Different people have their own ways of cooking their noodle dishes, be it Bihon Guisado, Miki Bihon, Lomi, Sotanghon Guisado or Soup, or Pancit Canton. There is, after all, no hard and fast rule that says noodles must only be cooked a certain way. As long as the noodles stay firm and the dish tastes delicious, no one should tell you that you are doing it the wrong way. There are techniques that can be learned by finding out how other people cook a certain dish that you also love to cook.
Take Bihon Guisado. I cook it by first sautéing the garlic, shallots, mushrooms, chicken strips, small shrimps, green beans, carrots and cabbage; then adding water, adding the soaked bihon, seasoning it to taste, and simmering the dish until the noodles are almost dry. My eldest sister Swanie, however, does it differently, as I recently found out when my husband Raff and I stayed in her house for a year while Raff recovered from stroke.
How does she do it? Well, she first cooks the garlic, shallots, meat and seafood, and vegetables, then seasons the mixture as you would a regular stir-fried vegetable dish. Then she sets this aside, makes a flavorful stock, and cooks the noodles in it until almost dry, before she adds back the stir-fried meat and vegetable mixture. It ends up in a yummy stir-fried noodle dish that would leave you craving for more.
There’s no right or wrong technique, though. This is just her take on Bihon Guisado, whose recipe I am sharing with you in this week’s edition of Weekend Chef.
Chinese-style Bihon Guisado
1/2 kg. bihon noodles
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 pcs. shallots, sliced
1-2 pcs. dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in water and sliced
200 grams thinly sliced pork or chicken strips
1/2-1 cup thinly sliced fish cake
1 cup small shrimps, peeled and deveined
1 pc. carrot, peeled and julienned
1/2 pc. cabbage, sliced
2-3 Tbsps. oyster sauce
1.5 liters hot water
2 pcs. chicken cubes
soy sauce to taste
sugar to taste
1-2 eggs, beaten
1. Soak noodles in water to soften for at least 30 minutes.
2. Prepare the ingredients that need to be sliced.
3. Heat a little oil in a wok. Add garlic and sauté with shallots. Add mushrooms, pork or chicken, fish cake and shrimps.
4. Add carrots and cabbage. Season with oyster sauce.
5. Transfer mixture to a bowl and set aside.
6. Using the same wok, without having to wash it, pour in more or less 1 to 1.5 liters of hot water. This is to speed up the boiling process, although you can also use room temperature water. Add 2 pcs. chicken cubes and season with soy sauce, liquid seasoning and sugar to taste. Cover wok with lid and bring to a boil.
7. Drain soaked noodles and add to the wok. Mix well.
8. Add in meat-and-vegetable mixture. Mix well.
9. Add ground black pepper.
10. In a small nonstick pan, pour in beaten eggs and swirl to evenly coat the bottom of the pan. Flip over to cook the other side. Turn out onto a chopping board and cut into strips. Use to top the Bihon Guisado, then serve.