My mom turned 85 on Friday. Although she is a Canadian citizen, she opted to live in the Philippines because of the warm weather and familiar surroundings. I was able to talk to her and I am glad she is happy and doing well . To celebrate her birthday, I cooked pancit bihon on the weekend.
Pancit bihon is a popular Filipino noodle dish that was introduced by the Chinese. It consists of meat and vegetables sautéed with rice noodles and flavored with soy sauce or fish sauce. Meat that are commonly used are pork or chicken, shrimp and/or Chinese sausage. Some vegetables that may be used are carrots, cabbage, green beans, celery and dried Chinese mushrooms.
Pancit bihon is commonly served on any Filipino or Chinese birthday celebration. It is a belief that noodles symbolize long life hence a person should eat noodles on his/her birthday.
- 1 lb dried rice vermicelli, soaked in warm water for 15 minutes and drained
- ½ lb pork tenderloin, cut into strips
- ½ lb shrimps
- 2 pieces Chinese sausage, cut into ¼ inch pieces
- 6 pieces dried shitake mushrooms
- 1 medium carrot, cut into strips
- 1 ½ cups cabbage, shredded
- 1 ½ cups green beans, cut into small diagonal pieces
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 shallot, chopped
- 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cover mushrooms with hot water and let stand for 20 minutes. Drain, remove the stems and sliced the caps. Set aside.
- Peel and devein the shrimps. Put the heads, tails and shells in a saucepan. Add 1 cup water to the pan, bring to the boil, reduce heat and let simmer for 2 minutes. Strain the liquid and set aside.
- Sauté garlic in 1 tablespoon hot oil in a large skillet for 2 minutes. Add sausage and shrimps; cook for 3 more minutes or until just cooked. Season with 1 tablespoon soy sauce. Remove from skillet.
- Using the same skillet, heat another tablespoon oil. Add the shallot and stir fry for a minute and then add the carrots, mushrooms, green beans and cabbage. Add reserved shrimp broth; bring to the boil, cover and let simmer for 3 minutes.
- Add the vermicelli, 2 tablespoons soy sauce and 2 tablespoons oyster sauce; toss using two wooden spoons.
- Add pork mixture and chopped cilantro; continue tossing until mixtures are well blended. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve and enjoy!