Pancit Canton (Chow Mein) in a Flash

A generic Chinese term for a dish of stir-fried noodles, of which there are hundreds if not thousands of varieties. In the Philippines, we call it pancit canton which is a generic name for both a certain variety of egg noodles and the cooked dish itself. Some serve it with lots of starch-thickened sauce; others prefer it quite dry. The following recipe has no starch-thickened sauce and is the second of three dishes I cooked using a single slab of pork belly which I pre-cooked and then divided into portions before chilling.

There are a lot of vegetables that are good with pancit canton string beans (the short variety locally known as Baguio beans), sitsaro (snap peas), carrots, cabbage, and mushrooms. You can even add hard-boiled quail eggs. I cooked this dish in under 20 minutes so I tried to keep the combination of vegetables to a minimum garlic, onions, julienned carrots, and shredded cabbage.

Heat the cooking oil in a frying pan (a wok is so much better). Add the cubed pork and cook over high heat until the edges start to brown. Cover loosely to avoid oil spatter. Turn the heat down before removing the cover to stir and turn it up again once the cover has been replaced.

Add the garlic and onion, and stir fry for about 30 seconds. Add the shredded cabbage and julienned carrot, stir, season with soy sauce and pepper. Cook for a few minutes until the vegetables are tender-crisp. Add the cooked noodles, toss to distribute the meat and vegetables, and serve at once.

Seasoning this dish with only soy sauce and pepper might spell bland and flat. But the success of this dish, in terms of flavor, depends a lot on how the egg noodles are cooked. That’s why I posted the technique for doing that ahead of this recipe. Please check it out before deciding to cook this dish.