Thursday, January 21, 2016

Filipino Chicken Pancit with Bean Thread Noodles

Pancit in Filipino culture generally means noodles and there are a plethora of these kinds of dishes. The version my mom learned from Aunt Gloria was a mung bean thread noodle dish. Once again with the family’s wheat issues this worked very well.  It was noodles, meat, and vegetables. There were more noodles but still enough meat and vegetables. I have had this dish with a pitiful amount of meat and vegetables, and too much noodles.

The vegetables common to the dish are onions, carrots, celery, bean spouts, mushrooms, sugar peas, snow, peas, cabbage, bok choy, and broccoli. Not all of them together, usually 4 to 5 of them. The meat can be chicken, pork, turkey, and shrimp. Typically it has been chicken. Left over chicken and turkey works very well. When I was younger we would have a turkey pancit after Thanksgiving or Christmas.


Mom used to say hers never tasted like Aunt Gloria’s. She believed it was missing something. When I was 6 or 7, Aunt Gloria and my cousins moved to the Philippines. When I was 11, they moved back to the U.S. As it happens we ended up stationed close to where they lived. One time we visited when Aunt Gloria was making pancit. She added something, that mom could not see what it was. Mom asked and Aunt Gloria tried to pass it off as nothing happened. Finally she told my mom that she would not like it if she knew what it was. It turned out to be fish sauce. Mom went to the nearest Asian Market and bought some. She told my Aunt that she did not care. We ate it before knowing and we would continue after.

I had never made pancit. I love the dish; it reminds me of my childhood home and good memories. I decided I needed to learn how to make it. My mom had lost her copy of the recipe. So I went searching online. I found a recipe that looked close enough to what I remembered. I sent a link to mom and she said it looked close enough to her. On August 8, 2015, I finally made this dish. The noodles were a little too al dente. I used chicken thighs and they worked out wonderful. I made it again in December 2015. This time I got the noodles right.

The mung bean thread noodles can be found at any Asian market. Another thing is they are high protein and low carb, as well as gluten free. This is a perfect dish for those going low carb. Vegans can remove the fish sauce and meat, use vegetable broth or stock, and tofu. This is a vegan fish sauce recipe I will link it as well as the recipe I found for pancit. 

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