Thursday, October 24, 2013

Filipino Pancit and Eggplant in Adobo Sauce

I'm part of a unique book club.  At least, it's not like any other book club I've ever heard about or been a part of.  It's a book club that picks the books based on the origin or the story (and preferably a book that talks about the food common to the specific locale!).  When we meet to discuss the book, we all pick something to make from the book.  It's genius.

We read The Mango Bride a month or so ago, and I chose to make Pancit -- a very traditional Filipino dish that is most commonly found at birthday celebrations due to the long noodles the signify long life.  One of Brittany's close friends is Filipino and while I didn't get the exact recipe from her, I did get the traditional cooking method, which was elusive on the internet.

I don't have any specific site to point you to as I took 3 different recipes and took aspects of each I thought I liked, tweaked things, added my own preferences, and then changed things as I cooked.

Everyone at book club really enjoyed the dish and my own family really enjoyed the leftovers, so I considered it an all-around score!  Oh, and did I mention it comes together super fast once you have everything chopped?  It does.  Double score!

Pancit [Filipino]
serves 6-8
  • 1 8oz pk brown rice stick noodles (also called Maifun -- like these)
  • 11/2 cups thinly sliced onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 cup juilenned carrots (packed)
  • 8 oz pack chopped baby bellas
  • 1 little bag (6-8 oz) sugar snap peas
  • 4 cups thinely sliced green cabbage
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce 
  • garnish: chopped/sliced scallions and lemon wedges (a must!)
--  In a large wok or dutch oven, saute the onion and garlic 5-7 minutes until tender.
-- Add the carrots, mushrooms, peas, and cabbage and saute 3-4 minutes until the cabbage starts to wilt.
-- Add the broth and bring to a boil.  Once it starts to boil, fully submerge the noodles and cover the pot for 2 minutes.
-- Lower heat to low and carefully stir in the noodles.
-- After a couple minutes, add the celery and keep stirring so the noodles loosen up, don't stick or burn.
-- Heat until noodles are gone and the liquid is almost all gone (you want everything to move pretty well)
-- Either throw the scallions in at the last minute, and stir to incorporate, or serve them as garnish.
-- Serve each plate with lemon wedges to be squeezed on!

Another dish I tried to make (and failed at the first attempt!) was this Eggplant in Adobo Sauce!  The concept was great, but I didn't have a great recipe to work from.  After looking at a few other recipes and sites, I made it again and liked it.  The consensus: we like Filipino food! 

We ate this with a creamy vegetable soup and it paired very nicely.

Adobo Eggplant
Serves 4-6
  • 6 cups cubed eggplant (1 lb)
  • 3 cups chopped onion
  • 4 crushed cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup rice water or vegetable broth
  • 2-3 bay leaves (2 large, or 3 smallish)
  • 2 tsp sugar, or to taste (optional)
  • 2-3 cups cooked brown rice
-- In a large skillet, saute onion and garlic until tender -- 5-7 minutes.
-- Add remaining ingredients (except sugar) and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until eggplant is cooked. 
-- Taste and season with sugar and pepper if desired.
-- Serve over cooked brown rice

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