Every time Filipinos celebrate a special event we cook a noodle dish like this Pancit Canton with Sotanghon. Noodles are a symbol of long life in most Asian cultures. And long life, prosperity, and the abundance of good wishes are often celebrated with good food. On my last night in the Philippines last week, during a nearly month-long trip, my sister treated me to a sumptuous Chinese dinner. We had pancit. On my arrival a few weeks before, one of the first dishes I had was also pancit. Back here in America, when we celebrate birthdays at home, it’s always with a noodle dish, usually it’s pancit.
And today, we celebrated my son, Toby’s birthday. So I made pancit. This version has two kinds of noodles : Dried Canton or Chinese wheat noodles, and sotanghon. The latter are cellophane-type noodles made from mung beans. Both combined in one noodle dish provide very exciting contrasts and textures.
Pancit canton, or dried Chinese noodles are thicker, opaque and provide a hefty flavor to the dish. The Sotanghon noodles are transparent, light and silky and add a slinky contrasting sensation to the other condiments of chicken, shrimps and vegetables.Whether you cook this dish for four or more , for a birthday , a celebration or a regular family dinner, it never fails to delight everyone with the vibrant colors, layers of flavors and amazing aromas of a garlicky broth of with soy sauce. Plus this festive noodle dish is so unbelievably easy to make. Happy Birthday, Toby!
Pancit Canton with Sotanghon Noodles
- Large skillet or Wok: 12 to 14 inches diameter
- 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 Tablespoons achuete oil
- 1 whole white or yellow onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic peeled, minced
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 cup sliced carrot
- 1/2 pound chicken breast, boneless sliced in thin strips, 2-inches length
- 1/2 pound large fresh shrimps peeled, heads and tails removed
- 2 Tablespoons cornstarch to coat chicken and shrimps
- 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 cup fresh snow peas edges trimmed
- 2 cups sliced Napa cabbage
- 8 ounces dried sotanghon noodles (cellophane noodles) pre-soak in water for 15 minutes
- 8 ounces dried pancit canton noodles
- 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/4 cup cold water for dispersing the cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 stalks scallions chopped, garnish
- 1 Tablespoon calamansi or lemon juice for dipping sauce juice
- 1/4 cup soy sauce for dipping sauce
- 1 cup vegetable oil for achuete oil
- 1 Tablespoon annato powder for achuete oil er
- 4 cloves garlic peeled, minced
- In a large skillet or wok, over medium high heat, add the vegetable oil and achuete oil. Saute the onions, garlic, celery till soft. Add the carrots.
- Coat chicken breast and shrimps with cornstarch.
- Add the chicken and shrimps. Toss around the wok and let these cook for about 8 to 10 minutes.
- Add the soy sauce and the broth. Let the mixture simmer for a 5 minutes for the flavors to blend.
- When meat and shrimps are cooked, add the vegetables. This will cook in about 3 minutes.
- Add the canton noodles . Then drain the water from the sotanghon and add these noodles to the rest of the pan. Blend all ingredients well, but be careful not to mash the noodles.
- Separately in a small bowl, mix the cornstarch and cold water till smooth. Add the dispersed cornstarch to the wok with the rest of the ingredients. Over medium-high heat the liquid will boil in 1 to 2 minutes and sauce will thicken to a gravy-like consistency.
- Season with sesame oil, salt, and pepper. Garnish with scallions. Serve warm with a side dipping sauce of soy sauce and lemon or calamansi.
- *How to make Achuete oil: Combine in a small saucepan, over medium heat the vegetable oil, achuete powder and garlic. When the mixture boils in about 2 to 3 minutes, turn off the heat. Let the liquid sit on the counter for at least 1 hour till it cools. When the achuete oil has cooled down, pour through a sieve into a glass mason jar. Cover and store in a cool place till ready to use.
- Cook's Comments: You can substitute pork slices in place of chicken . Or if desired, omit the chicken or any meat ingredients, and double the amount of shrimps for a meatless pancit dish. Add other vegetables like green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, and Chinese mushrooms, tofu to suit your fancy.
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Notes on Nutrition: The nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.
Did you like this recipe?I have more Filipino Instant Pot recipes in my newest cookbook Instant Filipino Recipes: My Mother’s Traditional Philippine Cooking in A Multicooker Pot by Elizabeth Ann Besa-Quirino. I also have more classic recipes inspired by my mother’s cooking in my popular cookbook: My Mother’s Philippine Recipes. If you’re learning how to cook Filipino food or a fan of Philippine cuisine, buy my cookbooks and books on Amazon.com sold worldwide in paperback and Kindle format.
Copyright Notice: Hello, Friends! Please DO NOT LIFT OR PLAGIARIZE my original recipe, stories, photos or videos. All the images and content on this blog are COPYRIGHT PROTECTED and owned by my media company Besa-Quirino LLC. This means BY LAW you are NOT allowed to copy, scrape, lift, frame, plagiarize or use my photos, essays, stories and recipe content on your websites, books, films, television shows, videos, without my permission. If you wish to republish this recipe or content on media outlets mentioned above, please ASK MY PERMISSION, or re-write it in your own words and link back to my blog AsianInAmericaMag.com to give proper attribution. It is the legal thing to do. Thank you. Email me at [email protected]