Pancit / Pansit (Philippine Noodle Dish)

If by any chance I am asked, what is the Filipino comfort food? I have only one answer: Pancit! Pancit is the generic term for noodles in the Philippines. Made of rice flour, it comes in different varieties and sizes. The most common version is Pancit Bihon as shown in the photo above.

I don’t think you’ll ever find a Filipino who doesn’t love pancit. Come to any birthday party,  anniversary party, or whatever reason you may have to celebrate this dish is sure to be there. We eat it anytime of the day – lunch, dinner, snacks and, yes, even for breakfast. Well, at least I do! It’s just my number one comfort food.

My mom makes the best pancit and am so proud to say it! Ask anyone from Gasan, Marinduque particularly those who have studied at Gasan Central School and they are sure to agree. So, everytime my mom visits me in the US, she is required to make this for us many times (at least once a week!) . The problem though is that my mother never uses any kind of measurement when she cooks. She just has the knack for it! She knows how much ingredient to put in to achieve the perfect balance of saltiness with a small hint of sweetness. I do miss her cooking when she’s away!



I try my best to promote Filipino recipes whenever I can so when we have people over, I always have pancit on the menu. So far, no one has ever complained (or gotten sick!) and a few have even requested for the recipe. Also, it is gluten-free, no need to use wheat for this recipe.

Here’s my attempt to do Pancit. I have specific measurements here to leave out any guesswork but let this serve as your guide and tweak it to your liking. Hope you like it!

Ingredients:

1-2 Tbsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 onion, chopped
Shredded cooked (pre-boiled) chicken – (Use 1 breast or 2 thighs).
1 1/2 cups of any two of these
veggies, chopped (except for snow peas): carrots, green beans, snow peas and cabbage (I prefer using carrots and green beans)
2 (8 oz) packs of Pansit Bihon  (Rice Noodles)- can be found  in Asian stores – look for the Philippine
brand.

Note: If you do not have wheat or egg allergy try this 2 noodles combo – replace one pack of Bihon noodles with another 8 oz pack of Pansit Canton (Egg-Wheat Noodles) Philippine Brand. Of course, you can use other Asian brands but the Philippine brands I have tried and tested for this recipe. Other Asian brand of noodles (especially the Bihon variety) may take longer to cook and may have to be soaked in water first before using.

For the
sauce:

5 Tbsp dark soy sauce (regular or wheat/gluten-free)
1 1/2 Tbsp oyster
sauce (regular or gluten-free)
2 tsp sugar
Salt and pepper, to taste

Procedure:

Boil the chicken breast or thighs in just a little over 3 cups of water (or enough water to cover the meat). Cook until tender. Reserve about 3 cups of the stock. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred them or chop into small pieces. Set aside.

Heat oil in a big wok. Saute garlic and onion for a minute. Add the
cooked chicken and season with a little salt and pepper.

Stir in the
veggies and cook for another 3-4 minutes or until a little tender.

Pour about 2
1/2 cups of the chicken stock into the wok. Season with the soy and oyster sauces and sugar. Bring to a boil.

When it begins to boil add the rice noodles. Stir to ensure it gets soaked in the sauce. When it starts to soften a
bit stir in the egg/wheat noodles/Canton (if using). Continue to stir the noodles while trying to
soak them in the sauce until all the liquid has dried up.

Add some more
stock or water if the sauce dries up before the noodles are tender. Adjust
seasoning if necessary. Don’t forget the calamansi (or lemon/lime) – squeeze a few drops on your noodles for some tang! Enjoy! 

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40 Comments

  1. August 16, 2012 / 9:53 pm

    omg omg omg omg omg. yummmmmmmmmmy.

    reminds me of the rice noodles from east asia. add a little chili sauce, or sriracha, from 0 to 60 seconds, done. i've finished the entire thing.

    • August 17, 2012 / 1:13 am

      Our pancit is quite mild in taste really compared with say the Thai, Singaporean, etc. variety that's why I would try next time to put a lttle chili sauce as you suggested. Actually, it dawned on me that we squeeze a few drops of "calamansi" (similar to a key lime) on it to give it some zing but it's more of a sour bite rather than spicy. Thanks, Jen!

    • June 9, 2017 / 12:49 pm

      There always cabbage in my moms pancit, either Napa or regular head of cabbage and never oyster sauce although its a interesting ingredient I'll have to use next time I make pancit!

  2. August 19, 2012 / 1:02 am

    I have the fondest memories of Pancit. My Mom had a friend that shared her family recipe with her and she made it frequently. It is delicious! Yours looks wonderful.

  3. August 19, 2012 / 2:23 am

    So glad to know that you've tasted pancit before. That does not often happen. Thanks, Valerie!

  4. Anonymous
    October 12, 2012 / 7:27 pm

    I have a bottle of calamansi powder that I got from an asian market. Would that work or should I just use a squeeze of lime instead? We can't get fresh calamansi here. I can hardly wait to try this, it sounds amazing!

    Zira

    • October 13, 2012 / 2:31 pm

      I have never tried calamansi powder and I didn't know there was one…wow. Amazing. I would suggest a few drops of lemon or lime should do it, but even without it the dish is already great as is. I often don't add anything more to it when I cook it here in MI. But do let me know once you're tried it. Thanks for stopping by!

  5. February 19, 2013 / 4:58 pm

    Abby, thanks again for the walk down memory lane! I love this dish, and it was also a favourite in Hong Kong. There were many fillipinos and Singaporeans living there when I grew up as a child, so this could be bought from the street and sold in a brown paper bag (like a cone shape) and you would put some sauces on it and eat it with a wooden tooth pick! The man would be cooking it in a huge wok which was on wheels, fired by coals. Those were the days before they had all this health and safety stuff! The food was delicious, and I would have mine with dried shrimp also, and chopped peanuts sprinkled over!

    • February 19, 2013 / 5:13 pm

      I have yet to meet someone who doesn't love Pancit! I know exactly how you feel — my mom makes the best pancit and I do miss her making this for me too! I love HK too! Thanks for sharing such lovely memories. 🙂

  6. Anonymous
    March 23, 2013 / 2:54 am

    Omg! It looks delicious! My Mom used to make the best pancit which I've never been able to replicate. My kids don't eat my version. I'm going to try yours. Never thought of using oyster sauce! Btw, my husband is from Boac.

    • March 28, 2013 / 12:04 am

      Oh wow, kababayan! Great to know that, have you been to the island yourself? Hope your kids would love this!

  7. Felicia
    April 16, 2013 / 1:36 am

    My Dad grew up in Cebu as a missionary kid back in the 50's and 60's. Every year for Christmas my entire family has pancit, pork adobo, and bibngka for our meal. My Dad always makes the pancit, and he never measures anything either. Thanks for you recipes! I'll have to try a couple I don't recognize!

    • April 16, 2013 / 3:00 am

      Thanks for stopping by Felicia and for sharing sweet memories about your Dad! Hope you enjoy our recipes here! 🙂

  8. Anonymous
    April 17, 2013 / 7:27 pm

    I have also tried this before…My sister-in-law made this and gave me the recipe 22 yrs. ago only she dcalled it PONCIT. Pretty much the same except she put all vegetables in it..gr. beans, cabbage, carrots,celery, snow peas, and she used chicken and browned pieces of pork in her recipe. I've made it many times and taken it to potlucks and it's always a big hit.

    • August 21, 2013 / 10:33 pm

      Thanks, glad to know you love Pansit! 🙂

  9. May 29, 2013 / 6:05 pm

    Is there a substitute I could use in place of the oyster sauce.

    • May 29, 2013 / 6:29 pm

      You can omit it if you like and just increase the soy sauce. It adds more depth of flavor but you can still make a delicious Pansit without it. 🙂

  10. KarenB
    August 21, 2013 / 10:25 pm

    Abby, my mother in law is Filipino and my husband half. She is a "my mother made the best pancit, adobo, beco (sp?) Etc and I'm scared to death to make it! Lol. I have the pancit noodles, carrots, green beans (from garden) and have leftover pork tenderloin roast. Can I use the pork instead of chicken? My noodles are yakasoba noodles actually. Will those work? I'm headed to the grocery store tomorrow so I can get something different if needed. Thanks

    • August 21, 2013 / 10:31 pm

      Yes, you can use the pork tenderloin. They use Pork in pansit in the Philippines a lot, too. I have not tried yakisoba noodles but they are probably similar to Canton which I often use. They're fine. Hope all works well.

  11. September 15, 2013 / 1:46 am

    Thank you for sharing me your Pansit recipe. I copied the whole thing in my recipe book. However, in my own version, I added prawns:.peeled.and deveined and butterfly cut. Morever, I also added slices of chorizo del Bilbao and slices of fish balls. Very delicious! From:.Catherine

  12. Anonymous
    November 23, 2013 / 1:00 am

    What's point of sharing a recipe if you disable right click so your readers can't copy and paste to a document type of their choice for printing purposes? A recipe that I could've consolidated into a single page to print, took two and a lot of color ink because I couldn't reduce the picture or edit individual words from sentences for brevity. Yet I wanted a small image so I'd know how it's supposed to look. I could've gone to a lot of extra trouble to do a screen capture and resized the image using picture editing software and re-typed the recipe into a wordpad doc, but it just wasn't worth it. Just saying.

    • November 23, 2013 / 8:58 pm

      If you noticed, there is a print icon below or at the end of the post. If you used that there shouldn't have been any problem. You can remove the photos using that and there's no need to print it. That's why there's a print-friendly icon. My photos have been stolen many times over and this is how I protect myself from copyright infringement. I hope you understand.

  13. November 23, 2013 / 1:03 am

    I can't wait to try this recipe. It looks amazing! Thank you!

    • November 23, 2013 / 8:59 pm

      Please enjoy Boomer and if you wish to print it there's a print icon at the end of the post.

  14. February 4, 2014 / 8:53 am

    I've tried a couple recipes for pancit, mostly they were bland, but I must try your recipe soon, thanks.

    • February 5, 2014 / 1:48 am

      Thanks for stopping by Bibs and hope you like this version. Of course, a little addition of soy sauce always does the trick, too! 🙂

  15. Anonymous
    March 2, 2014 / 10:27 am

    Can you use lo mein noodles?

  16. August 6, 2015 / 9:08 pm

    I was lucky enough to work with several ladies from the Philippines before I retired. They instructed me on how to make pancit after I'd tasted it at a potluck. the only difference was theirs used only the rice noodles and they specified what brand. I'll have to try yours. good stuff

  17. January 10, 2016 / 12:00 pm

    where is this print icon hiding? I cannot find it on the page.

    • January 11, 2016 / 3:19 pm

      There are two print icons that you can find with the social media buttons on either the side or on top. Hope that helps Christina and thanks for asking. 🙂

  18. February 10, 2016 / 11:45 pm

    Do you add the noodles to cook in the sauce or precook the rice noodles?

    • February 10, 2016 / 11:55 pm

      No need to pre-cook noodles. It cooks in the broth. Enjoy Jenny!

  19. Anonymous
    September 27, 2016 / 11:35 pm

    How many people will it feed?

    • September 28, 2016 / 1:05 am

      About 6-8 servings, perhaps a little more depending on how much each person eats. 🙂

  20. October 11, 2016 / 5:44 pm

    I recently rediscovered pancit and love it so much that I introduced it to the menu at the camp where I'm the chef. I was able to purchase a case of rice sticks with 30 (16-ounce) packages for the summer. Pancit was on the menu along with chicken adobo, rice and sauteed garlic green beans every other week. I hit the jackpot when two Filipino families came to the camp in July! I find that it takes around 24 ounces of rice sticks for 25 persons.

    I learned to love pancit at a mom-and-pop restaurant in Olangapo City in the early 1970s. So much so that I ate it by the plateful anytime I was in town. I now prepare it at home often. Our local supermarket carries a Filipino brand of rice sticks (Excellent brand) in 8-ounce packages. I add rice vinegar with the soy sauce and squeeze lemon on the plate. I would like to find calamensi in Placerville, Calif.

    • October 14, 2016 / 12:18 am

      Great to know you love Pancit Steven! It is a personal favorite of mine and thanks for the tips. I am sure some Asian or even Filipino stores in CA would have calamansi for sale. I am in the East Coast so I don't know where exactly to find it there. Sorry.

  21. patricialea
    November 13, 2016 / 7:32 pm

    My husband & I are both RNs. When we lived/worked in LA during the 80's and would have potlucks, the Philippine nurses would ALWAYS bring pancit & we got spoiled! Trying to find good pancit in Phx, AZ is next to mossible! Can't wait to try this!

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