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It Has To Be Shrimp

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April 23, 2014 / Filipino / By
I Eat Because I Wanna

I’ve consulted both my grandfather and father on this one. They said the same thing, when it comes to the egg noodles, it has to be shrimp. Give or take tofu, do not forget the shrimp.

The popular way to eat the Pancit (pan-sit) or noodle dish is to sprinkle it with freshly squeezed Philippine lime or calamansi and to balance out the flavour, it has to be eaten with a slice of bread. There are many different styles of preparing, cooking and eating pancit according to region and personal preferences, since there are different types of noodles alone that serve as the base of this dish.

Noodles are not traditionally a Filipino dish. They were introduced by the Chinese who first came to trade with the Filipinos and have since then become a “milestone” dish. For birthdays and special occasions, Filipinos make it a point to prepare pansit because its strands signify the length of life and the success that the celebrant or a company is bound to take on. So if one wanted to enjoy “long-life”, the pancit has to be present in the banquet.

But for this particular dish, I am sticking with the basic ingredients, ones that are readily available in my region and I did not forget the shrimp. As for the process of cooking it, it’s just dump and mix. No fuss at all.

My pansit ingredients consist of peeled and washed medium sized shrimps, a bundle of Chinese cabbage (the locals here call it pechay), peeled and sliced carrots, a red onion, two cloves of garlic and the egg noodles washed thoroughly. 

In a big enough frying pan on low fire, pour olive oil, then once hot enough, put in the chopped onions and garlic. Once onions are transparent, pour in the shrimp and make sure they are thoroughly cooked. 

Add in soy sauce, sesame oil and let the shrimp absorb the flavour. Add in the carrots and let it simmer until the carrot sticks are soft. Dump in the noodles and mix well. 

Once the noodles have been coated well, add in the pechay or Chinese cabbage and mix in. Make sure the pechay is still crispy and firm. Overcooking it will take away its nutrients. Finish with a dash of sesame oil to bring out that savoury aroma. 

For a single serving of pancit, a medium-sized calamansi can add that zesty kick. Toss. Once thoroughly mixed, the noodles can be used as a topping on sliced bread. 

If a dish of pansit can talk, it would definitely recall the many birthdays, milestones and other events that it was prepared for. Perhaps it can chronicle the early days and last days of a single person. But that is all just wondering for now. 

It's like the Filipino version of a stir-fry noodle dish, or the cheaper version of a pasta dish. But my family was right. It definitely has to be shrimp. 

 

Raisa is a lifestyle blogger and technical writer by profession. She can market and haggle for fresh ingredients in three local dialects and is a lover of ice cream and pastries. Her writing life is defined by coffee-with a separate tab about the coffee she’s consumed in her blog. 

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Country: Philippines

Province/State: Zamboanga

City: Zamboanga City

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Zip/Post Code: 7000

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Price Guide:N/A (What's this?) N/A = home cooked meal,etc
$ = street food, fast food,etc
$$ = bistro, cafe, pub, bar,etc
$$$ = fine dining,etc

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