It is considered as one of the “complete” meals in the Philippines… Because of the combination of noodles (carbohydrates) vegetables and meat (real or fake for protein). Taste and texture can vary depending on how you prepare your Pancit, and the type of noodles you use; fresh or dry. Noodles also come in different shapes, size, length, texture and flavor. Most pancit noodles are made from rice flour, there are other types that are made from bean flour, cornstarch, wheat and buckwheat, to name a few.
The most common type of noodles we use in making the regular pancit is the dry, thin, rice noodles but it is not uncommon to use a combination of different types. While making Pancit dish can be a little tricky, just remember a few simple tips: Do not oversoak the noodles. Cook first the tougher ingredients. Do not overcook vegetables and noodles. Stir gently… And do not be afraid to try again if your first attempt did not turn out the way you wanted it to be! Just have fun and enjoy the Pancit! It’s not that hard to make, not really! 😉
I made this simple Pancit recipe per friend’s request. For related recipe check Pancit using thick noodles.
SIMPLE (Basic) PANCIT RECIPE
Classifacation: Vegetarian, Vegan, with Gluten-free substitute
Good source of carbohydrates, fiber, protein
rice noodles – one 16 oz (454 g) pack dry noodles
veggie meat – 1 and 1/2 to 2 cups, strips (You may use baked or fried seasoned tofu)
coconut oil – 3 TBspoons
onion – 3/4 cups, diced
garlic – 5 large cloves or 2 TBspoons chopped
cabbage – 1/2 of a medium sized (4 cups, cut in strips)
carrots – 2 cups, strips
green beans – 2 cups
vegetable broth – 4 cup, divided (you can make homemade broth recipe using this seasoning here)
soy sauce – 1/4 cup
country-style seasoning or Chicken-style seasoning – 1 TBspoon
onion powder – 1 teaspoon
garlic powder – 1 teaspoon
mushroom seasoning powder – 1/4 teaspoon (optional)
Note: You can also use frozen mix vegetables for quicker preparation. The fresher the vegetables, the better! You can use other vegetables like snow peas, broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, sprouts, chayote, and other veggies of your choice.
1. Soak noodles in water for about 5 minutes. If you use warm water do not soak for more than 10 minutes as it can cause your Pancit to be mushy if you use the suggested amount of water (4 cups). Drain and cut into 3-inches length using scissors.
Note: Some noodles you can easily break/cut without using kitchen scissors before soaking in water (like the brand of noodles I use in this recipe).
2. In a big pan or wok, sautee garlic, onions and veggie meat on a medium heat setting. Cook for about 2 minutes, then add soy sauce. Stir, and cook for another minute or so.
3. Add 3 cups of vegetable broth or water. Bring to simmer before adding the noodles. Cover and cook for 5 minutes or so. If you use plain water you may need to increase the amount of your seasoning to enhance flavor.
4. Add green beans and carrots and the rest of the seasoning. Add cabbage about 3 minutes or so later so as not to over cook it. Stir thoroughly and cook until noodles are soft, but not over-cooked. Stir occasionally but gently to prevent noodles from sticking. Use your judgment: Add the last cup of water or broth if the mixture is too dry and the noodles are still tough. If the mixture is too wet don’t add anymore liquid. Add salt to taste.
Tips: The longer you soak your noodles the less you use broth in cooking. It is important to note that noodles absorbs more flavor when it’s not over-soaked in water.
– As an option, cook vegetables and noodles separately, then combine them before serving.
– Sometimes you can add the noodles first with the broth, (and a little longer) instead of vegetables especially when the noodles are thicker and tough even after soaking.
-It is OK to have firmer texture vegetables than mushy noodles.
Pancit is ready when the noodles are soft and not chewy. Garnish with green onions. Squeeze some fresh lemons for a different flavor. Enjoy!