Pancit Bihon is a Filipino dish that Chamorros adopted as their own, fusing ingredients from several cultures as well as using home-grown vegetables.
There are many pancit variations. As the name implies, this pancit uses Bihon noodles, also called rice noodles or rice sticks. Bihon noodles are usually sold dried (that’s where the name “rice sticks” comes from) but some Asian markets sell them fresh. I used the dried noodles to make my pancit. It’s quick and easy — it only takes minutes to soften the dried noodles in a bowl of hot water, and even less time to cook them.
I add a variety of vegetables to my pancit. It all depends on whatever is fresh and in season at the time I make it. I like cabbage, carrots, onions, celery, snow peas, bell peppers, and fresh green beans.
In addition to vegetables, Pancit Bihon includes some sort of meat. I prefer using chicken in this recipe, but you most certainly can use pork and beef as well. Pancit Bihon also usually has Chinese sausage, which you can find in almost any Asian market. Look for sausage called “lap xuong mai que lo”. This is a cured pork sausage that resembles skinny pepperoni sticks.
This is a great recipe that is simplified by doing a lot of the prep work ahead of time. If you’ve got a busy life that involves work, kids and school, then your time, like mine, is quite precious. Cut your vegetables the night before you plan to make the pancit. You can also cut the meat ahead of time. Refrigerate the vegetables and meat until you’re ready to cook the pancit. When you’re ready to cook, all you need to do is soak the noodles, cook the meat and vegetables, then mix in the noodles. Easy peasy.
My complete recipe is located at the bottom of this post. Give it a try. I think you’ll like it. It’s delicious served as part of your Chamorro fiesta plate. 🙂
Here’s how to make it.
Place the dried rice noodles in a large bowl filled with hot water. Let the noodles soak while you cook the meat and vegetables. After the noodles become pliable, drain out the water. Use a pair of clean kitchen shears to cut the noodles in half. Set the noodles aside.
Saute the chicken in a large wok or pan along with garlic and black pepper.
Once the chicken is no longer pink, add the soy sauce and Chinese sausage to the wok. Cook for another couple of minutes.
Remove the chicken and sausage from the wok, leaving all of the liquid in the pot (you’ll use the liquid to steam the vegetables and finish cooking the noodles). Set the meat aside. Add sliced onions, carrots, bell pepper and celery to the wok. Turn the heat up to medium-high. Stir fry the vegetables for a couple of minutes; do not cook too long — you want the vegetables to still be somewhat firm, not limp.
Add the cabbage to the wok. Cook for another couple of minutes, just until the cabbage begins to wilt.
The liquid left behind in the wok steams the vegetables nicely.
Remove half of the vegetable mixture (again, leave any liquid in the wok). Add half of the meat mixture back into the wok.
Add half of the drained noodles to the meat and vegetable mixture. Stir to combine.
Add the remaining vegetables, meat and noodles back into the wok. Stir once more.
Taste and adjust the seasonings to your liking, adding more soy sauce or salt, to taste.
Garnish with lime or lemon wedges. Serve with your favorite meal or as a main dish. ENJOY!
Author: Annie @ Annie's Chamorro Kitchen
Recipe type: Side
- 1 bag (16-oz) dried Bihon rice noodles (or rice sticks)
- 2 chicken breasts, thinly sliced into 2 inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 4 Chinese sausages (the kind that's cured), thinly sliced
- ¾ cup soy sauce
- ½ large onion, sliced
- 1½ cups carrots, cut into matchsticks
- 1 green bell pepper, sliced
- 1 cup thinly sliced celery
- ½ small head cabbage, cut into 2 inch pieces
- Lime wedges
- Soak the rice noodles in a bowl of hot water for 15 minutes. Drain the water once the noodles become pliable. Cut the noodles in half with a pair of kitchen shears.
- Saute the chicken, garlic and black pepper in large pot or wok; cook until the chicken is no longer pink.
- Add the soy sauce and Chinese sausage to the wok. Cook for a couple of minutes then remove the meat from the wok, leaving the liquid in the wok.
- Add the onions, carrots, bell pepper and celery to the wok. Cook the vegetables for a couple of minutes.
- Add the cabbage; cook until the cabbage wilts slightly.
- Remove half of the vegetable mixture from the pot. Add half of the meat mixture back to the wok, along with half of the noodles. Stir to combine.
- Add the remaining vegetables, meat and noodles to the work. Stir once more to combine. Cook for a couple of minutes then remove from the heat.
- Taste and adjust the seasonings to your liking, adding more soy sauce or salt if required.