Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Pancit Bihon

What is a birthday party or any party in filipino household if you do not have any rice noodle dish? Pancit Bihon is one kind of rice noodle dish that always frequent filipino's dining table or "meza" during a party. Most of the time you will have "Palabok",Pancit Bihon, Pancit Canton, Pancit Molo, Pancit Sotanghon and Lomi. Why do we have to have it? Well this noodle dish especially pancit bihon is prepared during birthdays because it is a tradition and we believe it signifies long life. And when you prepare and cook the rice noodle you are not suppose to cut it. You are suppose to leave it as it is which is long so that the birthday celebrant and our guests whom we are sharing it with will have a long life. It is prepared also during holidays or if you have a family get together. It became a regular potluck dish request here in the west also.
Some find making pancit bihon easy but I find it not so because you have to cut so many ingredients but I guess if you have carrots,green beans and cabbage will do. I find pancit palabok easier to make which others find it not so because you really need to buy ahead of time the few key ingredients because you dont normally store it in your pantry. Well I guess to each its own.
But my husband and my son prefer pancit bihon than pancit palabok so I cook it most of the time. Honestly though my son loves my spaghetti. If we have it he'll ask for it lunch,snacks and dinner. Ok ok I'm getting side track, this is a Pancit Bihon post, i'll do my palabok and spaghetti post next time. My sister inlaw came over for a visit from New York and so I made some Pancit Bihon for her.
Here is the picture as I prepared it on "Our Meza".

Rice Noodle (brand pamana,lapu-lapu
1 1/2 cup of water
1 Onion (diced)
garlic (crushed)
carrots (julienne)
green beans (sliced thinly)
celery (optional)
soy sauce
pork or chicken diced
shrimp deveined
fish balls cut into 3

Saute garlic and onion followed by pork or chicken then shrimp. season with pepper and pinch of salt. when done set aside but leave at least 2 tablespoons in the pan then add water and the soy sauce. while waiting to boil soak the rice noodle to room temperature water until it softened a little do not cut it and do not over soak.
When the water in the pan is boiling add all the vegetable and the meat mixture. Let it simmer and remove most of the vegetable and meat. Add the rice noodle. When it turn translucent add back the vegetable and meat mixture slowly but leave atleast 2 cups of it for later use. Add pepper and soy sauce according to your taste. And when done transfer to serving platter. Top it with remaining vegetable and meat mixture. Garnish it with fresh lemon wedges. Serve hot with "pandesal" or dinner rolls and ice cold lemonade would be an excellent drink with this dish.

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