“Do you know how to cook Pancit?” I am frequently asked this question once someone finds out that I’m from the Philippines. The word Pancit in Filipino means noodles and people remember the name because the dish is delicious. Pancit Bihon, also known as Filipino Pancit, is the most familiar among many non-Filipinos because it is often served at Filipino parties.
Quick Filipino Lesson:
- Pancit is pronounced as “Pan-sit”
- Bihon is pronounced as “Bee-hon” like the word “on” but with an “h” before it.
Serving noodles, typically Pancit, is important during birthdays to indicate “long life”. It is one of the many Chinese customs that Filipinos inherited centuries ago. Also, Filipino Pancit is easy make, ingredients are cheap, and it can feed a lot of people. What’s not to like about it?
Shopping for noodles in asian grocery store can be daunting. A whole aisle is devoted to noodles, with top to bottom shelves stocked with all kinds of flat, round, wide, and thin dried noodles used in all asian countries. The different types of noodles are named by it’s ingredients such as mung bean, rice, wheat, and buckwheat. However, other packages also have names printed for the specific type of dish it’s used for such as soba, udon, canton, miki, etc.
Bihon noodles are the noodles to use for this pancit recipe. Philippine brands, as well as noodles from other countries, are usually stocked in their own area of the shelf. The common brand here in the USA is called “Excellent Rice Stick Special Bihon”.
Filipino Pancit Bihon - Stir Fried Rice Noodles with Pork and Vegetables
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil
- 1/4 cup chopped onion
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless pork chops
- cut into small cubes approx 1/2 inch x 1/2 inch
- 1 medium sized carrot julienned 1/2 medium sized cabbage cut into 1 inch strips
- 4 tablespoons soy sauce 4 to 5 cups soup stock chicken, beef, pork or seafood
- 1 pack 16 oz/454 grams Pancit Bihon or Rice Stick Noodles
- In a stew pot, heat oil on medium to medium-low heat
- Saute onions until translucent then add garlic and cook for about 2 minutes
- Add pork and cook until brown, continue cooking until liquid is reduced
- Add soy sauce, carrots, and soup stock, mix well and bring to a boil
- Cover pot and simmer to medium low heat for 30 minutes or until pork is fork tender
- Add cabbage and cover to cook for 10 minutes
- Remove meat and vegetables with a slotted spoon and set aside (optional)
- Add Rice Noodles or Bihon to the stock, do not close lid
- Mix and cook for 3-5 minutes, remove from pot and place noodles on a serving platter
- Top the noodles with the meat and vegetable mixture
- Bihon Noodles can be placed directly in the wok or pot, it will absorb the broth right away and reduce in size.
- The meat and vegetables are removed from the broth and set aside before adding the Bihon Noodles to the broth. The cooked noodles are transferred on a serving platter and topped with the meat and vegetables.