Monday, 8 December 2014

Pancit Bihon

I know I've been posting a lot of Goons with Spoons recipes lately, but that's because there's an awful lot of delicious in that forum/wiki. This recipe is courtesy of the "Pilipino Pood" thread and can also be found on the GwS wiki.

I've been in a noodle-y sort of mood lately, so something using rice vermicelli was quite appealing. And, it even calls for carrots, which is great, because I have a bunch in the fridge that need to be used up!

The recipe as written has you making chicken stock from scratch. However, I had a bunch of delicious, wonderful pork stock left over from my adventures with sisig. So, I opted to use that as my liquid and go from there.

Pancit Bihon
4 chicken thighs
salt and pepper
4 c. pork stock
~1/2 tsp. celery seed
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
3 small carrots, peeled and julienned
1 pkg. Chinese sausage, sliced into coins
3 heads Shanghai bok choy, shredded
2 Tbsp. dark soy sauce
1 Tbsp. fish sauce
1 (225g) pkg. rice vermicelli
3 green onions, chopped
1 lime, cut into wedges

1. Apply salt and pepper to the chicken thighs. Heat up a pot or wok with a bit of oil and sear the chicken. (I used skinless, boneless thighs because I already had some pork stock on hand. Skin-on, bone-in will be better if you're starting with water instead of stock.)
2. Add the stock (or water) to the pot/wok, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until chicken is done.
3. Empty the pot/wok, reserving both chicken and stock. Shred the chicken.
4. Brown the garlic, adding a little oil to the pot/wok as necessary.
5. Add the onion and sauté until tender and starting to brown.
6. Add the sausage and carrot and cook until carrot reaches desired done-ness.
7. Add the bok choy and cook for a minute or two until it wilts.
8. Remove everything from the pot/wok and set aside.
9. Return the stock to the pot/wok, add the soy sauce and fish sauce, and bring to a boil. Add the noodles.
10. Make sure noodles are submerged in stock, then dump all the reserved items (shredded chicken, garlic, onion, sausage, carrot, and bok choy) in on top of them.
11. Once the noodles are soft enough to stir without breaking, stir everything together. Continue to cook until all the stock is absorbed.

12. Serve garnished with green onions and squeeze a little lime juice on top (or calamansi if you can find it). Yum!

This recipe is pretty flexible. You can include fish or seafood if that's your thing. (The original suggests half a pound of shrimp.) You can make it with pork instead of chicken if you want. You can use pre-made stock or make it from scratch. Change up the veg. Whatever you want!

The original recipe suggested using one small head of napa cabbage, but I didn't want to go out and buy more cabbage when I had a bunch of bok choy on hand, so I used that instead. Likewise, I didn't want to get a whole celery just to use the one rib called for in this dish, so I just added a few celery seeds to my stock and called it a day!

If you're starting with water and making your stock from scratch, you'll probably want to include a few more seasonings while boiling the chicken. (And also use skin-on, bone-in chicken.) I'd recommend adding a bay leaf or two and a few black peppercorns as well as a touch of extra salt for a start. Feel free to add in whatever else sounds tasty from there! Garlic, onion, parsley, cilantro? My stock just had salt, pepper, bay leaves, citrus (probably mandarin orange) juice, and pork (neck bones, ears, and belly) for its initial cooking and then the added chicken and celery seed today and it seemed to come out plenty tasty! I do think a bit of garlic (or even just garlic powder) in the stock would've been a nice touch though.

I really like how this turned out with the dark soy in the stock and the lime juice drizzled over it to serve. The hit of sourness from the lime is a really quite nice. I would be curious to try a variation that skips the lime and just adds a double quantity of toyomansi to the stock though. I would also love to try it with actual calamansi but, so far, I have been unable to find it here, so toyomansi is the closest I can get for now!

I love how flexible, delicious, and satisfying this dish is! It requires a fair amount of chopping but, other than that, is actually pretty easy. Now that I think about it, it occurs to me that most of the prep work could be eliminated if you're willing to use pre-made stock or broth and toss in a bag of coleslaw mix in place of the shredded cabbage/bok choy and carrot. Then all you need to do is mince the garlic and chop the onion and scallions (and sausage if you're using it). And, if you're not making the stock from scratch, you're free to throw in leftover chicken (or whatever other meat) instead of cooking it from raw. This could reasonably be made into a tasty, low-effort, weekday dinner!

1 comment:

  1. Protip - you can get concentrated calamansi juice at Asian groceries sometimes! It's also good mixed with water, either sweetened or not. :D