There is no need to wait for a special occasion to try this Pancit Bihon recipe (also known as Pancit Guisado)! A classic stir-fried noodle from the Philippines, discover for yourself why it’s such a well-loved dish!
What is pancit bihon?
It’s a rice noodle dish that’s ubiquitous on every birthday, fiesta, Christmas, etc. — whenever there is a Filipino gathering, you will find pancit bihon on the table.
But don’t think it’s just for a special occasion — nope.
Locals also often enjoy it as ‘merienda‘ (or mid-afternoon snack), with a refreshing glass of soda or iced tea.
‘Pancit‘ refers to a noodle dish, while ‘bihon‘ is a specific type of noodle, in this case, thin rice noodles.
Combine a mix of sauteed vegetables and meat with the bihon noodles, season with soy sauce, and voila — a delicious serving of pancit bihon guisado that will not be enough. 😉
How to prepare bihon noodles for cooking?
To prepare the bihon noodles, place them in a big bowl of cold water and leave it for at least ten minutes.
Once they soften, use a pair of kitchen scissors to cut them into shorter strands (and separate some in the process).
Drain the water from them and let it sit in the colander until you add it to the dish.
So, grab the ingredients you need now — you’re in for a delicious, undeniably traditional Filipino treat!
IF YOU WANT MORE AUTHENTIC FILIPINO RECIPES, YOU WILL LIKE THESE POSTS!
- Chicken – you can also use chicken breasts, but chicken legs are typically what the locals use when making pancit bihon.
- Garlic – minced or finely sliced.
- Onion – yellow or red onion will work; just chop it thinly.
- Celery – celery stalk chopped thinly as well.
- Carrot – not as fancy as julienned, but thinly chopped for this pancit bihon recipe.
- Snap peas – cut them in halves or thirds, about half an inch per portion.
- Cabbage – thinly chopped, excluding the rough parts.
- Bihon noodles – thin rice noodles commonly available in Asian stores; see how to prepare them above.
- Oil – vegetable oil for sauteing the vegetables.
- Seasoning – use your favorite soy sauce and salt brand to season your pancit guisado.
Start making pancit bihon guisado by cooking your chicken.
Place the chicken legs in a wok, or deep pan, cover them with enough water, and season with salt (photo 1).
Cover the pan with a lid and bring to a boil, then adjust the heat and simmer until the chicken is cooked.
Tear the meat into smaller bits when the chicken is cool enough to handle (photo 2).
Set the meat aside for later — same goes for the liquid from cooking the chicken.
Place the same wok (or pan) over high heat and heat the vegetable oil.
Add the garlic and chopped onion (photo 3).
Cook until the onion softens, then add the carrot and celery.
Mix and cook for about two to three minutes, then add the cooked chicken, peas, and cabbage (photo 4).
Season with salt, then continue mixing until the vegetables are cooked (photo 5).
Transfer the vegetables to a plate and set aside.
Place the empty pan back into the heat.
Pour about three-quarters of a cup of the liquid from the chicken earlier and add the soy sauce (photo 6).
Cover and bring to a quick boil.
Add the softened bihon noodles (photo 7).
Continue stirring until the noodles are cooked and separated (photo 8).
Add the vegetables back into the wok and mix to combine with the bihon noodles (photo 9).
Take the pan off the heat and transfer your pancit guisado into plates.
Serve pancit bihon with some slices of calamansi (or lemon), and enjoy!
- I don’t use chicken skin when making pancit guisado, so I get rid of them after cooking the chicken — you can keep them if that’s what you prefer.
- Prepare the bihon noodles for cooking (see on top) at about the same time you started sauteing the vegetables, so they’re ready when you add them to the pan later.
- Do not overcook the vegetables. There should still be some crunch left when you bite into them.
- When you season the pancit bihon sauce (before adding the noodles), try to make it slightly on the salty side — remember that the noodles will absorb it, as well as the chicken and vegetables.
- Fish sauce. When seasoning your pancit bihon, you can use fish sauce instead of salt, in addition to soy sauce. I know that’s what my mom does. 🙂
- Bouillon. Yep, the packaged, pre-seasoned cubes that you just combine with water. You can mix that directly with plain water or add it to the liquid from the chicken.
- Green beans. Instead of snap peas, thinly sliced green peas are also commonly used.
- Other proteins. You can add pork or shrimp or use them as the flavor base instead of chicken.
- Chinese sausage. It’s not traditional, but it sure adds that burst of fat and saltiness when you bite on thin slices of this particular ingredient.
Easy, right? So, try this pancit bihon recipe tonight, and let me know what you think! 🙂
IF YOU WANT MORE RECIPES BY COUNTRY, YOU WILL LOVE THESE POSTS!
Pancit Bihon Recipe (Pancit Guisado)
- 2 medium chicken legs (about 300 grams or 10.30 ounces)
- 120 grams bihon noodles (about 4.30 ounces)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 small onion
- 1 small carrot
- 1 stalk celery
- 20 pieces snap peas
- 1 to 1 & 1/2 cups cabbage, thinly chopped
- 1 to 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- salt, to season
- calamansi (or lemon) for serving
Preparing the chicken:
- Place the chicken legs in a wok (or deep pan), season with salt, and pour water just enough to cover it.
- Cover with a lid and boil; then adjust the heat and simmer until the chicken is cooked.
- Tear the meat into smaller bits when the chicken is cool enough to handle.
- Set the chicken meat aside for later — same goes for the liquid from cooking the chicken.
Making pancit bihon guisado:
- Place the same pan over high heat and pour the vegetable oil.
- Once the oil is ready, add the garlic and chopped onion.
- Cook until the onion softens, then add the carrot and celery.
- Mix and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, then add the cooked chicken, peas, and cabbage.
- Season with salt, then continue mixing until the vegetables are cooked.
- Transfer the vegetables to a plate and set aside.
- Place the empty pan back into the heat.
- Pour about 3/4 cup of the liquid from the chicken earlier and add the soy sauce.
- Cover and bring to a quick boil, then add the softened bihon noodles.
- Continue stirring until the noodles are cooked and separated.
- Add the vegetables back into the wok and mix to combine with the bihon noodles.
- Take the pan off the heat and transfer your pancit bihon into plates.
- Serve pancit guisado with some slices of calamansi (or lemon), and enjoy!
- Cook’s Tip #1: See the post above on how to prepare (and soften) bihon noodles.
- Cook’s Tip #2: You can skip the chicken skin if you like; I do the same thing. I get rid of them when removing the chicken meat from the bones.
- Cook’s Tip #3: If you can, prepare the bihon noodles at about the same time that you have already started sauteing the vegetables — so they’re ready when you need to add them to the pan later.
- Cook’s Tip #4: Remember not to overcook the vegetables. There should still be some crunch left when you bite into them.
- Cook’s Tip #5: When seasoning the pancit bihon sauce (before adding the noodles), try to make it slightly on the salty side — remember that the noodles will absorb it, as well as the chicken and vegetables.