What’s Pancit?

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Pancit is a popular Filipino noodle dish with various types of noodles, gravies, and toppings. Its origins are believed to be Chinese, and it’s a common introduction to Filipino cuisine. Pancit bihon is a popular variation made with thin rice noodles, soy sauce, and vegetables. Cooks can customize the dish with their preferred ingredients.

Pancit is a Filipino noodle dish that comes in a dizzying array of incarnations. Many people consider it the national dish of the Philippines, as it is so common in this tropical nation. Many people outside the Philippines think of pancit when asked to visualize the cuisine of the Philippines, and this noodle dish is often the first introduction to this country’s rich culinary tradition, which has been influenced by both Asian and Spanish cooking traditions.

It’s hard to point to a noodle dish and call it pancit. It can be made with rice noodles, wheat noodles, or noodles derived from another starch source. It can be served with a dry gravy, a thick sloppy gravy, or even a broth or soup. The toppings are incredibly varied, including things like hard-boiled eggs, shredded meat, and finely sliced ​​vegetables, and the flavors in this dish are quite diverse.

The origins of the belly probably lie in China. Food historians suspect that the Chinese introduced the concept of noodles to the Philippines at some point, along with some dishes that could be made with them. The influences of Chinese noodle dishes are clearly visible, especially in dishes like the Canton Pancit, named after a city in China. The name of the dish itself is believed to come from pian i sit, which means “something cooked comfortably and quickly”.

A common variation is pancit bihon, which is made with extremely thin rice noodles, soy sauce, citrus fruits, cold cuts, and vegetables. Many versions incorporate more meats; pork, shrimp and beef are all common. Sauces can be spicy with chili, rich in ground peanuts, or salty as a result of adding the soy sauce. Fans of dishes like pad thai and yakisoba would likely find pancito a relatively familiar dish.

If a cook wants to make pancit at home, it’s hard to go wrong. He or she may want to include ingredients such as soy sauce, sliced ​​green onions, citrus juice, and shrimp or fish sauce in the sauce, but he or she should definitely not feel limited by these ingredients. Meats such as grilled shrimp, ground beef, and pork are all common; vegetarians may want to try tofu for texture. Pancito typically includes at least cabbage, although other vegetables tend to be welcomed and the cook may garnish it with crumbled pork rinds or chopped onions as a side.

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