What is Pancit Bihon? Where did the dish Pancit originate and how is Pancit made?
Pancit was introduced to me just recently by a wonderful group of friends that were gathered together for their annual military reunion. There were a variety of signature dishes from the Philippines, a country in Southeast Asia. After stuffing my belly with Filipino cuisine, Lumpia, Chicken Adobo and Pancit, Pancit was my favorite of them all. Of course, I needed to know how to make this dish, the Filipino way.
What is Pancit Bihon?
Pancit is a staple dish from the Philippines where dry rice noodles or rice sticks are used. These noodles are placed in a seasoned broth along with a variety of vegetables, meat and seafood. The meat commonly used in this dish is pork, but you can substitute it with beef, turkey or chicken and the dish will still be amazing! Pancit Bihon noodles are very long and thin and do not need boiling prior to cooking. The noodles are soaked in the broth as it cooks.
Where did the dish Pancit Bihon originate?
According to my research, Pancit Bihon is of Chinese origins which Filipinos adopted by using their own version of noodles. There are different noodles also called rice vermicelli that can be used in various Pancit dishes . These noodles are made using cornstarch, water and rice flour. The noodles are stiff and dry and do not need to be boiled. The Chinese version is either Chow Mein or Lo Mein. Some of my favorites when ordering Chinese food. The difference is with the noodles and how it is made. When making Lo Mein, the noodles are thicker and the cooking process is boiling and draining the noodles prior to adding it to the rest of your dish.
How is Pancit Bihon made?
The ingredients listed below might seem a bit intimidating, but once you prep your ingredients, your Pancit should be done in 15 to 20 minutes, oh, so good! So let’s get everything together and have our mise en place to make this popular, tasty Filipino dish.
Oil, noodles, cooked chicken, shrimp, chicken broth, green beans, carrots, celery, onions, garlic, scallions, soy sauce, oyster sauce and lemon juice.
Some ingredients can be substituted or omitted if you are following a strict diet. Coconut Aminos can be substituted for soy sauce.
Tools and Equipment
Wok, chef’s knife, wooden spoon, tongs, and citrus juicer
If you do not have a citrus juicer, just squeeze a fresh lemon or lime over the finished product. Remember, no stress!
Step One – Prepare all of your ingredients, tools and equipment needed. All of these ingredients and tools should be set up before you start to make your Pancit to allow the cooking process to be easier and quicker, without a hiccup.
Step Two – Add oil to a wok. Stir fry onions, then add garlic.
Step Three – Once onions are soft and translucent. Add carrots, cabbage and green beans. Flip and move around vegetables a few minutes until cabbage has shrunk in size. Remove from the pan, place in a bowl, set aside.
Step Four – Add more oil to the pan, cook shrimp and add chicken. Sauté until the shrimp is pink in color. This step will increase the flavor as you are cooking the shrimp in the wok that was used to sauté the onions, garlic and vegetables. In this step, any favorite meat or seafood can be added at this point.
Step Five – Remove the chicken and shrimp to a separate bowl. Set aside. Add broth, soy sauce and oyster sauce to the same pan until boiling. Add noodles, cook until liquid has evaporated. Using tongs, flip noodles over a few times to immerse in boiling liquids.
As previously said, this dish is very similar to making Lo Mein, but with slightly different noodles. This is a great way to serve a big crowd and the best part is, it does not take long to make and is very delicious. Right up my alley! If you like a hot kick to your food, add hot sauce or sriracha during the liquid stage of making Pancit.
I hope you enjoy this dish as much as I do. Thank you for sharing the Filipino cuisine with me as Pancit will now become part of my celebrations with family and friends.
Coming soon, Aunt Carmen’s Family Favorites Cookbook!!!!! Stay tuned!
Paalam na po