In today's Chicago Sun-Times food section, Janet Rausa Fuller navigates through the tangled maze of Pancit. Although the term "Pancit" refers to Filipino noodles in general, there's a little bit more complexity to this seemingly simple dish. In her wonderful article, "Filipino noodle recipe secured at last" Fuller writes:
"There are about a zillion variations, largely depending on the type of the noodle but also on all the colorful garnishes. The ones I’m familiar with include pancit canton (egg noodles), pancit bihon and palabok (rice stick noodles), pancit sotanghon (bean thread or cellophane noodles) and pancit luglug (thicker rice noodles).
Some versions mix two types of noodles. Chicago chef Jennifer Aranas’ book, The Filipino-American Kitchen, lists at least four renditions I’ve never heard of.
Also, no two Filipinos make pancit the same way, and all Filipinos, as a general rule, cook their native dishes from memory, not paper."
And therein lie the maze, not only of Pancit, but of Filipino food in general--one dish can differ completely not only from region to region, but from household to household and cook to cook. But like many other Filipino-Americans, Fuller finds answers to her Filipino food questions with a few phone calls to her mother.
After a few long-distance tutorials, Fuller is finally able to record and write down her mother's fantastic Pancit Bihon recipe--with measurements and all!
And while I'm very certain that Fuller created her Pancit Bihon recipe on the strength of her mother's advice and her own good taste, she did interview me as well for her story. In Fuller's article, I provide a few basic tips of how I make Pancit Canton (of which I learned from my cousin Kathy, and will post about very soon).
So if you're interested in some pancit pointers, check out Janet Rausa Fuller's Pancit arcticle in the Chicago Sun-Times, as well as her Pancit Bihon recipe.
And because no two cooks make pancit the same way, I'd like to ask one question of my readers:
How do you make your Pancit?