Besides tending to his chickens and roosters in the Philippines, I think my dad’s real passion is cooking. Watching Yan Can Cook was a favorite pastime for him and often he would call me in to watch with him. Ahhh, it’s those little moments that I miss. I especially miss waking up on Saturdays to the smell of fried chicken and asparagus soup or adobong sitaw with long beans or misua with meatballs or fried milkfish with garlic infused vinegar…good golly, Miss Molly I could go on and on but now I’m getting hungry. He is an early bird so looking back, I remember lunch would be typically ready by 10:30 am. No need for breakfast. Lucky us.
I also like the way he cuts up pineapple on an angle to remove the “eyes”, rinses the pineapple and rubs in kosher salt. As strange as it sounds, the kosher salt really brings out the sweetness. It really does! So now, with the same idea, I add a sprinkle of kosher salt to my watermelon and it’s just out of this world too.
I actually learned how to make Pancit Bihon from my mom and she doesn’t really measure so I don’t really measure either. I tried my best here, but sometimes I adjust the addition of broth to get the right consistency. I like my vegetables on the crispy side so I try not to overcook them either. In case you’re wondering “pancit” means “noodles” in Filipino.
As far as I know, it’s customary to serve noodles on a birthday to represent long life. This dish ends up with small’ish sized noodles so hopefully it doesn’t mean short life. Hmmm…regardless I tend to make these not only for birthdays but when I’m craving a little taste of home – wherever that may be.
3 green onions, chopped
1 carrot, match stick size, julienne
6 – 8 mushrooms, cut in half and sliced
1 cup (about 20) green beans, cut on a bias
1 cup broccoli florets, cut into small bite size pieces
1 chicken breast, sliced into small bite size pieces + 1 tablespoon soy sauce to marinade chicken
1 package Pancit Bihon (Cornstarch noodles/Rice Vermicelli)
oil for stir frying
3 – 4 tablespoons soy sauce
2 – 3+ cups hot chicken/vegetable broth
freshly ground pepper
1 – 2 lemons, cut in wedges
Drizzle a teaspoon of oil in the pan. Add drained noodles. Then add 3 tablespoons soy sauce and half cup of hot broth until it’s absorbed by the noodles. Karate chop or “cut” into the noodles (see picture above) to break them down into smaller noodles. (Sometimes my mom just takes kitchen shears/scissors and cuts the noodles.) Continue to add the broth in half cup increments until the noodles are soft in consistency (but not mushy) and continue to “cut” noodles, if necessary.
Birthday noodles from across the miles and miles…can’t wait to see you soon! xoxo