The Kitchen Sink – or – What Happens When You Don’t Go to Costco
Ever had one of those days when you regret not going to the supermarket before the weekend? No ground beef, no chicken, nothing for protein. Just a few semi-identifiable bits of something that’s been sitting in the freezer too long. Couple to that a lot of Italian food lately, and desperation starts to set in. Something different must be done.
And, as expected, a quick stock check of the larder presents a paltry list of things to work with: A few strips of bacon, a couple of eggs, a few hot dogs, some frozen veggies, and…. pancit noodles.
Stir-fry it is then.
Growing up, I lived in the Philippines for a few years – at the time it was the Subic Bay Naval Base, and I guess now, the area I lived in is a resort of sorts. I can still see my old house on the map though. That’s kinda trippy.
- Hot Dogs
- Package of Pancit Canton (check the Asian section of the supermarket. Just watch, because there are several kinds of pancit)
- Chicken stock (you only need a cup or so)
- Patis (fish sauce, also in the Asian section)
- whatever else ‘sounds good’
Anyway, one of the things I seem to be blessed with is a ‘flavor memory’. I can remember flavors, and smells, from even 30 years ago. Here’s an attempt to recreate one of those.
Pancit, in my memory, is kinda like fried rice – you use what you have, and it’s really an improvisational dish. Like I was saying earlier, I used what I had. Another night, the ingredients might have been slightly different.
But, let’s start with what we know, right?
I started out by getting my trusty cast-iron wok nice and hot. Like, on high until it starts to smoke hot. Meanwhile, I sliced up a couple of strips of bacon into 1/8″ short strips. When the wok got hot, the bacon goes in. I cooked the bacon until it was done, but not crispy. I suppose that’s a personal taste, but I think some things shouldn’t be crunchy, and this is one of those times. The bacon came out and set aside in a bowl. Then, with the grease still in, added a couple of eggs – I used two, but another one would have been nice – and scrambled them with a pinch of pepper. When they were done, I put them aside in the bowl with the bacon. Repeat with some sliced hot dogs until they start to brown, and again, into the bowl.
Now for some cooking. Add a cup of chicken stock, let it come up to temperature, and throw in the veggies. Let them simmer for five or six minutes until they start to get tender, but not soft. Add another cup of stock, and 2-3 tablespoons of fish sauce (patis), and add the pancit.
As far as I know, there’s not really a cooking time on the pancit. Pancit Canton are flour noodles, so they might take 7-8 minutes, but the key thing is that they’re going to absorb all that stock. All of it. And by that point they’ll be tender and pretty much ready.
Sounds complicated, but you’ll *know*. It’s pretty obvious.
With the noodles done, time to add the meat and eggs back in, and mix them up with some soy sauce (a couple of tablespoons) pepper and salt to taste. Get everything warmed through and serve.