With some straight-up Filipina style, your Pancit Canton will look like this when you are done!
I am a proud American whose father served in the U.S. Navy. It was when he was stationed in the Philippines that he met and married my mother; then came me. Although I was American at birth, there is no denying I am half Filipina. Although my early childhood was spent in the PI, I can’t really tell you much about it. I did after all live on base, which all military families know it is like a mini-America overseas. You would think I would be well versed in Asian dishes and Tagalog. I unfortunately am not in either, lol. I do however know a few choice curse words in Tagalog and also how to make Pancit Canton the way my mother taught me.
It’s hard to explain what the noodle is like. It’s not a spaghetti noodle kind of dish, it isn’t lo mein…it is a flour noodle that is cooked in a very unique way. It is only $1.49, yep, it’s that cheap and this makes more than enough for a family of 4. AND, it is made in the Philippines!
This is what the noodles look like when they are removed from the package. It is a thick square chunk of dried noodles.
Let me give you a hint: these noodles are not boiled! Instead they are added to flavored liquid and is cooked when the liquid is fully absorbed into the noodle. It gives such an amazing flavor! So it is important to not blindly add water because this is not a noodle you boil and drain.
Don’t skimp on the Soy Sauce! A good soy sauce adds bold flavor without making you think you just sucked on a salt lick for hours! I swear by Marca Pina soy sauce! For one thing, one huge bottle costs only $1.95 (it is the size of your average wine bottle) and two, it is made in the Philippines! So I guess technically I do want you to skimp on the soy sauce, lol, because this brand is so much cheaper than other brands considering the amount of soy sauce you get! So skimp on my friends! You will also find this easily in most Asian stores!
6 boneless, skinless, thin-cut pork chops
2 tbsp of vegetable oil
3 tablespoons Marca Pina soy sauce
1 garlic clove, minced (or 1/4 teaspoon of our favorite Spice World Minced Garlic)
2 teaspoons onion chopped dried onion (or 1 tablespoon of fresh diced onions)
salt & pepper to taste
1.5 cups water
1 cup of coleslaw veggie mix (contains only shredded cabbage and carrots, found by the bagged salad)
1 package Pancit Canton Noodles (easily found at most Asian markets)
Let me first say that I made a double batch so in the pictures you will pretty much see twice as much of everything. I made the Pancit Canton for my family for dinner last night and also made extra to take over to my dear friend, Rhonda, so she could try this noodle goodness too!
Slice pork chops into thin strips; set aside for the moment.
Add the oil, soy sauce, minced garlic and onions to a wok or if you are like me and don’t have a wok, put it in a chicken fryer pan (a frying pan that is large and deep). Saute the minced garlic and onions over medium heat.
Add pork chops to the pan and stir fry the pork. Add salt and pepper to your liking (more pepper than salt because there is soy sauce already in there). I prefer to use a pepper mill, nothing like fresh cracked pepper when you are cooking. I had so many pork slices because of the double batch that it wasn’t quite a “stir fry” method for me. I put a lid on to help cook the pork along. Just make sure you keep stirring so that the garlic, onion, soy sauce and oil evenly covers all of the pork. Once fully cooked, do not drain.
Add the shredded cabbage and carrots from the cole slaw mix. Give it a good stir and put the lid on. The goal is to steam the veggies without cooking them. Allow the steam to soften the veggies for approximately 2-3 minutes.
Turn the heat up between medium & high. Add the water to the pan. Allow water to heat up for approximately 3-4 minutes.
Place the noodles in your pan, pressing down the noodles with a lid. Cover for 60 seconds. Remove the lid and stir the noodles around. Cover again for another 60 seconds. Remove the lid and stir the noodles around. Cover again for another 60 seconds. Repeat this process until almost all the liquid is absorbed into the noodles.
When there is a small amount of liquid left, remove from heat and keep the lid on. The noodles will absorb the remainder of the liquid. It is important to remember to use an exact measurement for the water. This isn’t a boil and drain noodle. It is a “I’m sucking up all this fantastic drippings and broth” noodle, lol. If you don’t add enough liquid, the noodles will have crunchy parts. If you use too much liquid, your noodles will be very soggy. See the NOTES below for additional hints on the liquid.
Note: You can certainly grate fresh carrots and slice thin strips of cabbage yourself. I am always pressed for time and the few extra cents to buy a bag of coleslaw mix (usually found with the bagged salads) is worth it to me.
Note II: We prefer pork but my mother has made this with chicken and shrimp so use whatever meat is your preference.
Note III: If you are heavy into veggies, by all means, add as much as you want and add different types of veggies! For us, the carrots and cabbage give just the right amount of crunch to the dish even after being steamed.
Note IV: Watch your noodles closely, if they appear to have absorbed the liquid and are still “crunchy”, add 2 tablespoons of water. Do not add more water until the majority of the liquid is absorbed. If the noodles are still “crunchy”, repeat and add just 2 more tablespoons of water to the pan. Repeat as often as necessary. You don’t want to add too much water because nothing is worse than soggy canton noodles. For me and my stove, 1.5 cups of water is the perfect amount for one package of canton noodles.
Note V: Have you been following my blog? Think you have seen this before? You have, lol! This was posted in my early days of blogging. I deleted that post and this post gives you a more detailed explanation on how to cook Pancit Canton.
This dish is loved by all our friends…BUT, not loved as much as the Lumpia I make. I will save that recipe for tomorrow. What is Lumpia, well it is those fantastic, crunchy rolls you see in the picture above. But it isn’t a spring roll, it isn’t an egg roll . . . it is something way better!