Sunday, January 24, 2010

Chicken Pancit

I took a walk through town a couple of weeks ago and discovered a new restaurant. I wasn't too impressed, as it was the typical pizza and sub joint that seem to be the only choice in town. But a closer look revealed that this place featured Filipino food. Wow. Just - wow. Here in Grove City PA, international cuisine is defined as your Americanized pseudo-Chinese buffet (aka Slime-ese) and Italian restaurants. How I long for a bold soul to try something new and authentic here. I had to enter, I had to eat. And so I did. Hidden amongst the usual pizza and sub selections was a small handful of taste treasures waiting to be sampled. Chicken Pancit was the selection I chose, and I took a bit of it home for my daughter Zoƫ to try. The verdict was that I had to attempt my own version.

The dish echoes my frugal cooking philosophy. A star ingredient, a bit of meat for flavor and lots of inexpensive veggies and noodles. It's like Filipino fried rice, only with less oil as the rice noodles saute in broth instead. My star ingredient is Toyomansi, a Filipino soy sauce with Calamansi - a kind of citrus. You could use soy sauce instead, probably less soy than the amount of Toyomansi called for, and add some lemon, but that would be less fun. We are traveling via tastebud here, and the adventure of finding the ingredient is part of the game. Enjoy!

Chicken Pancit
1 pound chicken (skin and bones removed), chopped
2 2-ounce bundles of rice noodles (Maifun) or bean threads (
1 carrot, shredded
1 small napa cabbage, sliced into 1/4 inch pieces
1 medium onion, sliced
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup Toyomansi
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 whole fresh super chili, minced (optional)
white pepper to taste
vegetable oil for stir-frying

Soak rice noodles in a large bowl of warm water for 15 minutes. When the noodles become soft, cut into 3 inch pieces and drain. In a large wok, stir fry the chicken in small amount of vegetable oil and set aside. Add the onions to the wok and stir fry until they start to become translucent. Add the cabbage and carrot and continue to stir fry until they are crisp but tender and set aside. Add the noodles to the wok with the broth, Toyomansi and garlic powder. Allow the noodles to cook in the broth for a few minutes, and when it is mostly absorbed, add the chicken and vegetables. Season with white pepper and serve. The super chili ranks about the same as a piquin chili in Scoville units, so only one little chili with seeds and pith is enough to warm your lips nicely.

Bihon Pancit on Foodista Print This Recipe


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