Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Crispy Noodles with Beef and Oyster Sauce

Walking Along  "Pansit" Memory Lane
I grew up eating pansit (Stir-fried) noodles, during birthdays and most of the family occasions.   My mom cooked fantastic pansit,  There's  Pansit  Canton, Pansit Bihon and Sotanghon.   All bring comfort and according to elders bring long-life to a celebrant who has it as "handa" (part of the menu for the party).  How admirable it was to see huge woks containing loads of it being cooked off outside every  house during fiestas.   One that I can call Happy Food!  With colors of green, orange, yellow and  pink scattered around not only for the health it brought but for the eye-candy as it always is.

A common happy food not only to me but to my kids as well.   We would never tire eating loads of Pancit Malabon and plate after plate of Pansit Bihon which we would buy just a few blocks away from our home.   But now there's Pansit sa Puti, Pansit Luglug and how can we go wrong with Pancit Canton, yes the "Lucky Me" brand.
But let me tell a secret.   I don't know how to cook pancit.  Oh let me rephrase it,  I could never cook a good pancit.   I do cook of course, I even bake, if you haven't known, but sadly I never was taught how to cook it perfectly.  Actually I dread cooking it, maybe because I tried once and I almost lost my husband, then boyfriend with it. 
Here is the story...
I was already boasting of being a good cook at 15 years old, though I could only cook spaghetti and Adobo.   At my 18th birthday, my boyfriend (now my husband) asked if we could pancit to surprise my dad.   We went to the market and both of us made all the necessary preparation for it.   Till at a point when we will be putting water to the noodles with all the veggies and meat in it.   I practically knew nothing about the recipe, had I known a recipe on a paper I might have done it.   Then we have to serve it on the table with my siblings and my father on the table,  I knew it was a disaster but well, my Dad didn't want it to go to waste so we had it for lunch.   All along my Dad thought we knew how to cook it, with Bhogs teaching me how, my Dad  didn't cook anything for that lunch.   And as it was we weren't able to get comfort on it, but a disgust.   The noodles were so overcooked, soaked in too much sauce, with the meat being undone and the vegetables all soggy.  My Dad didn't say something, it was my birthday after all and we didn't have a nice lunch.
My mom is now in Italy, and she was also when that time when I tried to cook Pancit for all of us.   How come most moms know how to cook perfect pancit.   Till now that still serves as a big question mark to me.  Though it didn't cross my mind to make one, since there are lots of places to buy a "bilao," till this challenge put me to thinking what could be a good share for this month's Kulinarya theme.

So here is my tribute to Moms who loves to cook Pancit for their loved ones, a twist from the usual Pancit we would have but would still be a head-turner on the buffet table.  My take on my mom's Pancit.   The Crispy Noodles with Beef and Oyster Sauce.

3/4 c corn oil
250 grams Vermicelli
1/4 K beef sirloin, cut into strips
1/2 chopped ginger
2 Tbsp Oyster Sauce
2 Tbsp Hoisin sauce
1/2 cup sliced onion
1/2 cup julienne carrot
1/2 cup young corn cuts
1/2 cup sliced  mushrooms
1 meduim green bell pepper
2 Tbsp cornstarch, dissolved in
3/4 cup water
2 tsp Sesame oil
salt and pepper to taste

To cook:
Heat oil in pan.  Fry noodles until opaque and crispy.  Drain in Paper towels then transfer to a serving plate.  Set aside keeping it warm.
Marinate beef in ginger, oyster sauce and hoisin sauce for at least 15 minutes.   Heat another part of oil in a pan.  Cook beef for about 3 to 5 minutes.   Stir in onions,  mushrooms and young corn.   Then put in the carrots, and bell peppers.   Season with salt and pepper.   Now pour in the  cornstarch-water mixture and allow to simmer until sauce thickens.   Add sesame oil just before removing from heat.   Immediately top over the fired noodles.  Serve and enjoy.
Can I still say I don't know how to cook pansit? You judge!

Oh, before I let you go, I want to invite you to one of my advocacy.   A right for all the kids and people to know that home-cooking rocks and that  junk foods and a lot of fast food stuff may be bad for everyone's health.
I joined Chef  Jamie Oliver for his campaign on changing the eating habits of America and the whole world for that sense by  fighting obesity and diet-related diseases with better food.   His campaign is known worldwide as  Food Revolution.  It was launched here in the Philippines, in Manila and Cebu simultaneously last May 19, now only on it's second year.  That day was said to be declared as Food Revolution Day!
So if you're passionate about good food and cooks food as a lifestyle, join me and the rest of the world in this campaign.
Do check my blog about it at Food Revolution Conquered the Philippines
and support by joining the Facebook Fan page and post a picture of you with your spoon.

Happy Cooking Kulinarya friends!


  1. I love cooking and this definitely caught my attention. I am always a fan of pancit more than pastas. I'll probably try this. By the way, I've followed your blog as well, thanks for following mine as well. God bless.

  2. my sister loves crispy noodles!

  3. Thanks for sharing this post, reminds me of my mom's crispy canton...=)

  4. I love crispy pancit and enjoyed your story on your Mom. Made me feel nostalgic. I can never make the perfect pancit, too. Sigh! But your take is really perfect. I must try yours. Glad you joined us on this KCC event!

  5. You're not alone on this pancit thingy. It took me a while to get it right as well. Now that I can say I can do it, I seldom cook it! But I'd say sotanghon is probably the easiest to handle amongst pinoy noodles.

  6. Anything basta pancit, masarap for me!


I would love to hear your thoughts on my post, care for a comment?