My best friend as a child was Filipino and pancit was a special treat I ate at her house. Her family made it traditionally from bean thread noodles, small sausages, vegetables and fish sauce.
As an adult I tried to replicate it, but was a little frighted by the fish sauce. Think about it, ground up fish in a bottle with a lot of salt. I always had the feeling it had been aged forever and well... use your imagination. Then I discovered Braggs liquid aminos. Guess what? Liquid aminos taste just like fish sauce. Yes, they are almost identical in flavor and not scary at all.
This version is vegetarian with tofu and eggs substituting for the sausage. My current neighbors make theirís with chicken strips, which is quite nice too. If you need it vegan simply stick with the tofu and drop the egg. All ways itís a winner!
Recipe makes 6 servings.
1 package (14 to 16 ounces) thin rice noodles (called bean threads or pancit noodles)
Vegetables (use what you have around or the following work well)
½ pound sliced carrots
½ pound sliced zucchini
¼ pound snow peas
1 to 3 T oil for cooking
1 T fresh minced ginger
1 T tamarind paste (optional)
2 to 4 T amino acids - I usually just squeeze it directly into the noodles as I cook, then taste to make sure it is the right amount.
1 package of baked tofu sliced thinly (or make your own baked tofu) A good size is ¼ inch by ¼ inch by 1.5 inches long.
3 eggs scrambled, cooled and sliced up
Soak the bean threads in cold water about 30-50 minutes until soft and then drain thoroughly. Or soak in boiling water about 1-2 minutes until soft, drain and lightly oil so they donít stick together.
Steam the carrots, zucchini and snow peas. A couple minutes for the carrots, then add the zucchini for another minute and then the snow peas for a final minute. Set them aside. Be careful to not overcook the vegetables. They will also be fried with the noodles and that will cook them a little bit more.
Put about 1 to 2 T cooking oil in a wok or large pan. Once it is heated add the minced ginger. Stir this around for about 30 seconds and then add the noodles. Cook the noodles 30 seconds to a minute - they tend to stick no matter how much oil one adds so donít worry too much, just add the tamarind paste (optional) and spray in some amino acids. Stir the noodles to evenly coat them with the liquid ingredients. Finally, add the vegetables, the tofu, and the egg. Give it a taste to make sure you have added enough amino acids.
Serve in a large bowl. Garnish with mint or cilantro if available.