Yes, you can cook pancit in the instant pot! Making it in the pressure cooker is easy and the noodles come out perfectly tender. Whether for dinner, snack or as party food, you can be sure this delicious Pancit Canton would be a huge hit!
Pancit, pancit, pancit! We don’t need any excuse to make delicious pancit (Filipino Noodle Stir-fry) in the Philippines. It’s so popular that you can find it everywhere, literally – from street vendors, to wet markets, food stalls, office or school cafeteria, mall food courts – it’s everywhere. It is everyone’s favorite noodles, indeed!
It comes in many varieties too and each family has their own secret seasoning ingredient to make their pancit the tastiest of all!
Here are some common varieties of Pancit, and if you are familiar with Filipino cuisine at all, you may have tasted one or some of them! This is not an exhaustive list as many regions in the Philippines have their own style of making pancit, too with varying names at that.
- PANCIT CANTON – Perhaps the most common noodle dish found in Filipino homes and restaurants. This dish uses egg noodles that are stir-fried usually with vegetables like carrots, green beans, shitake mushrooms and cabbage, together with slices of pork.
- PANCIT BIHON GUISADO – Similarly, cooked as Pancit Canton but uses a different type of noodles usually made with rice (so it’s great for those looking for a gluten-free option) or cornstarch (yes, you read that right!). The meat most commonly used with this pancit is chicken.
- PANCIT PALABOK or LUGLUG – This rice noodle dish is distinct for its rich, shrimp-flavored thick sauce colored with atsuete (annatto seeds) which results in its bright orange tint. My favorite of all pancit versions. It may take some effort to make this compared to other pancit varieties but it is so worth it! It uses either rice or cornstarch-based noodles.
- PANCIT LOMI – Lomi features thick and roundish egg noodles (looks like Japanese udon noodles but made with egg) braised in a thick soup with carrots, cabbage and mushrooms, usually with slices of pork, shrimp and kikiam (pork and taro wrapped in tofu skin).
- PANCIT HABHAB – I recently discovered this delicious pancit when I was writing my cookbook RICE. NOODLES. YUM. (EVERYONE’S FAVORITE RICE & NOODL DISHES). This is more of a regional version of pancit (from the Quzon province) that in recent years has become so popular in Metro Manila. Thin egg noodles (like pancit canton) are stir-fried with pork, carrots, cabbage and chayote and flavored with soy sauce and/or oyster sauce. Unlike other pancit versions, this is eaten with a seasoned and spiced vinegar sauce on the side. Once I tasted this I was hooked (it was super yummy!) so I had to include a recipe of Habhab for my cookbook.
- PANCIT MOLO – This is technically more of a soup rather than a stir-fry but it’s still called pancit! It is the Filipino version of wonton soup. Seasoned ground pork (or other meats) is wrapped in molo or wonton wrapper and served with a piping-hot soup garnished with green onions and fried garlic bits! I think I included this here because it’s winter time right now and I could use a bowl of this tasty soup from IloIlo. It’s called Molo because it’s named after the town it originated.
The above are just a sampling of the many varieties of pancit you can find and there’s so much more. Perhaps I will do a part 2 when I make another pancit!
In the meantime, let’s make some pancit using the instant pot!
I actually enjoyed making the pancit using the instant pot. There’s less elbow grease involved as the instant pot does most of the cooking.
You know why? When you cook regular pancit, which involves using quite a bit of sauce which needs to be absorbed by the noodles, you need to continuously stir the noodles around the pan and, unless you want some really good arm exercise, it can get quite tiring. No need to do all that because the pressure cooker softens the noodles for you and lets it absorb all the sauces, too!
I was totally amazed that it worked!
It’s only at the end of cooking and to make everything mix well that you need to stir this dish but that doesn’t take long – a minute or less! DONE!
INGREDIENTS FOR MAKING PANCIT CANTON
- pancit canton/dried egg noodles (find the Filipino variety labeled as such, if possible)
- pork belly or pork tenderloin (pork is the common meat used with pancit canton)
- lap cheong or Chinese sausage (optional, I had some in the fridge so I added!)
- soy sauce (regular seasoning soy sauce)
- oyster sauce (you may use the mushroom version if you want to make this meatless)
- brown sugar (just a little to help enhance the flavor of the seasoning sauce)
- cooking oil
- shallots (traditional) or onion
- chicken broth
- green beans (you may use other vegetables, too)
- salt and pepper
Instant Pot Pancit Canton
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp oyster sauce
- 1½ tsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 lb pork belly or pork tenderloin, sliced into small strips
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 3 pieces Chinese sausage (lap cheong) (optional), sliced (if using, make sure to submerge the sausages first in hot water for 5 minutes before slicing)
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- 1 shallot (or onion), peeled and diced
- ¾ cup carrots, julienned
- ¾ cup green beans, sliced diagonally
- 1 cup cabbage, chopped
- 8 oz pancit canton (dried egg noodles)
- In a bowl, mix together the chicken broth, soy sauce, oyster sauce and sugar. Set aside.
- Choose the saute setting on your instant pot. Add a little oil (about 1 tablespoon) and heat it up. If using pork belly, which has some fat, no need to add any oil as it would render its own fat so simply heat up the instant pot in this case. Season with a little salt and pepper. Cook until the meat has turned nicely browned and released some fat (I cook until they are a bit crispy for more flavor). Add the Chinese sliced sausages and cook for another minute. Remove the meat with a slotted spoon. Set aside.
- In the remaining oil, add the garlic and shallot and saute briefly, just until aromatic. Press the “cancel” button to turn off sauté mode. Add the rest of the vegetables – carrots, green beans, cabbage. etc. Pour in the broth. Give everything a quick stir to deglaze the pan and scrape up any bits from the bottom of the pot. Return the meat to the instant pot.
- Place the noodles on top. Secure the lid and make sure the valve is pointing up to "sealing." Press "manual (high pressure)" setting on the instant pot and adust time to 5 minutes.
- When time is up, press "cancel" and do a quick release (turn valve to "venting"). Uncover and stir to ensure the noodles soak up any sauce remaining and that it mixes well with the rest of the ingredients.
- Serve immediately.
Last updated on January 7th, 2024 at 11:41 pm