You can say that Wooden Spoon's popular Crab Pancit is French. The recipe was conceived in Paris for Aux Iles Philippines, the Filipino restaurant helmed by culinary icon—and mother of Wooden Spoon chef Sandy Daza—Nora Daza. It looks nothing like the pancit back home. Here, a thick egg and crab sauce rests on a pale white nest of fried vermicelli noodles, richly flavored yet light enough to be an appetizer.
The last surviving Wooden Spoon branch closed during the pandemic. Fortunately, you can replicate their Crab Pancit at home with this recipe. The crab sauce's intense flavor eluded our multiple tests, until a dash of Magic Sarap came along and finally cracked it.
- 1 pack vermicelli noodles
- 3 egg yolks
- ¼ cup water
- 1 tbsp cream
- 1 tbsp Magic Sarap
- ½ cup chopped onions
- ½ cup chopped cabbage
- 4–6 pieces imitation crabstick, thawed and halved
- salt and pepper, to taste
- minced spring onions, green part only, for garnish
Make crispy noodles: Heat 2 inches of oil in a large pan or wok over high heat. Unpack the vermicelli noodles and loosen the strands for even cooking. Carefully lower the noodles into the oil. The strands will immediately puff up and expand. Fry for 1 minute, then flip the noodles with tongs to cook the other side. Cook for 1 minute and transfer fried noodles to a large plate.
Make the sauce: Beat egg yolks in a bowl with a whisk or fork. Add water and cream, stirring until smooth and homogenous. Stir in Magic Sarap. Set aside.
Heat up a bit of oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and cabbage. Cook, stirring frequently, until soft. Add crabsticks and stir to break them up.
Reduce the heat to low and pour the yolk mixture into the saucepan. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1–2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Remove from heat and spoon warm sauce over the crispy noodles. Garnish with spring onions and serve immediately.