This is another common Filipino dish usually using annatto seeds to liven up the color. This particular one didn’t have the coloring because I always like the colors of the vegetables in pancit to show as naturally as possible. I wrote about it in an earlier post on pancit.
Sotanghon, almost always, will include some crustacean like crab or shrimp, but I had to forego that due to my allergy. This pancit can be served as a soup or just stir-fried. This one started out as a soup but the bean noodles eventually absorbed most of the broth by the time I served it.
Sotanghon is actually the kind of noodle used for this dish. It’s made from mung beans and will be clear when cooked. Chinese in origin, it’s found in most of Southeast Asia, where it may also be called Soto. There are plenty of fake bean noodles in the market today – in the US and the Philippines. They use rice instead of beans and this will turn into pulp during the cooking.
Youngest Sister was on the hunt for the authentic kind some weeks back. When she found one, she made a bright orange Sotanghon that reminded me of how my mom would make it for parties. I then decided to find me some noodles and make this so I can share the recipe here.
Again, the original recipe had shrimps or crabmeat and the annatto coloring. For the annatto, just soak about a quarter cup of the raw seeds in warm water and let it sit for about half an hour. When you put in your broth, follow it with the annatto water after giving it a vigorous stir. The shrimps or crabmeat can be added during the saute, after you add the meats. When using shrimp for Sotanghon, you have to pound the shells and head (discard the “helmet” with the sharp end) to a pulp and dilute it with about a couple of tablespoons water. This is then strained into the sauteing meats, just before you put in your broth.
3-4 tbsps. cooking oil
1 head garlic, peeled and crushed
1 big onion, chopped
1/2 c. boiled chicken meat, shredded or diced
1 Spanish chorizo link, minced
Optional: diced pre-boiled pork, shrimp or crabmeat
2 tbsps. fish sauce
Optional: 1/2 c. annatto water using 1/4 c. raw annatto seeds; shrimp juices from pounding the shrimp shells and heads
2 c. chicken broth
1 c. ham bone broth (I pressure-cook several pieces of smoked ham hock with the skin and the tootsies in enough water to cover it and save the broth in my freezer for future use)
about 5 oz. dried bean thread noodles, soaked in hot water just before cooking and drained
about 1/2 c. sliced Napa cabbage
about 1/2 c. Chinese peas
about 1/2 c. thinly sliced green beans
1 large carrot, sliced thin
a few pieces reconstituted black fungus, sliced thin
a few pieces reconstituted Chinese black mushrooms, sliced
2-3 celery stalks in 1/4 in. slices
salt and pepper to taste
Start by heating your oil in a large wok, add the crushed garlic and cook till light brown. Remove the garlic and set aside for topping. Add the onion in the oil and cook till soft. Add whatever meats you have chosen to use and stir fry about a couple of minutes. Add the fish sauce and stir fry another 3-5 minutes or until brown bits start forming in your wok.
Add the broths and all the mix to boil vigorously. Add the noodles. Follow it after a couple of minutes with the carrots. Then follow with other vegetables and the black fungus one after the other, depending on how cooked you want it. I always leave the celery and Chinese peas for last so my pancit will have some crunch. Season to taste.
The noodles should be cooked by the time your veggies are. Serve in a bowl and top with the browned garlic.