Pancit Bihon (Filipino Rice Noodles)
Pancit Bihon is a classic rice noodle dish that showcases Chinese influence on Philippine cuisine and popular at many a Filipino fiesta. This easy version of the rice noodle dish is quick enough for weeknight dinner!
It wouldn’t be a birthday, at least in my house, without noodles. The Filipino tradition of eating noodles, or pancit, to celebrate a birthday is one that was adopted when noodles were introduced to the Philippines by the Chinese, and is meant to symbolize long life and good health. This blog-birthday week would not be complete if I did not celebrate with pancit!
Of course, there are as many varieties of pancit, it seems, as there are dialects, in the Philippines. But you may remember how in my family, one of our favorites is Pancit Bihon. Last Fall, I hosted a Filipiniana themed dinner party for some fellow Bay Area bloggers. Since then, I have grown to consider my guests good friends in this food blog world, and we have continued to keep in touch. I have been meaning to post my recipe for the Pancit Bihon that I served that night for such a long time. I’m sure you understand, it kept getting swept under the rug with all the holiday hubbub that followed the party.
As I described in that post, my Tita (Aunt) Leah makes the best Pancit Bihon. Her bihon noodles (rice noodles) get its superb flavor from her homemade pork leg (pata) stock. I have found a way to capture her signature flavors with some short cuts, one of which is through the use of ground pork. Other than infusing the chicken stock I use with some of it porky flavor, using ground meat means one less ingredient to finely chop.
What takes Tita Leah hours, sometimes even days, to labor over takes me far less. Don’t get me wrong, she still has the best pancit; it must be all the extra love that goes into her cooking. But mine is pretty darned close…and I can easily whip this up for a weeknight dinner, which means any meal can become a celebration.
- 1-2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 medium onion finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic crushed
- 1/2 lb ground pork
- 1/2 lb ground chicken or thinly sliced chicken breast
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- Ground pepper to taste
- 1-2 Tbsp fish sauce (patis)
- 4 cups low sodium chicken stock
- 8 oz 227 grams bihon noodles (Philippine rice noodles)
- 1 Chinese/Napa cabbage sliced
- 1 carrot julienne
- 2 stalks of celery sliced on bias
- Chinese sausage sliced thinly on the bias (optional)
- shrimp optional
- cilantro for garnish optional
- In a large wok, heat oil over medium-low heat. Sauté the onion and garlic. When the onion is transparent, increase the heat to medium-high and add the ground pork and chicken. Season with soy sauce, pepper and fish sauce. Let cook for about 20 minutes on medium-low heat (cooking this for a long time is what takes out the “malansa" or slimy chicken flavor). Stir occasionally.
- Meanwhile, bring the chicken stock to a boil in a large pot. Add noodles upon boiling, cook for about 3 minutes. Drain and set aside both stock and noodles.
- When the pork and chicken are ready, add vegetables. If using Chinese sausage, add that as well. Add a little extra oil or broth to avoid sticking. When the vegetables are crisp yet tender, add all the noodles and the stock one cup at a time, taking care to not let the noodles get too soggy. Stir well until well incorporated. Add shrimp, allow to cook, about five minutes.
- Garnish with cilantro and serve with a squeeze of lemon.
Very tasty. I would only use a little fish sauce next time.
Glad you liked it, Kathy!
Thank you for sharing this pancit recipe. Pancit is always present in every occasion and how I really miss Filipno food.
Pancit is definitely a must for every gathering!! I hope this recipe brings back those good food memories, Ericka!
Thanks so much for the Pancit recipe. I make a chicken/cabbage pancit for the hubby and he loves it but I like the idea of the chicken/shrimp/sausage combo. Anyone who hasn’t tried pancit, it’s lighter and more delicately flavored than Italian noodle dishes. A must try.
My pleasure, Debb! I love pancit of any kind, but this one is definitely my favorite. I hope you enjoy it, the pork adds such a wonderful depth of flavor.
Other than lumpia, Pancit is my favorite Filipino food – but I’ve never cooked it myself. Now I can! Thanks, Liren. A perfect dish to continue your anniversary celebration!
Oh wow…you say Tita and we say Teta (aunt) :) Good…now I can say I know some Filipino (tagalog?) and you can say you know Macedonian. :)
Happy Blog Birthday!!!
Very cool! I love it – thanks for teaching me how to say Aunt in Macedonian! And yes, you can say Aunt in Tagalog. Salamat (thanks!) ;)
Happy Blogiversary Liren! What gorgeous noodles – rice noodles are my fave kind of noodles, I’m pretty sure I could live off them! Also, happy Chinese new year my #Aiya buddy, hope you’re having a great weekend ;)
See you soon?
Aiya! I can’t believe you’ll be in town soon :) Hope we do get to see each other!
Liren – Happy Blog-versary!!! I can genuinely say this was delicious since I was one of the lucky guests at the dinner party. It has been a true pleasure getting to know you. I had little exposure to Filipino food beside the popular lumpia until I dined at your house. Thank you for sharing your culture’s food with all of us! :)
Thank you, Lisa! One of the best parts of this blogversary is having made friends like you! I’m so glad you enjoyed the pancit I made, and hope to share more with you in the future!
I could eat noodles every day… actually, I *do* eat them every day! Pasta, that is, but I adore Asian rice noodles as well, both in soups and ‘dry’.
Pasta is the best – I would be very happy if I could eat it every day!
Happy Blogiversary Liren. I love pancit Bihon and your version looks great
Thank you, Cherrie!! My version is simple, but it’s tasty, glad you like it!
Happy Birthday to your BLOG, Liren! I do the same thing: Pancit whenever someone is having a birthday in my family or friends.
Thank you for sharing your recipe!
Thank you, thank you, Annapet! I appreciate the birthday wishes! Now I want to tackle that palabok!
Happy Blogiversary!!! This recipe looks great! So excited to try it. :)
Thank you Julie! Do let me know if you try the pancit – it’s easier than it looks!
Hi Liren- Happy Blogiversary.:) I have never had pandit bihon but I would sure like to try it. I bet your Tita’s noodles taste amazing for the pork leg stock she makes. I would have to do your shorter version. Yum!
Hi Lora, you’re right, nothing will ever compare to my Tita’s version. The stock is unreal. But this is a quick fix, and it satisfies that impatient craving! Hope you like it!
Oh boy, I want to try these pancit Bihon! The dish looks amazing Liren. I’m with Roxan, I should start cooking this food myself not just eat it out or at friends!
I know what you mean, Sara! For years, I never bothered making it because I was lucky to be close to my aunt. I would even take tupperwares of her bihon noodles on the plane from NY to Chicago, back in the day! Now, I must make it, she’s simply too far away!
I love love love pancit. I could seriously eat a whole bowl of it as a meal. Thank you so much for this recipe! I need to start learning how to cook filipino food – I’d love to cook for my mother in law!
Hee hee, I could eat a whole wok of pancit! Scary, but true!
Wait… is it your birthday???? Happy birthday!
This dish look phenomenal. My goal for this year is to expand my culinary knowledge and try some different types of cuisine. Putting this one on the list!
Hi Brian, forgive my late reply. It’s not my personal birthday (that’s in the summer), but just the blog birthday (I couldn’t help but have an extended celebration!). I hope you do put the pancit on the list – you’ll love it :)
Happy birthday, and it’s really interesting to learn about this birthday tradition!
Thank you so much! I love this tradition – especially because it tastes good :)
Liren, this is THE perfect post for your first anniversary. I’m so glad you finally shared your recipe for all to see. As one of the lucky guests of your dinner party, I can attest to the authenticity and the tastiness of this pancit. Maybe it’s because it tastes like my mom’s! I think our families have the same sensibilities about Filipino cooking (and you know there are so many). I don’t make it enough though I have frequent cravings for pancit. Must get my hands on a large-enough pan that my noodles won’t stick to. Until then, I’ll just invite myself over the next time you make yours. It’s delish!
Hi Jean! Wow, if this pancit tasted anything close to your mom’s then I am greatly flattered! Sometimes I worry if my tastebuds and memories lead me astray, but if you approve, then I’m thrilled! Thank you :)
Mmm Pancit Bihon! Definitely putting this in my collection of Filipino recipes that I must master. I want to be one of those moms or titas whose cooking everyone raves about!
Hi Lisa, I am sure you will be one of those moms/aunts!
Happy Birthday! I have eaten this dish, but never made it. Your recipe looks doable for me, and I love all of the vegetables and seasonings with the noodles. Thank you for sharing!
Hi Becky! This recipe is absolutely doable! I hope you do try it, and let me know when you do :)
This looks wonderful. I love all types of pancit but I have yet to try bihon.
Yum! I love any kind of Asian noodle dish! Your noodles look so light and tasty! Last night, we had a huge bowl of spicy ramen noodles with pork, Shitake, bok choy, carrots, onion, ginger, and garlic … your noodles may well be a weekend treat for us! Love getting new recipes for this Asian staple!
This certainly whets my appetite. Your pancit looks so delicious! My Mom also used to make her pancit with longganisang Macau and pork stock. Reminds me of birthdays back home where it is served with white sliced bread. Good times.
Love these lighter noodles…happy birthday!!!