Birthdays are always celebrated with plenty of food in my family.  Lots of food.  My mom, now in her seventies, still never fails to deliver a lavish spread, way more than our huge family could eat.  In all these birthday gatherings, noodles are ever-present.  The long strands of noodles signify long life, something that Filipinos borrowed from the Chinese.  Growing up, my favorite noodle dish is pancit bihon (puhn-sit bee-hon) or stir-fried rice noodles, which is incredibly simple to make.  Rice noodles soak up all the tasty flavors from the chicken stock, soy and fish sauce, which is why the key to making delicious pancit is making delicious homemade chicken stock.

My mom makes pancit with carrots and cabbage, and sometimes adds snow peas.  I also remember my mom adding sliced Chinese sausage, which are the hard sausages that are made of pork, and are smoked then sweetened.  It’s the same Chinese sausage that she uses when she makes fried rice with fried eggs and diced vegetables.  When I was a kid, I loved digging through a big plate of pancit to thoroughly look for those sweet slices of Chinese sausage hidden under the stack of rice noodles.  I would pick all the sausage and shrimp and leave all the vegetables untouched.

Last week, I made pancit for my blog’s first birthday.  For long life, I hoped.

I love adding shiitake mushrooms to my mom’s recipe and, when they are in season, I love adding asparagus and sugar snap peas, too.  And a spritz of calamansi gives the noodles a delightful zest.


Pancit Bihon Recipe, makes 4 to 6 servings

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1/2 pound shrimp, shelled with tails on, and deveined
1 boneless chicken breast, boiled and shredded
1 cup green cabbage, shredded
1 cup carrots, thinly sliced crosswise
1 cup shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
3 to 4 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoons fish sauce
1 8-ounce package pancit bihon noodles
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 calamansi limes

Heat oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Saute garlic until lightly browned. Add onions and saute until fragrant and softened. Add shrimp and stir fry until cooked. Add chicken and stir fry until well combined. Transfer meat to a large bowl and set aside. Add more oil to the hot pan. Add carrots and stir fry for a few minutes. Add cabbage and mushrooms and stir fry for a few minutes more. Transfer vegetables to the bowl with the meat and set aside.

Pour chicken stock into the pan and bring to a boil. Add bihon noodles, soy sauce, and fish sauce. Turn the heat to medium and let the noodles simmer, stirring frequently until approximately 1/4 cup stock remains. Add the meat and vegetables back into the pan and stir fry everything together until all the stock has boiled off. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a squeeze of calamansi.


Pancit Bihon

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  • kililikinalum

    Looks yum, Jun! You are too funny – picking out all the Lup Cheong from the fried rice!

  • Jun Belen

    Thanks, Chris. The Lup Cheong is the BEST part!! I love the sweet smoky flavor!!!

  • Vangie

    wow ,my favorite pancit bihon !i must try it with shitake mushroom ! yummy thanks , brother ….

  • skip to malou

    mmmm i love the addition of the shitake mushrooms into your bihon. and those shrimp, it looks like you didn’t make tipid on them huh hahahah. great looking bihon jun… nom nom nom!!

  • foodhoe

    that looks so good! I’ve never seen this dish, it looks fresh and delicious and all of my favorite ingredients. Happy happy!

  • Jean

    Yum, I can eat this everyday and never get tired of it. Sounds like your mom makes it just like my mom does. Wow, I would love to have some right now…with kalamansi, of course.

  • iya

    oh wow! one of my favorite comfort foods! pag gumawa ako nito, nagmumukhang chopseuy! ang dami ko kasi nilalagay na rekado! gusto ko may quail eggs and young corn mwehehe!

    pero shempre, ang secret to this is yung noodles pa rin. i love love love this with puto and barbeque! parang pang-classic pinoy birthday lang! :p

  • Jun Belen

    Iya, yes it’s my favorite, too! And you read my mind… just like you I love having pancit with barbecue!! And oh my! Puto! Yum! I have to learn how to make that at home!

  • Jun Belen

    I know, Jean. I can have pancit everyday… one of my favorite comfort foods!

  • Liren

    This is one of my favorite Filipino noodle dishes, and I make mine very similar to yours! Mmm! I also love my aunt’s version, because she makes a luscious stock out of pata. I can eat a whole wok of this :)

  • Jun Belen

    Stock out of pata? That sounds really really tasty! Yum!

  • Emil

    useful links for Excellent Brand Noodles

  • Jun Belen

    Thank you, Emil for stopping by my blog!

  • Richard

    This looks amazing! I’m a freak for noodles, will have to give this a try. But three Chicken drumsticks? I’ve never seen a three legged Chicken! LOL.

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  • Janessa

    Are there any other rice noodles that would work for this? I love Pancit and I have some rice noodles but not sure if they would work.

  • Jun Belen

    The recipe will work for any kind of rice noodle.  What kind do you have?  It will also work for egg noodles — pancit Canton, and mung bean noodles — pancit sotanghon.  I would recommend making your own chicken stock but stock made from bouillon cubes will work, too if you are pressed for time. 

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  • Mary Beth Patrick

    New to your site and I am already a big fan of it.. But how can I print out the recipes instead of hand writing them? Mary B Patrick

  • Jun Belen

    Thank you, Mary for the nice compliments to the blog. We’re currently working on putting a link to print a pdf version of the recipe only and hopefully we’ll have it up and running soon.  For now, I’d suggest copying and pasting the recipe to a Word document or text editor and printing them out from there.  Please come back soon!

  • Elaine Homstad

    I made pancit bihon tonight for the first time.  I used Excellent brand noodles.  It was delicious, but my question is…what is the easiest way to cut the noodles into shorter pieces?  I used kitchen scissors, and it was very difficult and noodles went flying all over the kitchen!

  • Jun Belen

    I’m very glad to hear, Elaine, that you enjoyed the pancit! Bihon is a personal favorite but I will never say no to any plate of pancit.  I’d suggest cutting the noodles with a pair of kitchen shears while soaked in the broth, when you’re boiling the broth off.  In that way it’s easier to cut them.

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