Birthday Noodles (Pansit) has been a tradition in our family. For as far as I can remember, these noodles were a staple for birthdays. Growing up as a kid, Pansit has been synonymous with birthday cakes. My fondest memories of birthdays was standing in front of my birthday cake, ready to blow the candles and make a wish. Right beside my birthday cake will always be a big flat bowl or tray of these birthday noodles.
From its Filipino and Chinese origin, noodles has been a symbol of longevity. The idea is that you are manifesting good health and long life with eating noodles on your birthday. So the tradition of serving noodles for birthday celebrations has been practiced in our home and I continue to share this tradition now with my husband and my daughter. This recipe is my take on this birthday tradition.
I've kept the ingredients to a simple minimum to make it as easy as possible. I also chose grapeseed oil as my go-to oil for this recipe since I find grapeseed oil to be a lighter alternative to regular vegetable oil.
Olive oil will not work for this recipe, as olive oil has a distinct flavor.
This recipe serves approximately 4 people. So let's get started. Here's what you'll need:
- 3 medium sized carrots
- 2 green onions
- 1/2 head of cabbage
- 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 1/2 cup of grapeseed oil
- 1/2 cup of soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon of sea salt
- 2 cups of chicken broth
Step 1 - Prepare the Ingredients
Please wash ingredients before prep.
1. Peel, then cut the carrots into the following pieces. I like to do a little flower design on the carrots. This makes it more fun, especially for kids who are picky with veggies. It seems to make my little one eat more carrots. :)
2. Chop the green onions
3. Cut the cabbage in half, then slice them into strips.
4. Slice the 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs. Yield will approximately be 2 cups (I usually use kitchen scissors for this process as I find that to be more efficient and fast).
5. In a big pot of simmering water, add half the bag of noodles. Let noodles soak up the water until noodles are "al dente".
6. Once al dente, drain out water, in a metal colander or whichever metal strainer you have. In that same pot, mix in a 1/4 cup of grapeseed oil with the noodles. Set aside.
Step 2 - Cooking Instructions
1. Heat a separate flat pan or wok, and pour the remaining 1/4 cup of grapeseed oil.
2. Once oil is moderately heated, add and sauté the chicken and sea salt for 2 to 3 minutes on medium high heat.
3. When chicken has a bit of browning/caramelizing, add the carrots and let it sauté for another 2 minutes.
4. Next, add the cabbage and the 1/2 cup of soy sauce. Then mix everything and continue to cook on medium high heat for another 1-2 minutes. Do not overcook.
5. Reduce heat to medium low heat.
6. Toss the noodles in a couple of portions at a time and mix with the sautéed vegetables and chicken.
7. Add the chicken broth, and continue to mix. Turn up the heat back to medium in order to get the chicken broth to simmer, then turn down heat back to medium low, to low, while continuing to mix. This should take another 2-3 minutes.
7. Turn off the heat and mix in green onions.
8. Optional: Before serving, you can add lemon or black pepper, depending on your preference.
9. Serve. You can eat this with bread and butter on the side.
10. Share and enjoy! Live Long and prosper :)