This Philippine dish signifies long life, so it is a staple at birthday parties. Pork or shrimp can be substituted for the chicken.
Make Ahead: The dish can be made up to 2 days in advance, but it tastes best when served on the day it is made.
- 6 small carrots, peeled
- 3 to 4 ounces green beans, trimmed
- 1/4 large head green cabbage
- 6 inner ribs celery, strings removed
- 1 medium onion, cut in half
- 1/4 cup plus 4 teaspoons sesame oil, or more to taste
- 6 medium cloves garlic, cut in half lengthwise
- 8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast (excess fat trimmed), cut into small pieces
- 1 teaspoon plus 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 to 5 tablespoons low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 10.58-ounce package bean-thread vermicelli noodles, such as Dayat Longkou Vermicelli
- Salt (optional)
- Chopped scallions, for garnish
- Hard-cooked egg quarters, for garnish
- Lemon wedges, for garnish
Keep the following ingredients in separate bowls as you cut them: Cut the carrots in half lengthwise, then into thin slices to yield 2 1/2 cups. Cut the green beans in half lengthwise, then into small pieces on the diagonal to yield 1 1/4 cups. Cut the cabbage into very thin slices to yield 11 cups. Cut the celery in half lengthwise, then into thin slices on the diagonal to yield 2 cups. Cut the onion into thin, half-moon slices.
Heat 1/4 cup of the oil in a large wok over medium-high heat. When it is quite hot, add the garlic and stir-fry for about 15 seconds or until it has picked up a little color. Reduce the heat to medium, then add the onion and stir-fry for 5 minutes, until softened.
While the onion is cooking, heat a teaspoon of the oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the teaspoon of soy sauce and stir to mix well, then add the black pepper and mix well.
Back to the wok: Add the cabbage and celery. Cook for about 15 minutes, using 2 wooden spoons to toss it. The cabbage should wilt considerably. Add 3 tablespoons of the broth, which will keep the cabbage from becoming dry.
While the cabbage is cooking, soak the noodles in a bowl of warm water. When they have softened (after about 5 minutes), use clean kitchen shears to cut them into 2-inch pieces. Drain in a colander.
Add the chicken and its juices to the wok, then the carrots and green beans, stirring to combine, then taste the mixture and add 2 tablespoons of soy sauce and the remaining tablespoon of the sesame oil (or to taste), stirring to distribute evenly. Cook until the carrots and green beans are soft.
Add the drained noodles and stir to incorporate. When heated through, taste the mixture and adjust the seasoning (salt) as needed. If the pancit seems dry, add 1 or 2 tablespoons of the remaining chicken broth.
Transfer to a platter; if desired, garnish with the scallions, hard-cooked eggs and lemon wedges (for squeezing). Serve hot.
From Washington cook Feli Orinion.
Tested by Feli Orinion and Bonnie S. Benwick.
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