Even though I love crabs, chicken, and Maryland sweet corn as much as the next girl, I also have a wonderfully diverse group of friends. So on Saturday, when I threw the question of what I should cook that day out to the general world of Facebook, it was really exciting when my Filipino neighbor offered up some suggestions.
More than that, she was able to come over and show me exactly how she makes it. Sure, I could have found a recipe and followed it, but it was way cooler having her in my kitchen, giving me tips, tricks, and general information about her cooking. For example, did you know that in China (and based on basic Google research, many other Asian cultures), birthdays are celebrated with noodles to signify a long life – and you don’t dare break those noodles when cooking them!
My neighbor continually stressed what an easy and fast dish this is to make, and she was right. We made two consecutive batches, one with chicken, one with shrimp, within an hour.
Pancit Bihon (Filipino Fried Rice Noodles)
1/2 package rice noodles (Neighbor Tracie recommend cellophane/mung bean noodles, but the Gambrills Safeway didn’t have them in stock)
3 chicken thighs or one pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
One small head of Napa cabbage, shredded
1 carrot, sliced
2 cloves garlic
2 green onions, chopped
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1/4 cup dark soy sauce (she eyeballed it, but I’d say this is about right. Adjust to your personal tastes)
Boil 2-3 cups of water and pour it over the rice noodles to soften.
Heat the oil in a large wok over medium-high heat. Add the meat and sauté until mostly cooked through. Add the carrots, garlic, and soy sauce, and cook until the carrots are softened. Toss in the cabbage and noodles, with a little extra oil, if needed, and soy sauce (definitely needed!) Cook until the cabbage is softened and the noodles are at the right consistency. Squeeze the lemon juice over the dish and mix well, then garnish with green onions. You could be a civil person and serve this to your family, or you can be like me and Tracie and stand in the kitchen with a glass of wine and pick at the dish until it’s gone because we couldn’t resist having just one more bite.