I have never been to the Philippines, or anywhere else in Asia for that matter, but from what I understand, it is home to a people after my own heart, because they looove them some noodles. In fact, the vermicelli traditionally used in pancit supposedly symbolizes long life and good health (See that?! These people have SYMBOLS behind their noodles! This is what love is about, people!), so they never cut the noodles short and often serve the dish at birthday celebrations! I’m guessing this is why Lady and the Tramp opted for Italian; that would’ve been a seriously long movie if we had to wait for them to eat an entire bowl of unbroken vermicelli before meeting for a kiss in the middle. I can’t even sit through Lord of the Rings.
While I love noodles ever so much, these were among the many, many things I had to sacrifice in exchange for my (almost) sanity when I switched to keto. It took a lot of tears, a lot of unfinished love letters, a lot of positive self-talk, but I broke off the relationship and have started seeing someone new — Spaghetti Squash!
If you’ve read my blog at all (I’m sorry if this is what your life has become. I’d say you’re not alone, but you are and I think we both know that.), you’re already familiar with how simple this is to use. I’m not going to go through the entire process again, but suffice to say all you need is your microwave, a sharp knife, and perhaps the stirrings of an anger management issue. Click HERE to go to my explanation on how to quickly make noodles out of squash like some kind of a raging magician.
Now, if you’re reading this and you just so happen to be Filipino, please do not look upon my take on your favorite birthday tradition with disdain for the ignorant American. While I am certain that I do invite your disdain for my many, MANY character flaws and personal shortcomings, my pancit is actually totally respectable no matter how much it isn’t “just like lola used to make.” Why? Baby doll, there are apparently THOUSANDS of variations of pancit. So this one isn’t wrong, it’s just different! … Kinda like my awful sense of humor.
Smokey Chicken Spaghetti Squash Pancit
- 2 tbs peanut oil or ghee
- 1/3 c coconut oil
- 1 tbs sesame oil
- 1 lg or 2 small spaghetti squash, prepared (meaning scrape out the noodles and put them in a big bowl off to the side)
- 2 c oyster mushrooms, sliced
- 1 c red bell pepper (or sweet frying pepper/cubanelle pepper), sliced
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 jumbo shallots, sliced
- 1/2 head of red cabbage, thinly sliced
- 2 c chicken, cooked and diced (I like using light and dark rotisserie meat)
- 1/2 c Smoked chicken or turkey stock (or regular chicken stock with a bit of smoked salt or liquid smoke thrown in)
- 2 tbs lime zest
- 3 tbs lime juice
- 1/4 c gluten free tamari
- 1-1/2 tbs fish sauce
- 1/3 c mint, chiffonade (rolled up like a fruit roll-up and thinly sliced into strips)
- 1/3 c cilantro, chiffonade
- 1/3 c basil, chiffonade
- 2/3 c scallions, green part, chopped
- salt to taste
- Heat half the coconut oil in a big, heavy wok on high. Stir fry the veg except for the squash (so include the shallots but not the garlic in that) until cooked to desired consistency. Dump out into a bowl or onto a plate (HEATPROOF!!! Pancit comes in many variations, but the least successful HAS to be the one that incorporates nuances of melting plastic.)
- Add the other oils, heat them on high and whir them around the wok to coat the sides, then toss in the garlic and the spaghetti squash. Stir fry these a little, then add the chicken stock and deglaze the bottom and sides. Add in the veggie mix, chicken, lime zest and juice, tamari, and fish sauce and toss everything to coat. Bring back up to desired temp, then swiftly turn off the heat.
- Add herbs and any needed salt. Dump into a big bowl for serving. Serve with lime wedges.