Thursday, January 13, 2011

Pancit Bihon

For some reason, this recipe feels like it will take a whole day of cooking to prepare it.  But, it's really just because there are multiple preparatory steps before it all comes together.

But, if you time it well, the recipe takes less time than you think it would.

I made pancit bihon for New Years, and there was enough of it to last the boyfriend and me several days of meals.  Pancit is basically a Filipino noodle dish and, similar to adobo and sinigang, can be made in a variety of different ways.

This recipe was one that I acquired from my mother.  Being that I spent the holidays away from my family, I definitely needed to have some Filipino food to make up for it.

I was very pleased to know that the ingredients to make pancit aren't too difficult to get, though many of the ingredients I already had at home.

Ingredient List
Pancit Bihon noodles (can be found in Super 88 in the noodle section)
1lb Chicken (boneless and skinless) OR 1 box of Firm Tofu
2 boxes of Chicken Broth OR Veggie Broth
2 bags of Veggie Stir-fry (I suggest just going to Trader Joe's and getting their frozen bag of veggie stir-fry. I ended up getting a bag of frozen veggies + a bag of frozen edamame from Whole Foods this time around.)
1 bulb Garlic
2 Onions
Canola Oil or Olive Oil
Ground Pepper
Soy Sauce
Green Onion

Initial Prep
1. Cut 1 bag of noodles in half, and place them in a pot of water to soften.  Do not turn the heat on!  This procedure makes the noodles soft and easier to work with.
You can also get a brand called "Excellent," with a picture of a shrimp on it.
That's the brand my mom recommends.
2. Boil chicken.  When chicken is boiled, shred the chicken (you can just use your fingers or a fork) and put aside.  OR Fry tofu in a 1/2 cup of canola oil and put aside.
3. Mince garlic and saute.  Once all the garlic has browned, set it aside.
Browned Garlic and Shredded Chicken
Veggie Prep
1.  Cut and chop onions.  Saute them in a wok with a 1/2 tbsp of oil.
2.  Add the stir-fry veggies when the onions are coated in oil.  You can use all 2 bags or just 1 1/2 bags depending on how large your container is.
3.  Add 1ts of ground pepper, and 1/2ts of paprika.
4.  When the liquid has mostly evaporated and veggies are drying, add 2tbs of chicken or veggie broth.
5.  After most of the broth has been absorbed, set the veggies aside.
Sauteing Veggies
1.  In the same wok you used to cook the veggies, put in 1 box + 1 cup of broth, 3/4 cup of soy sauce, 2tbs oil, 2ts ground pepper, 1/2ts paprika.
2.  When the mixture starts to boil, put in the softened noodles.  Mix to coat all the noodles.
Almost done!
3.  When the noodles have almost absorbed the liquid mixture, throw in 1/2 of the sauteed veggies.  Saute the mixture.
4.  When all the liquid has been absorbed by the noodles, it's done!

Finishing Touches
1.  Place the noodles in a serving dish (probably a large tray of some sort).
2.  Put the remaining veggies on top of the noodles.
3.  Then place the chicken or tofu on top of the veggies.
4.  Then put the browned garlic on top of the chicken.
5.  Then sprinkle chopped green onions all over the dish.
6.  Finally, chop lemons in halves, then quarters.  Put the quarters on the sides of the dish.
To serve this dish, you want a nice large scoop of everything.  I highly recommend squeezing some lemon on the noodles before feasting.

Altogether, the preparation and cooking probably took me about an hour and a half, which is pretty fast compared to what it looks like.

Also, while it's delicious fresh from the kitchen, I think it's also quite delicious the next day after being in the fridge.  You can reheat it, but it's also delicious as a cold meal.

Personally, I could eat a ginormous bowl of this stuff!  It's one of the highlights of Filipino get-together's.

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