Although I pride myself on being willing to try new things, the truth is I tend to circle the same recipes. I guess that is good and bad. It’s good because, in life, it is better to get really good at a few things rather than endlessly try new stuff and only churn out mediocre. I do have a few dishes that I’m very proud to have developed and honed to my taste.
That said, noodles are really popular in my house. I made pasta 3 times last week. So it can get a little monotonous. I decided to get some different kinds of noodles onto the menu.
Our local Island Pacific market is fantastic, so I took a little trip. Pancit is similar to Lo Mein. Pancit noodles are also called flour sticks or rice sticks, depending on the source of the noodle. I got the pancit canton, which are long, yellow, flour noodles packaged in a big nest. Pancit is a festive dish—the long noodles symbolizing long life. It is a celebration of bounty with a variety of vegetables, shellfish, and meats both fresh and preserved.
I did not come up with this recipe, but the final dish was born out of what was in my kitchen. Here are my ingredients:
1 pkg pancit canton
1 strip steak, purchased with the intention of a grill night that did not materialize.
1/2 head of Napa cabbage, chopped into 1/2 in. pieces
2 ribs of celery, bite sized
5-6 baby carrots (cut into long quarters)
1/2 medium onion
2 green onions, sliced thin
1/2 bunch of cilantro chopped
2 tbls of chicken bullion (I ran out of stock)
2 cups water
1 tbls of oyster sauce
2 tbls soy sauce (divided)
1/2 tbls Sambal Oelek
2 garlic cloves crushed
Assemble the marinade using half of the garlic, the Sambal Oelek, and 1 tbls soy sauce. Slice the beef very thin. The thinner the better, To get really thin slices, consider freezing your beef for 20 minutes (Only if it was not previously frozen!). Put it in the marinade and let sit while you chop the veggies. In addition, mix the chicken bullion with water, oyster sauce, and other tablespoon of soy sauce in a separate container and set aside.
Cook the beef in a large, very hot pan or wok with some oil. This should cook very fast. Remove to a plate. In the same pan cook the onions and garlic on medium until soft. Add the celery, carrots and cabbage to the sides and let them cook for a few minutes.
Then add the steak back in and nestle the noodles among the other ingredients. Add the cooking liquid (bullion, water, oyster sauce, and the rest of the soy sauce)
Cover the pot to let the noodles steam for about 5 minutes. Lift the lid, add the cilantro, and gently toss the noodles in with the veggies and meat.