Filipino Pancit is a combination of stir-fried rice noodles, mixed vegetables, and pork or chicken or shrimp (or a combination of both) and infused with soy sauce. It is a traditionally must have especially on birthdays (a belief that is meant to symbolize long life and good health).
Just like other pancit varieties that are cooked with rice noodles, it is a staple dish served on a special festive occasion and is also served in any street food stands all over the country.
I cook and eat pancit not only because it is delicious and gives me nourishment, but it is also a way to celebrate, share our culture identity and fight homesickness.
Talking about authenticity, pancit is prepared with rice vermicelli. However, in this dish, I used Zucchini. Don’t get me wrong, I love rice noodle, I eat rice a lot and it is in my repertoire. So why Zucchini noodles? I think we have to blame whoever introduced “Zoodles”. You might even say ooow….that’s a lot of vegetables! But isn’t it that’s what we need we need most of the time. Also as a bonus, you’re giving a lot of space for that sweet dessert that you’re looking forward.
What is good about this dish is that you can cook all the vegetables and shrimp or any protein of your choice ahead of time, except leave the zucchini alone until when you’re ready to serve. Heat it all until hot and just add the raw zucchini, mix it up, season to your liking then serve immediately.
Zucchini Noodle Filipino Pancit
- 6 tbsp vegetable oil, divided
- 340 grams shrimp, peeled see note 1
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 6 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup chicken stock
- 500 grams Zucchini noodles or 5 medium zucchini see note 2
- 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
- 100 grams green beans, sliced to 3” long
- 1 large carrot, julienne to 3” long
- 100 grams cabbage, shredded
- 100 grams snow peas, tips cut off and side strings removed
- 1 small red bell pepper, sliced
- Salt to taste
- chopped green onions and coriander for garnish
- Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté garlic until fragrant. Add shrimp, soy sauce, pepper, and brown sugar. Cook for 3-4 minutes over high heat. Turn off the heat and transfer the shrimp in a bowl and keep aside.
- Using the same wok or skillet, add the remaining oil and sauté the shallots for a minute over medium heat. Turn the heat to high, add the cabbage and green beans, stirring for 2 minutes. Add the snow peas, carrots, and chicken stock, stir it for a few minutes, add the red bell pepper and continue cooking as you combine all the vegetables for another minute or according to your liking.
- Turn off the heat, add the cooked shrimp and zucchini noodles. Combine thoroughly season with more pepper and salt if needed. Serve immediately top with chopped green onions and or cilantro and finish with a nice squeeze of lime.