So I’ll just come right out and say it. One thing I have done a pretty bad job at in my new life here is trying new Filipino foods.
When you visit a new place, all you want to do is try super exotic things and eat street food and take pictures of it and maybe even risk getting a few dreaded drops of water in your system just to get the full experience. You’re fun and adventurous and you soak it up.
Well, I moved to a new place and that did not happen to me.
I did get some cute and curious neighbors, though. And that is a win.
On an all-too-frequent-basis, I have found myself – er, still find myself? – reaching for the PB&Co. Or the Bob’s Red Mill. Or the Baked Doritos (true colors, yo). Instead of taking pictures of the new and exciting foods at the store, I take pictures of myself eating Easy Mac. At home, though. I don’t eat that at the store, but thanks for thinking so highly of me. To my credit, I’ve eaten a lot of mangoes here, so… yeah.
Truthfully, I’ve only scratched the surface on making and trying Filipino foods. And now I’m trying to change that.
Now that I’m starting to feel a bit more comfortable – yes, it takes me four months to get comfortable, what of it? – I’m gonna try again. I’m not going to hole up in the international section of the grocery store. I’m gonna start buying things like giant bags of pancit canton noodles.
And then I’m going to stir fry them with shrimp and veggies and eat em out of the pan. Have you eaten noodles straight out of a pan recently? Please do it. It feels so weirdly satisfying.
This is a traditional Filipino noodle dish that is so simple and so full of great flavor. It’s like a glorified ramen. But does that make you want it more or less? Maybe just ignore me.
The thick noodles soak up all the flavor of the sauteed onion, chicken stock, soy sauce + fish sauce, and that fresh squeeze of calamansi juice (lime for you). Throw some meat, er, seafood, whatever, in there with the fresh veggies and WOW. It was really, really good.
I added cilantro to mine because I couldn’t not do it, but you guys, cilantro is not very Filipino.
I wonder if getting myself a third heaping plate of noodles is also not very Filipino.
By the way, check out Jun-Blog if you’re looking for some other Filipino yums. Jun’s blog is a winner!
- 1 lb. raw, tail-off shrimp
- 3 tablespoons oil
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 onion
- 1 head green cabbage
- 2 large carrots
- 8 ounces dry pancit canton noodles
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- calamansi (or lime) juice to taste
- sliced green onions for topping
- Mince the garlic and onion. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet. Add garlic and onion and stir-fry until soft, about 3 minutes. Add shrimp and cook, stirring frequently, until no longer translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Chop the cabbage and peel and grate the carrot. Add another tablespoon of oil into the skillet and stir fry the vegetables until tender-crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
- In a large pot, bring the chicken stock, soy sauce, and fish sauce to a boil. Add the pancit noodles and boil until the noodles are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the shrimp and vegetables to the pot and stir to combine.
- Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to a large skillet and add the contents of the pot. Stir fry the mixture for about 10 minutes. When most of the liquid has been absorbed, remove from heat and stir in the calamansi juice. Top with sliced green onions.
What’s that? Don’t have pancit canton noodles sitting around the house? Me either, and I live in the Philippines. Try your local Asian market – I have a feeling they’d be happy to send you home with a big ol’ bag of the good stuff.
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