philippine noodles -- need help and recipes.....
i just bought some rice stick noodles ("special bihon") and some wheat stick noodles ("pancit canton"), both made in the philippines.
the special bihon are much finer than other rice stick i've used (like for pad thai), and are seeming to be even finer than cellophane noodles. they are thin! here is the package: http://www.pinoygrocery.com/no-10124.html
the wheat stick look like a fat spaghetti size. http://www.pinoygrocery.com/no-10101....
1. do i need to soak either before i use it? how?
2. any recipes or recommendations for using either? especially with chicken breasts (which i need to cook today).
Pancit bihon should get a 10-minute soak in hot water. Pancit canton definitely should not as they get soggy very quickly.
Good pancit guisado relies mainly on a few well-chosen ingredients. A typical preparation in my household was to boil a few skinless chicken quarters in hot water and then shred (while reserving the broth). In a separate pan, sear shrimp and reserve. Saute a sliced onion and minced garlic until soft. Season with soy sauce and pepper. Add a julienned carrot, snow peas and sauté. Add the pancit and chicken, toss and add only enough water to cook the noodles through. Cook until dry. Add shredded cabbage cabbage and shrimp and toss. Adjust seasonings as necessary before serving. Serve with soy sauce mixed with lemon juice and lemon wedges. Bihon noodles will not be chock-full of ingredients like a chow mein, rather they will be interspersed with tasty morsels of this and that. Pancit canton, however, is best with ample pork and fat. They are hearty noodles and can speak for themselves through the grease.
The way we learned to prepare pancit canton when we lived in the PI was to soak the noodles in hot tap water for 2-3 minutes tops. They get mushy quickly, so the goal is just to rehydrate. Drain and set aside. In a separate large pot, saute your garlic, onion, and carrots. Add a bunch of chopped cabbage and cook until lightly wilted. Add in your cooked meat (chicken works, but I typically prefer pork). Add the pancit noodles, and douse with enough soy sauce to make the noodles light brown. Gently mix everything together, put lid on pot, and let it cook a few more minutes, until the cabbage is bright green and slightly soft.
Serve with more soy sauce and a squeeze of fresh calimansi juice, if you're lucky enough to find the elusive little citrus. A squeeze of fresh lemon juice is an acceptable substitute.
I never use recipes when I'm making Philippine food, sorry! I don't have a more precise recipe, but the dish is very forgiving. Just season to taste and you should be happy.
OK, so I just asked about this and here's what I was told: (for some reason, my in-laws are not big on making noodle dishes at home, so I haven't observed this to impart any special hints! hopefully someone else has more direct knowledge to share)
For pansit canton, if you're using dried noodles (you can also just use the fresh ones from the chinese supermarket), you can cook the noodles at the end by throwing in water or broth in the pan and adding the noodles and cooking until they're soft and done. For pansit bihon, you probably do want to pre-soak them in water before adding, though it sounds like the same principle is used (put water in with the veg & meat and cook until the water is absorbed) I'm not quite sure of the proportion of water, and it seems to vary by brand-- I'd start with less than a cup and add more as needed, so the noodles get soft but not mushy!
These are both usually fairly plain--meat (pork or chicken, and hot chinese sausage if you have it), some veg (onion, cabbage, bean sprouts), toss in water and soy sauce with the noodles, then when done, sprinkle with fish sauce, maybe some green onion, top with a hard boiled egg. The only tricky things are making sure that the noodles don't get overcooked and mushy, and timing things so that you add the noodles when the meat is close to done but not totally done (since it will cook more with the noodles)