Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Sauteed Bean Thread Noodles

Sauteed Bean Thread Noodles, also known as Cellophane/Vermicelli/Glass Noodles
 (Filipino Guinisang Pancit Sotanghon) cooked in a Filipino Wok 

Most non-Filipinos I know who have had Filipino food think of pancit, adobo and lumpia as THE Filipino food. Actually, there's more to the repertoire.

Shrimp Bouillon Cube
Filipino Cuisine has evolved over several centuries to integrate the influences of colonizing countries and traders. This trio of dishes, however, are a good representation of what is considered Filipino food outside of the Philippines-- these are everyday fare that most Filipinos can prepare in every corner of the world because of the availability of the ingredients, which are common to most foreign grocery store and market.  In the Philippines, one can get them from the street vendors for an easy meal or the fine dining restaurants of Manila, Cebu and Boracay where tourists abound.  Every region, 17 in all, has their version of these dishes.  Actually, every family in the 7,107 islands, have their own version of how to prepare these dishes, depending on the available indigenous ingredient in the area.  

I prepare my sotanghon the way I learned from my Mom, who is a Spanish Mestiza.  She adds longaniza/chorizo and wood ear mushrooms to her sotanghon.  I however, used chinese chorizo here since I am bringing this dish for my friend Mary's Chinese New Year party and I am being true to the theme of the party.

Clockwise from top:  Fresh Shrimps, minced celery leaves, wood ear mushrooms, minced garlic, chinese chorizo, celery, carrots, onions and shredded chicken breast
Sauteed Bean Thread Noodles
(Guinisang Pancit Sotanghon)

3 T canola oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium size Spanish onion, sliced
1 lb fresh shrimps, peeled and deveined
2 cups chicken breast meat, boiled, cooled and shredded.  Reserve chicken broth.
2 shrimp bouillon cubes
3 T fish sauce
3 pcs carrots, julienned
5 pcs celery stalks, sliced diagonally
1 cup reconstituted wood ear mushrooms, thinly sliced
3-4 cups of the reserved chicken broth
1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
1 t sea salt
2 T dark soy sauce
1 T sesame oil
1 lb bean thread noodles, soaked in water for 20 minutes then drained
1/2 cup celery leaves, minced
Garnish:  fried garlic and and minced spring onions

 Wood Ear Mushrooms and Chinese Chorizo

Place wok/saute pan in medium-high heat.  Add canola oil and saute onions and garlic until softened.
Add the chicken and shrimps and cook until the shrimps turns almost opaque (not totally cooked).  Add the shrimp bouillon and fish sauce then toss until mixed in.
 Add the celery, carrots and wood ear mushrooms and saute for about a minute.  Add the reserved chicken broth, freshly ground black pepper and sea salt.  Bring to a boil and cook the vegetables until halfway done (half cooked/crunchy).  Lower the heat to medium-low and remove the chicken-shrimps-vegetables mixture to a bowl and set aside.  The residual heat will cook the vegetables to tender.  
Add the soy sauce and sesame oil.  Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil.  Add the noodles  and toss to coat it with the cooking liquid.  Lower the heat to the lowest setting and cover the pan.  Cook the noodles covered for 5-7 minutes until tender but still hold its shape (al dente), stirring every so often to cook it evenly and to make sure it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan.
Add half of the chicken-shrimps-vegetables mixture to the noodles and the celery leaves.  Toss to mix.
Tip:  At this point, it will be easier to use kitchen tongs.  Turn off the heat.
Transfer to a serving dish and top with the remaining chicken-shrimps-vegetables mixture.  Garnish with minced spring onions and fried garlic.

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