PORTLAND, Texas — We visited the home of Vivian Milam, one of our Portland viewers, who was nice enough to welcome us in to her home to show us how to make a Filipino favorite called pancit.
It’s a dish that she prepares for her family now after it was passed down from her mom.
“My mom cooked and I’ve always liked being in the kitchen so I’ve always helped her in the kitchen,” Milam said. “She started it and I kinda just started tweaking it my own way.”
In Filipino cuisine, pancit are rice noodles that incorporate some type of protein, including beef, chicken or a type of seafood. The noodles were introduced into the Philippines by Chinese immigrants and have been fully adopted into local cuisine which have spawned into several different dishes. But almost all of them include some staple ingredients.
“This is the most common ingredients I’ll put in it,” Milam said. “But I’ll put broccoli, green beans and all kinds of mixed vegetables in it.”
Her version of pancit also adds some freshly cut carrots, celery, cabbage, onions and green onions.
“Normally I start chopping my veggies up, which some of it is already ready,” she said. “These are the main ingredients I use when I cook.”
The most time-consuming part of making pancit is cooking up whatever meat you decide to use. For today’s meal we’re using some sirloin, but first we get some flavors simmering that make the dish pop.
“A little bit of olive oil and then about a half of teaspoon of garlic,” Milam said.
Then, throw in a little bit of onion, letting it them cook down and then it’s time for the chopped sirloin. But before the sirloin is fully cooked you add in your veggies one at a time, letting each cook for about a minute before adding the next one. Once the meat is cooked the only thing left to do is add your rice noodles, which have been soaking in warm water for about 15 minutes.
Milam says it’s very important for her family to gather around the family table.
“It’s very, very important,” she said. “I love cooking and my mother cooked a lot, so the cooking brings everybody together.”
With a husband and three growing boys at home and everyone on different schedules, having a “favorite family food” that brings the family together and is quick to make is key. Now, comes my favorite part of cooking up your family dishes, tasting the masterpiece.
“Make sure you get a little bit of everything in your bite,” Milam said.
The dish is absolutely delicious. Everything is so crisp and fresh.
Here is her recipe:
1 lb chicken breast or sirloin steak chopped up
3 diced carrots
4 celery stalks diced
1/2 wedge of cabbage (medium size)
1/2 of an onion
1/2 tsp of minced garlic
1 pack of rice noodles
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1/4 cup of soy sauce
Dice up your vegetables first. Then sauté some onions and garlic for four minutes before adding in your meat. Let the meat cook to almost completion and then add in your veggies one at a time. Let each vegetable cook for 1 minute before adding in the next vegetable. Let all ingredients cook for about 4 minutes before removing from the stove and serving up.
And remember, if you would like for us to come into your home and cook up one of your favorite dishes, contact me.
I look forward to tasting what everyone has to offer.
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