Using canned sardines as the main meat, Pancit sardinas is an easy but tasty variation to cook pancit, the very popular Filipino noodle dish.
This past few weeks, excluding dessert recipes, Pancit Sardinas is the most viewed recipe here in this blog So I thought I’d post the recipe again but with better pictures this time. I first posted a recipe for Pancit Sardinas here where I used noodles from instant packages. Now I am using real bihon and canton noodles and added chicken breast for extra meat. This recipe yields about 4 servings of Pancit sardinas.
We all know of the Filipino Pancit, a dish widely loved by many, even non-Filipino ones. It is packed with vegetables and meat. At times, they even have seafoods on them.
Pancit bihon, as we call it, is actually like a tradition. A heritage.
It is almost required to have Pancit for birthdays, for a longer life, as they say. No occasion, no gathering is ever complete without it. Because of that, almost every Filipino household has their own well-loved recipe for it.
But then, with all the veggies to chop, Pancit can be daunting to cook sometimes. We Filipinos have simpler, easier versions of it for those times we want to have a quick pancit for a weeknight. This one is mine. Pancit Sardinas.
You will see from the recipe below that I only used 100 g each of bihon and canton noodles. The thing is, these noodles usually come in 250 or 500 g packages in the oriental aisles of supermarkets, so feel free to double or triple the recipe for the sauce so you can use up all noodles in the package (or if you will be feeding a large crowd). Otherwise, you can just get a 100 g portion from the noodles package and save the rest for future use.
This noodle dish is simple, definitely doable on a weeknight. You can add vegetables if you prefer, too. But to me, that will add to the chopping, so I skipped. I know. I am lazy.
I first had this Pancit Sardinas in the Philippines when I was in high school. A very close friend of mine invited me over to their house for her birthday lunch. Her aunt served me skewered pork barbeque, the typical sweet and savory Filipino style, and a plate of what looked like a pancit bihon. That dish got me pausing and blinking for a moment after the first spoonful.
What is this? I thought to myself. I was expecting to taste typical pancit bihon in my mouth but I was getting a different yet familiar flavor that I cannot point out what.
Then her aunt exclaimed, It’s pancit sardinas, It is just us anyways! she said. Since I was the only visitor and maybe a few people before me, Her aunt obviously did not want an elaborate cooking session, and pancit sardinas was such a clever and delicious way to celebrate a birthday without all the fuss. From then on, I have not forgotten that dish.
Especially now that I cant be bothered with all the chopping of vegetables involved in cooking a regular Filipino pancit, this pancit sardinas recipe is definitely a keeper for me.
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 medium onion sliced
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 cup fishballs sliced ( available in Asian supermarkets, frozen aisles)
- 1 piece chicken breast
- 1 and ½ cup chicken stock stock from boiling the chicken breast
- 2 155 g canned sardines regular or spicy - found in Asian aisles
- 100 g pancit bihon noodles
- 100 g pancit canton noodles
Add the chicken breast and 3 cups of water to a pot and let boil. Cook until chicken is tender enough to be flaked by a fork. Set aside the broth and flake the chicken by hand or by using two forks.
Pour contents of canned sardines into a bowl. Mash the sardines meat using a fork.
Heat oil in a large pan or wok, cook the fishballs, stirring constantly to avoid burning. Remove fishballs from pan and set aside.
Add more oil if necessary. Saute garlic and onion in the same wok until soft. Add the mashed sardines with the sauce. Stir for about two minutes.
Add the chicken stock (from boiling the chicken) and let boil. Add the noodles. Lower heat, stir and combine ingredients and cook until noodles are soft and the liquid has been absorbed. Add water or chicken stock if needed. Add the fishballs and season with salt and pepper.