
4 tablespoons Kikoman soy sauce (or other high quality soy sauce)
- cups low salt chicken broth
1 cup cabbage, shredded
1 cup green beans, julienned
2 carrots, julienned
3/4 cup dried black mushrooms or shiitake mushrooms (optional)
1 (1 lb) package pancit noodles (Chinese wheat noodles)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
patis, to taste (Filipino fish sauce) (optional) *
4 green onions, sliced
1 lemon or kalamansi, cut into wedges **
- If using mushrooms, soak them in warm water for 30 minutes, then cut into strips, discarding the tough stems.
- Set aside.
- Heat oil over medium-high heat in wok or large skillet.
- Sauté garlic and onions until tender.
- Add pork, chicken and cook for about one minute. Add shrimp and cook until pork is brown.. If you're using pre-cooked shrimp add it just as the pork finishes browning.
- Add soy sauce, stirring to flavor.
- Add chicken broth and bring to boil. If you're using the anchovy paste mix it in here.
- Add cabbage, green beans, carrots and mushrooms.
- Cook until vegetables are tender, yet crisp, 5-8 minutes.
- Add noodles, mixing gently to prevent them from breaking.
- Cook until liquid is absorbed and noodles are done, about 10 minutes.
- Remove from heat.
- Season with black pepper and patis.
- Garnish with green onions and lemon/kalamansi wedges.
*Patis is the basic fish sauce of the Philippines. You can find it in most Asian markets, or feel free to substitute one from Thailand or Vietnam. If you'd rather not buy a whole bottle then you can substitute a dab of anchovy paste instead. Be very careful using fish sauce, a little can go a very long ways for American tastebuds. If you do buy a bottle of fish sauce you'll find that it adds a depth of flavor that is unsurpassed in almost any savory dish, especially soups. But remember... a little goes a long way.
** Kalamansi look like little limes. It has a more tart flavor than lemon. You can find them in most Asian markets.
I hope you enjoyed the recipe and I invite you to look around my hubs for some others that I think you'll enjoy.