In the Philippines, birthdays are not complete when the proverbial pansit or pancit is not present. The famous noodle dish is not entirely of Filipino origin to begin with. It traces its humble origin from the
Chinese culture and how their rice stick noodles are prepared.
It got associated with celebrating birthdays by the Filipinos due to the long strands of noodles that is linked to wishing someone on their birthday, a meaningful and longer life. But, does it really follow that the special Pansit Guisado (Sauteed Noodles) must only be served during birthdays? Not necessarily, I make this at least twice a month or when I have guests to entertain at home, this one dish meal always saves the day. It can be cooked even without any occasion at all. When I miss having vegetables, I make pansit guisado with less meat and more veggies.
How to cook Pansit Bihon Guisado? Although the process may seem tedious for some, the trick is to have a great tasting broth where the rice sticks will be incorporated and cooked with. I grew up cooking this dish and there are three things I keep in mind, first, not to soak the rice sticks in water, I really don’t see any need for doing so because, it not only makes the noodles soggy but it also makes the rice sticks taste bland. What I do is dip the noodles into the boiling broth; it will turn out tastier because the tasty broth will be absorbed more by the noodles than soaking it in advance in plain water. Second, do not overcook the vegetables, I make a quick stir fry and set it aside. As for the cabbage, red bell peppers, and the Chinese parsley, I add it all once the broth and the noodles are cooked to avoid the leaves from getting wilted from overcooking. Third, I use oyster sauce more than soy sauce, reason? The broth is tastier and the noodles turn moist and does not dry up at all. It tastes totally different than using soy sauce only.
Here is how I cooked my Special Pancit Bihon Guisado (Sauteed Rice Noodle Sticks).
And before I forget, I dedicate this blog post to my big brother who celebrates his birthday today.
Happy Birthday Kuya Eugene! I love you. More blessings for your golden year! – HIR.
Special Pancit Bihon Guisado (Sauteed Rice Noodle Sticks)
500 Gms. Golden Bihon (Rice Sticks)
½ pork meat chopped into bite size pieces
1 head of cabbage
½ head of Chinese cabbage
1 medium carrot – julienned
1 sayote – julienned
1 red bell pepper –sliced
¼ green beans- sliced thinly
1 red onion chopped
1 head garlic mashed and chopped
1 whole egg (yolk and white fried separately as toppings)
¼ kilo Chinese parsley (Kinchai)
½ cup oyster sauce
2 tbsp. soy sauce (to taste)
Salt and pepper
Shrimp broth cubes
1.5 Liters of water
Calamansi (Philippine Lemon)
Marinate meat pieces in a mixture of salt, pepper and garlic for at least an hour.
Sear meat pieces quickly in sesame and olive oil mix. Set aside.
Saute onion and garlic. Stir fry carrots, sayote, beans, and season with a little oyster sauce. Set aside.
Prepare the broth by heating up 1.5 liter of water mixed with oyster sauce, soy sauce, shrimp cubes, salt and pepper. Bring to a rolling boil.
Drop the Rice Noodle sticks, and allow it to fully absorb the broth.
Use low fire on this process. Keep stirring. Add sesame oil.
Mix thoroughly and add the cabbages, red bell pepper and Chinese parsley. Mix evenly until fully incorporated.
Serve with calamansi and garnish with fried eggs, cooked veggies, meat, and kinchay.
Pansit for long life! :)