Traditionally, for birthdays and celebrations, Filipinos cook noodles like this Vegetable Pancit Sotanghon, for long life and prosperity. June has been a month of birthdays, gratitude, and wake-up health calls for our family. It was my birthday last week, and this week was my eldest son’s. And this June is the anniversary of Asian in America, my blog. It has been 12 years of sharing my home-style Filipino and Asian cooking with you, and it’s been a pleasure, dear readers. Thank you for coming back to my blog all these years.
This week’s noodle dish was Vegetable Pancit Sotanghon, which cooked in under thirty minutes. I opted for an all-vegetable entrée because I saw the vegetables in my refrigerator needed to be cooked asap. And sotanghon-cellophane noodles are a staple in my pantry. They are packaged and bundled in 8 oz. portions, which made it easy to calculate the servings.
I loved to watch the sizzling garlic, onions and celery get soft and aromatic in the skillet. Then, I added the crisp cabbage and carrot slices. The addition of achuete (annatto) liquid gave the mix a nutty flavor. I added the pre-soaked sotanghon last. As the silky-soft transparent noodles transformed to a delectable golden hue, I inhaled the savory aromas from the skillet. What better way to celebrate our June blessings than with this scrumptious and wholesome noodle meal?
Vegetable Pancit Sotanghon
- Large skillet or Wok: 12 to 14 inches diameter
- Medium-sized and small bowls
- chopping board
- 32 oz. sotanghon noodles; pre-soaked in water for 20 minutes
- 2 teaspoons achuete (annatto) powder
- ½ cup water, warm, for soaking the achuete
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled, minced
- 1 whole medium-sized onion, chopped or sliced
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 Tablespoon Red Boat fish sauce (patis)
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 3 cups coarsely sliced cabbage
- 1 whole carrot, peeled, julienne strips
- 1 Tablespoon calamansi or lemon juice
- 1 pinch sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 stalks scallions, chopped; for garnish
- whole hard-boiled egg, sliced; for garnish (optional)
To prepare sotanghon noodles:
- Soak the sotanghon noodles in a large bowl filled with water at room temperature. Soak the noodles for 20 minutes, not longer than this.Drain water. Set noodles aside.
To prepare achuete (annatto) liquid:
- Soak the achuete powder in warm water. Mix well till powder is diluted and there are no more lumps. Set aside.
To cook pancit:
- Place the skillet or wok over medium-high heat.Pour the vegetable oil. When oil is hot enough, stir-fry the garlic, onions and celery till fragrant, for about 2 minutes.Pour the patis (fish sauce).Pour the achuete liquid and broth.
- Add the vegetables to the skillet and cook till soft for about 2 minutes.When vegetables are soft, add the pre-soaked noodles to the mixture.Pour the calamansi or lemon juice. Incorporate ingredients well.Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with scallions and slices of hard-boiled egg if desired..Serve warm.
- Sotanghon are thin, translucent noodles made from mungbeans and cassava starch. Achuete powder is made from orange-colored annatto seeds, used for coloring and to give a slightly nutty flavor.These ingredients are available in Asian markets or online sources like Amazon and Asian shopping websites.
Notes on Nutrition: The nutrition information provided in the recipe links is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.
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