Monday, June 15, 2009

A "Grain" Evolution worth Slurping Up!

Have you ever had Chinese noodles dishes, sure you have... Chow mein, chow fun, lo mein and other yummy ones. I'm sure you've even had the pleasure of a serving of pad thai or two. Of course you know about Italian pasta dishes or even some Japanese soba. So your palette is not new to the noodles originating in other parts of the world.

But I can guarantee you that you either have never had Filipino noodle dishes before or have had few unforgettable encounters. Unless of course you're one of the lucky ones who knows a Filipina or are married to one, like my own set of lucky ducks! LOL

Just as yummy, exotic and quite healthy for you, too, because it doesn't use much oil, have tons of vegetables and the meat choices are really up to you. But for the purpose of this being Met Monday, I will demonstrate, blog style, how you can transform a package of this, rice vermicelli into one of the Philippines, staple party food, the Pancit Sotanghon. And it also happens to be my specialty!

You'll need a good package of this... (Sometimes, a big Safeway would have them)

Follow the recipe and cooking instructions below and you'll end up with this!

Ta-da!!! Doesn't it look great? I guarantee you, you'd beg for a fork and another helping. No joke! :-D Most of the women I've met who asked, "Do you know how to make pansit?" It's because they had the pleasure of knowing a Filipina neighbor who teased them with an occasional bite during special occasions when in reality, we can whip this up whenever we feel like. Ok, shhh... that's our little secret... LOL

Ok, here are your ingredients. I'm not a recipe collector per se, plus I am a self-taught cook (another story, another post), so this dish is a labor of "sniff, look and taste". LOL

From Cooks dot com: (I revised the wording so most of you can follow along)

This recipe gives you a choice, but I tend to use pork, chicken and shrimp. Though I cook and add in the shrimp separately. That way, each guest can dictate what kind of meat to have, in case of allergies.

1 pound of rice vermicelli
2-3 boned chicken breasts, boiled and shredded
1 c. steamed medium shrimp, added only when you use pork or beef
1-2 stalk fresh onion leaves (cut thin and diagonally)
4-6 carrots, julienned, toothpick size
1-2 c. cabbage, cut in thin strips
4-8 stalks celery, cut thin, diagonally
4-7 garlic cloves, chopped
1 onion, sliced into thin half rings, for frying vegetables
1 onion, sliced into thin half rings, for frying vermicelli
2 cubes chicken bouillon for the vegetables
Salt and pepper to taste
4 tbsp. canola oil, half portions
Sliced lemons, cilantro leaves and 1 sliced hard boiled egg (optional)

Please soak the vermicelli for 2 hours prior to cooking.

The night before: Cut all of your ingredients and boil the chicken until tender. In boiling, mix it with slices of onions. Keep the chicken broth for cooking the vermicelli. You may use pork or beef broth, if you do not like chicken. You can mix this with ham, too.

Let half the garlic steep in cold oil in pan for about 10 mins. Saute garlic in MED LOW heat and remove after golden brown. Set aside. DO NOT THROW AWAY THE GARLIC.
Add the onions; when brown, add in the chicken (or pork or beef). Add the shrimp if you are using pork or beef. When all these are browned; add the bouillons (or pork or beef) broth, salt and pepper. When it boils, add all together the carrots, cabbage and celery. Simmer for about 5 minutes. Set aside.

On a separate casserole, fry rest of the garlic and again remove and combine with first set of sauteed garlic. Add the rest of the onions. Once onions are browning, pour the chicken broth (or beef or pork broth). Once it boils, add the soaked vermicelli. (Remember, use MED LOW fire to cook the noodles evenly.) Stir once in a while. Cook until all liquid has been absorbed by the vermicelli.

Arrange on a platter and mix it with the cooked vegetables and the garlic. Garnish with green onion leaves and cilantro. Top with the sliced egg and sliced lemons on the side.

So, if you're a budding Asian chef, you cannot ignore this "all in one dish" wonder. The key to this delicious transformation, doing the prep work a day ahead. Once the hard part's done, you can whip this up quick and have one of the most delicious noodle dishes you'll ever come across! Don't take my word for it, ask Christine, Lorna, Li and various other Filipinas who have been delighting their friends' taste buds with this incredible fare!

Thank you so much Susan for hosting another great Met Monday. Don't forget to visit as many participants today as you can, you just might stumble onto one you can or at least be willing to do yourself! ;-) See ya; heart ya for peeking!

TABLESCAPING IDEA: ("Brain" just had another wonderful idea) You like a certain grain, pasta, noodles or vegetable? Why not make a whole table in honor of it? Why you ask, think back to why specialty restaurants spring for the same reason. Because it's a great idea! People tend to gravitate towards specialized things. Have a pasta bar or recipe swap centerpiece for cucumbers. The choice is yours! ;-)


  1. Hmmm....hmmm..... good! Your pansit looks so good, Chandy! I feel like making some right now but I am too lazy, have to work in the garden. As you know, it takes a lot of chopping. I wish I could just eat yours...LOL!....Christine

  2. Chandy, this looks great...will have to try it.


  3. My younger sis lived in the Phillipines and loves pancit. I agree, it's very good! Thanks for sharing the yummers recipe!

  4. Oh Chandy, my friend... I can almost smell it from here! Thank for sharing your recipe.. I am going to try it soon. I think, maybe the soaking of the vermicelli is where I messed up before... I probably won't ever be able to duplicate my friend's recipe...she had all that extra love added...which made it taste extra good! Sending hugs...thanks again for making it and sharing your recipe! ~ Susan

  5. Hi Chandy !
    I always buy those noodles but, don't have enough recipes to go with ! Thanks so much !
    Hugs ~ Kammy

  6. Evening, Chandy! Oh, this looks awesome and it's on a beautiful plate too!
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia :)

  7. Ok miss Chandy... it's too late to make me salivate over this delicious looking food! I may have to try this one!

    in response to your question about crosses... I have quite a few, but I don't really collect them.. I do rescue Rosarys though... then donate them to the nuns who in turn, donate them to the poor...

    You might check with your local Cahtolic Parish.. they usually have a Rosary Society that are always collecting things to sell to raise money for their church... A box of crosses would be greatly appreciated...

  8. you'd think after being Catholic for the past 55 years... I would at least be able to spell Catholic... LOL

  9. Hi Chandy,
    I just returned home from dinner and thought I was quite satisfied until I saw this. Yum!

  10. Chandy,
    I think it's so cool that you posted about Pancit too. Thanks for the sweet comments on my blog... after that description, I wish I could taste your version...loved this post !

  11. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I'm going to try that recipe!!!!! CHEERS! Michele

  12. Chandy..Chandy..Chandy!!! You've got my tummy growling. That looks yumm!

  13. Oh yum! What a fabulous meal.


  14. Chandy,dear, that's the prettiest sotanghon I've ever seen. I can almost taste it! My mouth is watering!

  15. Wow, this looks so yummy...I really should cook more and try this! Thanks for the recipe, Chandy! And I love your stories that go along with your always make me smile! Susan

  16. Anyone who adds 4-7 cloves of garlic to dinner is alright by me. We go through garlic and onions in our house by the bagful.
    Looks and sounds delicious.

  17. Delish on a cute dish!

    Hone is a good place to be. Guys just got home and we are all heading to Idaho on Sunday for a fiddle contest...I hope. Samuel got a bad ear infection from the trip and not hearing his playing in the right key. Need some quick healing. But still going weather he competes or not.
    Then I think we get to stay home (at least me) until August.

    Stay cool,

  18. Oh shoot, I meant to tell you how cute your blog looks. I like it a lot. laurie

  19. back again....when you have a few minutes, stop by my blog and pick up your "Daydreamer Award"... an award created by me...for bloggers like you!

  20. looks oh so good! When I worked at the hospital we had several talented Filipina cooks who would always bring potlucks. They worked in another floor, but I was always really grateful when I had to do my required Float and would be sent there! They were so warm, so welcoming, and always had an abundance of GREAT food. I don't think I can pick a favorite dish, but I also loved that they never seemed competitive, it was if they all had the same bundle of recipes and would ask why someone chose a dish rather than the European thought process of "I made this, I am the better cook." They were some great ladies. Thanks for sharing!

  21. Glad you liked the food and the company. Filipinos like to eat as a group so sharing is as natural as breathing to us. ;-)


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