Friday, January 8, 2016


For Christmas Eve, my family celebrates Christmas according to a the traditions of another country.  Every year a different country is chosen.  Last year we celebrated a Basque Christmas.  This year we celebrated a Pilipino Christmas.

We ate pancit, chicken adobo, a fruit salad with sour cream and sweetened condensed milk, an egg roll like dish called lumpia, flan, and a coconut cake made with rice flour.  Everything was superb.  I made the pancit.
Noodles were brought to the Philippines by the Chinese.  Each region of the Philippines has its own version of pancit.  It is eaten for celebrations like birthdays, weddings, baptisms, and graduations.  

The word pancit has a Chinese origin.  The word comes from the Hokkien word piān-ê-si̍twhich means convenient food.  Hokkien is a dialect from the southern Chinese province Fujian.  In China and the Philippines, noodles represent long life so the noodles should not be cut short.

The recipe came from  I doubled the recipe, but otherwise made it as directed.  I would not advise doubling the recipe.  The quantity was unwieldy.  We had to use my mother's biggest pan in order to have all the ingredients fit.

The ingredients are 1 12-ounce box dried rice noodles, 1 teaspoon vegetable oil, 1 onion, 3 garlic cloves, 2 cups cooked chicken breast, 1 small cabbage, 4 carrots, 1/4 cup soy sauce, and 2 lemons.

I placed the rice noodles into bowl and covered them with hot water.  I let them set until the noodles were cooked.  I drained off the water after the noodles were cooked.  Meanwhile I added the oil to a pan over medium-high heat.  I added the finely chopped onion and minced garlic.  I sautéed the onion and garlic until the onion was soft.  This took a few minutes.

I added the finely sliced carrots and sautéed the mixture for about five minutes.

I added the cabbage, chicken, and soy sauce.

I sautéed the ingredients until the cabbage and carrots were soft.

After the vegetables were soft, I added the rice noocles.  During this process, I had to switch to a larger pan because things were getting out of hand.  It was impossible to stir when the pot was overflowing with ingredients.

I sautéed and stirred the pancit until all the ingredients were incorporated and hot.

This was an outstanding recipe.  The flavors were rich, savory, fragrant, and salty.

The vegetables were soft.  The noodles were flavorful.  Some of the noodles were a little caramelized from being panfried.

This was an excellent, toothsome dish, one of the tastiest things I have made in a while.  It was carb rich and comforting.  It was a little exotic, but so familiar small children ate it without question.

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