Today is the second Friday of Lent, the second Ember Days of Spring and National Eat Your Noodles Day. What a winning combination!
Lord, open my lips
And my mouth shall proclaim Your praise.
Worship the Lord with gladness;
Come before Him with joyful songs.
It’s really rather redundant to say today is the second Friday of Lent and the second Ember Days of Spring. The two will forever be the same day. However, Eat Your Noodles Day is fixed to March 11, while Lent and Ember Days of Spring are more fluid. Last year the second Friday of Lent fell much earlier in the year, on February 26. It happened to correspond with National Pistachio Day. So naturally a Friday, Lenten observances and Pistachios spelled just one thing – Pistachio-Crusted Cod with Citrus Salsa. This year we have National Eat Your Noodles Day, so for me Pancit seemed the most logical choice.
Now I’ve never fully understood the premises behind Eat Your Noodles Day since it doesn’t say anything about cooking a noodle dish, only that you eat noodles today. I suppose we could have opened a can of Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup and called it a day. But then again, it is Friday – and it is Lent, so for Catholics around the world Chicken Noodle Soup would simply not do.
In the past for National Eat Your Noodles Day we’ve had soups that were Asian-based. First we had a Spicy Asian Noodle Soup that featured Oyster Mushrooms in a soup made with Ramen Noodles. Then last year we made a Sriracha Shrimp Noodle Soup. Yeah, turned up the heat on that one.
This year I’m reaching down into my Filipino roots. Pancit may have been inspired by the Chinese who settled in the Philippines, but it’s the Filipino People who took it to heart and made it their own. A true Filipino would use fish stock instead of chicken stock. Feel free to do so if you want. However; I know my guys. Fish stock would never fly in this house. I’m just glad that with the changes made in dietary restrictions during Lent meat-based broths and stocks are okay to use.
1 lb Medium Shrimp
8 oz Cellophane Pancit Noodles
3 Garlic Cloves
1 cup shredded Cabbage
2 cups Snow Peas
2 Green Onions
2 teaspoons Vegetable Oil
Water as needed
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1/4 cup Chicken Stock
Peel, clean and devein shrimp. Leave tails attached if desired. Set shrimp aside.
Place noodles in a large bowl, cover with warm water and let soak for about 5 minutes to soften. Drain and set aside.
Peel and finely mince garlic, set aside. Break cabbage leaves from head of cabbage. Stack leaves, roll tightly then slice into thin shreds of cabbage. Set aside. Peel carrot, trim ends. Slice carrot in half lengthwise, then cut each half in half widthwise. Julienne carrot quarters, set aside. Trim ends from snow peas. Slice diagonally on the bias. Set aside. Trim root ends from green onions. Slice onions, set aside.
Heat a large pan or wok over medium heat. Add vegetable oil, heat. Toss in the minced garlic. Stir-fry for about a minute then add shrimp. Stir-fry shrimp for about 2 or 3 minutes until pink and cooked through. Remove garlic shrimp from pan.
Add cabbage, carrots and snow peas to the empty pan. Add a tablespoon of water at a time to steam the vegetables. Once steam has begun to rise from the pan, cover with a lid and let vegetable steam undisturbed for 5 minutes.
Remove lid, add noodles, soy sauce and chicken stock. Toss the noodles and vegetables constantly until the vegetables are tender-crisp and the noodles hare heated through. Once mixed and warm, add the shrimp back to the pan. Continue to stir-fry until warmed through.
Garnish with green onions just before serving.