Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A Taste of the Tropics

Enjoy a Filipino Feast!

Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel hold the exclusive rights to the following copyrighted material. For permission to reprint or excerpt it and/or link it to another website, contact them at 

After a day of surfing or relaxing at the beach why not enjoy a Filipino feast?

SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel often have Filipino food because Sunny’s family is from the Philippines and she knows lots of good recipes for delicious Filipino dishes. Her family and friends do, as well, so there’s always something good cooking on the stove.

The Philippines is a sovereign island nation in Southeast Asia made up of over 7,000 islands. 

So you can be sure that Filipino food has a tropical look and taste, making it perfect for a SoCal summer evening. “Filipino food is savory and spicy,” says Sunny. “And, it’s healthy, too, with seafood and loads of fresh vegetables.”

Since one in four Filipino Americans lives in Southern California – 1 million, in all – chances are you’ve tried Filipino food. If not, now’s the time to discover it for yourself!

One of Sunny’s favorite dishes is Pancit Canton, a traditional Filipino noodle dish that is a real party food.

“When Filipinos get together for a party someone always brings the pancit,” Sunny explains. “People often add their own touches so the recipe can vary from one family to another.”

The name pancit means “convenient food.” And, as you’ll see from Sunny’s recipe, pancit is indeed convenient and fun to make.

Sunny’s Pancit Canton


1 T of vegetable oil
1 T of sesame oil
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into ½ inch pieces
1 bunch broccoli, cut into florets
1 (8 oz) package of mushrooms
2 – 3 carrots, thinly sliced
½ head of cabbage, coarsely chopped
1 C onion, diced
1 (8 oz) can sliced water chestnuts, drained
1 ½ C chicken broth
1/3 C hoisin sauce
2 T soy sauce
1 ½ tsp powdered ginger
3 T corn starch
1 (8 oz) package pancit canton noodles


In a large skillet heat the oils over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook for 4 – 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Add broccoli, mushrooms, carrots, cabbage and onion and cook an additional 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

Stir in the water chestnuts. In a small bowl combine the broth, hoisin sauce, soy sauce with the ginger and corn starch.

Add this to chicken mixture and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.

Reduce heat to medium to medium-low, and simmer for 4 – 5 minutes, or until sauce thickens. Combine the pancit canton into the mixture...

and stir it in until the noodles are soft.

There, you have it!

To see the wide variety of Filipino dishes to choose from, take a look at these photos SurfWriter Girls Sunny and Patti took at a party hosted by Susan and Luis Soriano

Susan, who grew up in the Philippines, loves to cook and especially likes to see her guests enjoying the food. 

Family friend Eloisa Rodriquez was on hand, too, and explained some of the dishes and their significance.

Take noodles, for instance; “long ones signify long life.”

And round garnishes, like capers, “not only add taste, but mean good luck.”

One of SurfWriter Girl Patti’s favorite dishes is the ube (yam) dessert. As you can see, it’s an electric purple.

And the casaba root custard, flan and pecan bites are too good to pass up.

 Just ask Patti’s husband Greg, who believes in trying everything. 

Whether you do the cooking yourself or go over to someone else’s house, when Filipino food is on the menu you know you’re in for a good time. When Filipinos get together they like to talk well into the night and especially to eat. So, be ready to party, bring your appetite…and save room for dessert.

As they say in the Philippines,

Tayo’y Magsikain Kainan Na!

Let’s Eat!

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1 comment:

  1. Food looks great, I'm ready for lunch! Thanks for recipe. Good work on the post ladies.