Yes Philippines also have its own version of the stir fried noodles and it is called Pancit Canton and like most Asian Noodle dishes it all originated from China. Like the name suggests it came from the Hokkien word “pian e sit” which means “something conveniently cooked” and I guess you know where the word Canton came from, Hint: It’s a place in China. It was once a Chinese Merchants meal where it was bought over by these merchants long before the Spaniards came, this dish served to ease homesickness from their long travels and as they dealt with the locals. It was said that they use to make fresh noodles every time but when their wheat flour ran out they substitute it with rice flour giving birth to other noodle types.
The Spanish then came and the legacy continued, this time the dish became a popular staple of takeaways as well as street food vendors, panciterias (noodle houses) which were established by the Chinese migrants became popular during those days and it Filipino Chinese and the factory workers who have this for their meals, it was the “fast food” during those days, really helpful for those busy workers who did not have enough time to cook homemade meals.
Today it’s not just a fast food item but more of a traditional dish where it is widely served during special occasion as it was believed that it will bring “Long Life” as symbolised by the long noodles. There were also different variations that came up where it uses different sauces, noodles and ingredients noodle dishes like Pancit Cabagan, Pancit Batil Patong, Pancit Sotanghon, Pancit Malabon and Pancit Palabok to name somewhere these variations depends on the local produce a certain province will have. I guess that hold true to the whole of Asia, this noodle dish have been transformed in each of the local regions and was developed to be a unique noodle dish on its own.
For now I am presenting you the most basic Filipino stir fried noodle dish the Pancit Canton, perhaps the father of all Filipino stir fried noodle dishes.
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- 500 grams fresh yellow noodles
- 150 g pork, thinly sliced
- 2 pcs Chinese sausage, sliced
- 1 dozen prawns
- handful of snap peas
- 1 carrot, julienned
- ⅓ head small cabbage, chopped
- 1 cup prawn juice, from pounded prawn shells and heads in water
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp oyster sauce
- 1 tbsp hoisin sauce
- 2 small shallots, sliced
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- fish sauce
- freshly ground black pepper
- lemon wedges or calamansi
- Prepare fresh yellow noodles by soaking it in boiling water for a minute. Drain then set aside.
- Place wok in a high heat, add oil, and once hot add pork then stir fry for 2 minutes. Add the Chinese sausage and stir fry for two more minutes. Remove from wok then set it aside.
- Add more oil if needed then sauté the shallots and garlic, add the carrots and stir fry for a minute.
- Still in high heat, add the cabbage then continue to stir fry for a minute.
- Add the noodles, prawns and snap peas then continue to stir fry. Add the prawn juice, soy sauce, oyster sauce and hoisin sauce. Stir fry for 2 minutes, add the pork and Chinese sausage back into the wok, toss to combine then season with freshly ground black pepper and fish sauce.
- Place in a serving platter together with lemon wedges or calamansi slices.