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The holiday season is here, and we at UH News thought as a bit of a lift to this difficult year, we would ask some of our top culinary units to share some of their favorite recipes. We hope these recipes and the short stories that accompany them will give you something to smile about. We wish you and your loved ones all the best during your holiday celebrations—whether in person or virtual.

two women
Esquivel (forefront) and her mom preparing holiday pancit

Growing up in Northern Virginia, Monica K. Esquivel, an assistant professor in the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s Department of Human Nutrition, Food and Animal Sciences, didn’t have many opportunities to enjoy Filipino food. So her mom made it a point to have Filipino food at their holiday celebrations every year.

Esquivel shared her mom’s recipe for holiday pancit.

“Since we didn’t have Filipino food very often, it became something of a tradition to look forward to and a way to feel connected to our family in the Philippines,” said Esquivel.


See more UH-mazing holiday recipes


  • 1 8 oz package of thin rice noodles, soaked in water until soft
  • 1/4 onion, sliced
  • 2 T garlic
  • 2 T vegetable oil
  • 3 cups sliced vegetables—carrot, cabbage, broccoli, snap peas
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • Soy sauce and patis (fish sauce) to taste
  • Additional soy sauce and lemon slices for serving


  • Preheat wok to medium-high heat.
  • Soak rice noodles in water until soft.
  • Heat oil in wok, add garlic and onion, saute until soft.
  • Add vegetables to wok and cook until tender.
  • Drain rice noodles and toss into wok with vegetables. Season with black pepper, soy sauce and patis to desired flavor. Cook until heated through.
  • Serve with soy sauce and lemon slices.
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