How to cook: Pancit canton (a.k.a. lo mein or chow mein)

casaveneracion.com How to cook: Pancit canton (a.k.a. lo mein or chow mein)

An updated version of a recipe originally published on June 15, 2003.

A dish of Chinese origin that has become very much a part of Filipino cuisine, pancit canton may refer to lo mein or chow mein, depending on who you’re talking to (click here to read the difference between the two). Basically, it is a stir-fried dish composed of egg noodles, meat, poultry or seafood and a medley of vegetables.

There are several ways of preparing the noodles when cooking pancit canton. The most common method is to blanch the dried noodles in boiling water for a few seconds then draining them. Another method is to blanch the noodles, then lightly frying them in oil before stirring them into the sauce. A third method is to plunge the dry noodles in plenty of hot smoking oil until puffed. This is the method used for cooking crispy canton where the meat, vegetables and sauce are poured over the fried noodles arranged on the serving platter.

Personally, I prefer not to blanch the noodles because it makes them soggy. I prefer that they cook in broth and absorb the flavor of the meat and vegetables. I have tried the second method also–frying the noodles first before stirring them into the sauce. This method gives the cooked pancit canton the best texture. However, the cooked dish is also a lot more oily. It also means adding another cooking procedure that means longer cooking time and more utensils to wash.

For this recipe of pancit canton, the dried noodles were added to the barely cooked stir fried vegetables. Just enough broth was poured in to cook the noodles. The starch-thickened sauce was prepared separately. If using fresh egg noodles, there is no need to add broth.

Ingredients

  • about 125 g. of dried egg noodles (or 250 g. of fresh egg noodles)
    2 c. of cooked and thinly meat or seafood (pork, beef, chicken, shrimps, prawns, squids…), or a combination of meats and seafood
    1 onion or 2 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
    1 carrot, peeled and julienned
    12 to 15 runner (Baguio) beans, stringed and sliced diagonally into thin strips
    1 c. of shredded cabbage (any variety)
    about 1 c. of meat broth, preferably homemade
    4 tbsps. of cooking oil
    salt and pepper, to tasteFor the sauce:

    4 cloves of garlic, minced
    about 1 and 1/2 c. of meat broth, preferably homemade
    4 tbsps. of oyster sauce
    2 tbsps. of hoisin sauce
    salt and pepper, to taste
    2 tsps. of tapioca or corn starch

Instructions

  1. Make the sauce. Mix together all the ingredients, pour in a small pan and cook until thickened and no longer cloudy. Simmer (to remove all traces of starchy taste) while stir frying.In a wok or frying pan, heat the cooking oil. Add the beans, onion, carrot and cabbage, one after the other, with an interval of about 10 seconds and stirring between each addition. Add the meat or seafood. Stir. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper — do this sparingly as you will be adding a well-seasoned sauce later.

    Add the noodles. Pour in about a cup of hot (simmering would be best) broth over the noodles which should make it start softening instantly. Cook, stirring often, just until the noodles are done. The vegetables will cook at about the same time.

    Pour the simmering sauce over the cooked noodle dish. Stir. Cook for another minute. Serve at once.

Cooking time (duration):15

Number of servings (yield): 4

Meal type: lunch

The pancit canton recipe published on June 15, 2003 is on page 2.

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Comments

    • cielito says

      thanks for posting this recipe, mukhang masarap, i’ll cook this for meryenda later.
      napatawa ko sa sagot mo kay jB…:)

  1. says

    Connie, I just want you to know that your weblog is one of the few out of millions that’s has a quality contents. (Which I’m sure you’re well aware of it.) It is sad for someone just to get ignorant and get stupid just like “jB”. This person obviously has no idea how much passion, time, and dedication to have such weblog like yours. On behalf of the many that truly appreciate your site, I just want to say thank you for your hard work and effort…

    Robert Colinares
    Missouri, USA

    • says

      ate connie!
      gamitin ko itong recipe mo ha? ;) i was asked to make pansit by my american co-teachers for tomorrow’s fun food friday at school. tiyak, papatok ito! thank you for sharing this!

  2. says

    thank you so much! i’m going to write about this experience. anyway, i used this recipe kasi di ko na nakita ito’ng reply mo, but guess what…parang dinaanan ng Katrina ang dala ko’ng aluminum tray! only the lemon wedges were left! sobrang linamnam and they were so thankful for the treat. medyo nahirapan lang ako kasi di ko nagamit yung aluminum wok ko at nag oxidize. i live close to the beach so i guess that makes our water a bit salty compared to the other areas in the city. but just the same, it was such a hit! i told them it’s my first time to make pancit (they pronounce it as PUHN’-set) and i got the recipe from you! in fact i told them to visit this blog for other recipes ;) bless your soul! walang katapusang thank you!

    • chunky says

      i’ve never tried cooking any kind of local pancit, meaning canton or bihon because i thought it’s best to just buy from the authentic chinese restos..but am willing to give this a try. ang galing mo kasi mag-encourage…galing mo pa mangbara ng mga sumisingit dito…bilib talaga ako sa iyo!

  3. says

    joyce, i am so happy to read your feedback. :) next time, you might want to try the other variations.

    chunky, naku, maladas masarap gawing laruan yang mga asar na walang magawa kundi mang bwisit sa comment threads.

    • jesus gutierrez jr says

      thats great i always used this recipe when we have a pilipino party sabi nila pinoy na pinoy ang luto….
      thanks

      jesus gutierrez jr
      united arab emirates
      chef holiday international hotel

        • says

          Lina, I’ll reproduce the guidelines which you will find on all recipe pages of this site.

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          Some entries have multiple pages. Most recipes are on page 2; others, on page 3 or 4. Click on the pagination links to view them.

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          • ed says

            hi Connie. I was looking at your improved/better version of Pancit Canton. When i tried going back to it, it was gone. If you can please repost it! thanks!

          • grace says

            can you suggest a good brand of pancit canton noodles that i can use?

            thanks so much!

          • cherryblossoms says

            i just like to ask jb if he ever know how to cook pancit canton!!!if he thinks he doesn’t like connie’s pancit canton then why not give her some suggestions to make it better???honestly speaking, i find the pancit canton in connie’s picture a little oily, so it is my choice not to put sesame oil…
            anyway, you can add shrimps …tastes good with it! (I just put it in a shallow pan, add a pinch of salt, then stir fry it…until it losses its transparency..) THEN, remove the skin and the head,then extract all the juices that you can get and add the juice and the meat while you are cooking your pancit canton…..taste yummy!!!!

    • chexy says

      ms connie, my tita did some experimentng and i did the eating part..hehehe! Guess what? Instead of frying the noodles you can actually bake them! Grabe! We were amazed by the result! No grease, no mess.:) we used the electric oven but i think the toaster will do too.. We had it in the oven for 2 mins. Then viola cooked na sya! Top with the sauce then ready to eat na.. Hmmn… Nagugu2m nanaman ako..hehehe!

      • scout says

        wow may ganito pala… can i explore your blog Madame Connie?.. I like cooking but i don’t know how to cook.. im sure marami ako matutunan d2..
        Tnx.. Mwuah mwuah

        • says

          Pancit canton pala ang Lo Mein. The pancit canton I know is the one that comes in the package.
          I always order Lo Mein when my family goes to a Chinese restaurant but didn’t even think of making it until now. It looks easy since I can make pancit bihon. The difference I see is the sauce and the cooked meat.

          • says

            Oh, it looks delish. I haven’t tried to cook pansit for my hubby yet. Maybe I’ll try it this weekend :)

            Btw, if I’d be substituting brocolli for the greens, should I only put florets or could I add the stems also? And should I blanch it first?

          • Connie says

            The stems are edible but you have to peel them. Depending on the maturity, the stems can take longer to cook too.

          • Connie says

            What comes out of the package is egg noodles. Pancit canton, in local parlance, refers to the egg noodles and the cooked dish. :)

  4. Mat says

    so thats how you do it… i usually do cooking at home, but i always set aside pancit canton. its because the forst time i try to cook this i think 5 years ago it went bad. after that i really never even tried cooking it again. but this morning because of the request na pancit canton daw ang i serve ko ehh nag search ako sa internet. i found your page… only today i learned na nilalagyan pala ng conrstarch, akala ko kasi basta na lang guisado. believe me, it was a success this morning. thanks a lot..

    • says

      i am planning to have an Oriental-theme menu for our New Year’s eve celebration. I included Pancit canton in my list. Great you have a recipe in your site. I will use your recipe to cook one. will give you a feedback on this one.

      Thanks!

  5. says

    I was searching the web for a simple pancit canton dish when I stumbled on your site. I found this recipe so simple to do than the others. I’m planning to cook this tomorrow for my birthday. I hope it tastes good. More Power to you!

  6. joan says

    I Love Pancit!!! pansit canton or pancit bijon… when im depressed or lonely , im eating pansit to make my mood good!!! thanks for this site,,, & more power…

    Dubai

  7. Deborah says

    I am completely addicted to your website. Winter is starting to set in here in Canada which means it KITCHEN TIME!!!!!!!!!! Love the aromas wafting thorugh my apartment! Hubby loves coming home after work to different smells and tastes everyday! We can purchase several of the Filipino products here in Toronto as well. This is a terrific website, Connie. Truly.

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