Each family has their favorite recipe of pancit, using a wide range of ingredients. Our version is one made by Yaya, who helped care for my boys as we hopped from country to country, and introduced them to the tastes, smells, and textures of Philippine home cooking. Thanks to her, the kids never cringed at the smell of fish sauce, or the sight of a fish head popping out from a bowl of soup, or an overload of garlic in their fried rice.
Yaya decided to retire many years ago, after we moved (again!) to a country she thought was too cold for her arthritis. Yaya's Pancit embodies all the care and love she shared with us. There is never a day that we don't miss her.
adapted from Memories of Philippine Kitchens
1 pack (250g) vermicelli sotanghon noodles
1 pack cooked Chinese egg noodles
2 pork cutlets (slightly marbled with fat)
2 teaspoons salt
6 cups water
1/3 cup peanut oil
2 Chinese sausages, sliced diagonally
1 onion, diced
8 garlic cloves, minced
6 dried shitake mushrooms, soaked in water for 30 mins, drained then sliced
2 carrots, julienned
½ head cabbage, cored, halved and sliced thinly
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons fish sauce
Spring onions for garnish, sliced
Soak vermicelli noodles for 30 minutes, making sure water covers noodles. Drain and set aside.
Place pork cutlets in a pot and add 6 cups water and salt, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes until pork is cooked. Set aside to cool. Slice thinly and set aside. Leave broth in pot for later use.
Heat oil in a wok and saute sausage and pork. Add garlic and onions and cook until softened. Add mushrooms, carrots and ½ cup of broth and saute for 2 minutes.
Add cabbage and another ¼ cup of broth and cook for another 2 minutes.
Mix in vermicelli and egg noodles, continue cooking while mixing thoroughly until the broth is absorbed by the noodles. Season with soy sauce and fish sauce, salt and pepper. Toss in the sliced spring onions. Serve with calamansi or lemon wedges.