I lived in the Philippines for several years and have the best memories of the food there. I also still have many friends and family who still live there. When I miss home, I make Filipino Pancit Bihon. It's not the easiest of dishes, but it's worth every effort. It's a classic Filipino noodle recipe and it's actually not very hard to make. I would say the hardest part of the recipe is chopping the vegetables. These days, however, you can find ready to cook chopped veggies pretty easily.
Homemade comfort food is so good! While takeout has its time and place, homemade fresh food is always a good idea. You can control the amount of salt you add and pack on the veggies if desired in this Filipino Pancit bihon recipe. Now you don't have to wait for special occasions to have a plate! My kids love this recipe so much! It's essentially a stir fry with noodles, but the noodles are much more nutritious!
I still remember sitting around a table with my aunts or cousins cutting vegetables and talking. Then we'd eat what we've made and talk some more. These were the best memories!
Quite honestly, most Filipinos won't be able to give you a exact Filipino Pancit Bihon recipe. At least my family anyway! They will just tell you "a little bit of this, a little bit of that." In fact, that's exactly how I make this. I add an ingredient, give it a taste and add whatever I feel it needs.
That said, I've gotten so many requests for the recipe, I tried my best to write it down! I hope my written recipe is just as good as the one in my head. Furthermore, every lola (grandma) has their own version. Some add garlic and onion, others cook it in oil in a wok or large pan. I however, made it as easy as possible, with ingredients you can find in almost every Asian store..
Why You'll Love This Filipino Pancit Recipe
- Nutritious The pancit bihon (noodles) used in this recipe is made of mung bean. They are also known as glass noodles, depending on what culture. Mung beans contain choline. Choline helps with brain development and memory. It also aids in liver function and nutrient absorption.
- Veggie Packed - You can add snow peas, broccoli, carrots and just about any vegetable your kid might like. The snow peas are a great source of fiber and folate. It also regulates blood sugar. Broccoli is also a great vegetable that is high in fiber and aids in regulating blood sugar as well.
How to Make Filipino Noodles
First, in a bowl, add water and soak noodles in warm water until soft. The noodles are packaged and stiff. Make sure you remove the tie that holds it together. It's white and sometimes not very visible. A huge tip because I'm just trying to prevent you from eating string. Ha!
Next, you have two choices, either boil your chicken thighs whole, or chop them up and sauté. If you choose to sauté, in a pan on medium heat, add some vegetable oil and some minced garlic. Sauté the cubed chicken breast until brown and cooked. Set aside.
If you choose to boil, just boil the chicken until cooked, allow the chicken to cool and shred the chicken. You may also use the chicken broth from the boiled chicken instead of chicken broth from a carton. This boiling method is the more traditional approach to this recipe. My family also boils, shrimp skin along with it and drains the broth to use as part of the dish.
Next, in the same pan, add about a tablespoon of oil and some minced garlic, cabbage, snow peas, and carrots. Add 3 tbs. of chicken broth, salt taste and cover. Adding a little chicken broth assures the vegetables will soften and cook.
Then you'll want to drain the noodles and remove the water in a strainer. Add the drained vermicelli into the pan with the vegetables.
Add the remaining chicken broth and cook pancit. Next you'll want to grab a small bowl and add the oyster sauce and dilute it with 2 tablespoons of water. Add this mixture and the soy sauce to the pot of pancit.
Next, add sesame oil. Add more salt or oyster sauce if needed. This is the time tasting really goes a long way. Depending on the brand of oyster sauce or soy sauce you use, the taste could be different. It's best you grab a clean fork and give it a try! Add more of whatever ingredients tickles your fancy. Serve warm and enjoy
Cook's Tips to Make Mung Bean Noodle Recipe
- I highly suggest buying a mung bean noodle for this recipe. I use this brand of vermicelli. If you take a look at the ingredients it should say mung bean. This is not rice noodles, by the way! I've seen some folks use rice vermicelli, but it really changes up the dish if you do.
- Cut your vegetables in thin slices for a faster cooking experience.
- Add fish sauce for a completely authentic experience. It's not the easiest to find, so I omitted it from the recipe, but it does add some flavor.
- Add Chinese sausage and even onion. Chinese sausage is often used in this recipe, but also not very easy to find.
- If you want to make this pescatarian, just sauté some shrimp and use that instead of the chicken.
- Can you freeze these?
- This recipe is best fresh, but you can freeze it. I would suggest freezing it in small portions because once reheated, you can't refreeze it again.
- How long will it keep in the fridge?
- You can happily keep it in the fridge for 3 days. You'll need to reheat it covered in the microwave.
- Where is Pancit Bihon from?
- The Philippines is a melting pot of sorts and this recipe stems from China. It's now considered a staple dish in Filipino cuisine, and is offered mostly on special occasions.
Filipino Pancit Bihon
- Filipino Pancit Bihon
- 10 oz vermicelli – the pink packaging one i think is the best
- 6 chicken breasts tenderloins cubed
- 2 tbs oyster sauce
- 2 tbs soy sauce
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 large Carrot cut in thin slices
- 2 cups Cabbage cut in small strips
- 1-1.5 cups Chicken stock
- 1 tbs. minced garlic divided
- 3-4 tbs. of water
- 3 tbs. oil
- 2 tbs. sesame oil
- 1 cup snow peas optional
- Lemon optional
- In a bowl, add dry vermicelli with warm water. Soak until soft
- In pan, add a little oil and minced garlic. Then add chicken and cook through. Set aside.
- Next, you'll want to sauté your vegetables. In a pan, add oil, minced garlic and your vegetables. Add 3 tbs. of chicken broth, salt to taste and cover.
- Next, drain your noodles and add it to your vegetables.
- In a small bowl, dilute the oyster with water about 2 tablespoons.
- Add this mixture and the soy sauce to the pot of noodles.
- Add remaining chicken stock to pan.
- Next, season with sesame oil, and add more salt or oyster sauce to taste.
- Serve warm with lemon if desired.
Looking for more easy dinner ideas? Try my easy Instant Pot Chicken Adobo