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Vegetable Pancit

I always cook pasta a pound at a time, even though we usually eat only half of it at any given meal. I do this because I love having extra cooked noodles on hand to inspire me to make a quick and easy dinner the next day with the leftovers.

This week, the extra pasta was angel hair and the answer to what to do with it was pancit, the popular Filipino noodle dish. I know angel hair isn’t traditional for making pancit, but everyone who makes pancit has their own variation, and this is mine. I used the recipe from Vegan Fire and Spice and added some tofu and cilantro — so good!

Pancit is a fairly mild dish, heat-wise, but it has lots of flavor. I like to add a splash of chili oil to round out the flavor, but you can add more or leave it out, according to your own taste. Here’s the recipe:

Vegetable Pancit
This recipe is adapted from Vegan Fire and Spice.

8 ounces angel hair pasta or pancit noodles
2 tablespoons cold-pressed canola oil
1 pound extra-firm tofu, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 small onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups shredded cabbage
1 large carrot, shredded
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon Asian chili oil
Freshly ground black pepper
Lime wedges (optional garnish)
Chopped fresh cilantro (optional garnish)

1. Cook the noodles according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet or wok over medium high heat. Add the tofu and stir-fry until golden. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
3. Heat the remaining oil in the same skillet over medium high heat. Add the onion, garlic, cabbage, and carrot, and stir-fry for 5 minutes.
4. In a small bowl, combine the water, soy sauce, tomato paste, and chili oil, stirring to blend. Add to the vegetables and cook 2 minutes longer.
5. Add the cooked noodles and reserved tofu and toss to combine. Season with a generous amount of black pepper and add additional soy sauce, if desired. Cook until hot, then transfer to a serving platter or individual plates and garnish with lime wedges and cilantro, if using.

Serves 4