Pancit bihon (rice sticks with chicken and vegetables)

Surprisingly, there is no pancit bihon recipe in my archives. There is a pancit miki bihon and that’s about it. A good thing, really, that I’m posting the pancit bihon recipe more than five years after this food blog first went online. I’ve done things to this noodle dish that, I hope, makes it less than ordinary.

Bihon is rice sticks. Thin, thin rice sticks, to be more precise. Commonly served with sauteed meat and vegetables, and seasoned with soy sauce or patis (fish sauce), or both, pancit bihon is a popular midday snack in the Philippines. The most common way to prepare the dry rice sticks is to soak them in water before tossing them with the sauteed meat and vegetables. I prefer to add the still-dry noodles to the pan and pour in broth to make them expand. The sight of the noodles expanding before my eyes as they absorb the liquid, with all its wonderful flavors, is just amazing. And, to make sure that the vegetables don’t get soggy, the meat and vegetables are sauteed in a separate pan.

casaveneracion.com

Serves 6.

Ingredients:

breast of one chicken or 4 chicken thigh fillets
salt
pepper
6 fresh shiitake mushrooms
12 green beans (short string beans)
1 carrot
a quarter of a head of cabbage
1 whole garlic
1 onion
2 eggs, beaten
6 tbsps. of cooking oil
250 g. of dry bihon
2 to 3 c. of meat broth (or a combination of meat broth and mushroom soaking water if using dried mushrooms)
4 to 6 tbsps. of patis (fish sauce) or soy sauce or a combination of both
1 tbsp. of Kecap manis
kalamansi halves, to serve

Cut the chicken meat into small, thin pieces. Season with salt and pepper.

Discard the stems of the mushrooms. Slice the caps thinly.

Trim the ends and edges of the green beans. Cut diagonally into one-inch lengths.

Peel the carrot and cut into matchsticks.

Shred the cabbage.

Crush, peel and finely mince the garlic.

Peel and finely slice the onion.

Heat a tablespoonful of cooking oil in a wok. Pour in the egg and cook just until set. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a chopping board. Chop roughly and set aside.

Pour in three more tablespoonfuls of cooking oil into the wok. Fry the chicken strips over high heat just until they change color. Add the carrot sticks and green beans, and cook, stirring for about a minute. Add the mushrooms and shredded cabbage and cook, stirring, for another two minutes. Transfer the cooked chicken and vegetables to a plate or shallow bowl and set aside.

Pour in the rest of the cooking oil into the wok. Saute the garlic and onion until fragrant, about a minute. Add the dry noodles to the wok and pour in two cups of broth, four tablespoonfuls of patis (or soy sauce, or both) and the Kecap manis. Bring to the boil. When the noodles start to swell, stir them. Continue cooking, stirring often, until all of the liquid has been absorbed. Test a noodle by pressing it between your fingers. If there is still a lot of resistance, add the rest of the broth and seasoning, and continue cooking until dry.

When the noodles are done, add the sauteed chicken and vegetables to the pan and toss until everything is evenly heated. Finally, add the chopped eggs and stir a few times before serving.

Serve with kalamansi halves on the side.

Connie Veneracion

I cook, I shoot, I write. But I don't do the laundry. I don't like housekeeping very much either... (more about me)

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16 Responses

  1. Dear Connie,

    What great timing! I have practically everything in my fridge and freezer for the ingredients. I guess I know what I will be cooking this weekend.

    Thanks for the great tip and recipe.

    Doddie

  2. Connie says:

    Oh, and as an addendum: you can use any kind of meat. :)

  3. apple says:

    Just discovered you. Thank you for your recipes…they sound sooooo yummy. I’ll try them one of these days. Thank you
    What’s Kecap manis ?

  4. Connie says:

    Sweet soy sauce — I’ll insert the link.

  5. Tessa Cruz says:

    Thanks for the recipe Connie! I cooked this for my husband’s birthday and our group’s Bible Study Christmas party and it was a success! It came out exactly as I hoped – flavorful and with the right amount of moisture (too-dry pancit bihon makes me sad, hehehe). I served it with broiled adobong spareribs :)

  6. Connie says:

    Tessa, re “I served it with broiled adobong spareribs”

    What a coincidence — we’re having spare ribs for dinner tonight. :)

  7. Josie says:

    My pancit bihon always comes out dry. I’ll try your recipe as soon as I get kecap manis from the nearby oriental store. Sa picture pa lang mukhang masarap na. Thanks, Connie.

  8. Julie says:

    Hi Connie, hope you and your family had a wonderful Christmas! Question for you: in the absence of a wok (must ask Santa for one next year!), what kind of pot should I use? I have two large enamel cast iron pots, one round, the other oval-shaped. Pwede na kaya one of them? I need to learn how to cook bihon myself, instead of waiting for parties so I can take some home. My son loves bihon and so do I!

  9. Connie says:

    Julie, so long as the pan is shallow. Condensation forms in deep pots and that turns the noodles and veggies soggy.

  10. Crazeecook says:

    Glad I found your site! I tried Pancit Bihon and was really good.

  11. lucy says:

    Hey connie.. greetings from Finland. We´re just about to open our own asian shop and we´re going to print some menu´s for the week etc. just for people to know how to cook some of the products hehe.. ok lang ba sayo gamitin ko yong blog mo for a link?

  12. Cindy says:

    Hi Ms. Connie,

    I tried this recipe of yours a few months back. I apologize for just updating you now. I love it! Your tips really work. My whole family enjoyed it :D

  13. LindsayE says:

    We made this tonight and it was FANTASTIC!!!! Thank you so much!

  14. Nenz says:

    Dear Connie,

    I have followed your blogs for years! First time for me to post a comment. And this one I would really try to make!

    I’ve only started cooking 8 yrs ago and I’m 41! This time I’ve set my heart on cooking for my sister’s 50th next month. The caterer I was hoping to make the pancit is booked already so I will be alone on this one. A bit nervous, this is just one of those dishes I’m making for over 70 guests!!!

    Anyway, just dropping by to give you thanks for sharing and inspiring. You are loved!

    hugs,
    Nenz

    • Connie says:

      Thank you, Nenz. And you have all my best wishes. Good luck with the cooking (I hope you’ll have lots of assistants as cooking for 70 guests is a bit daunting for just one cook) and happy birthday to your sister.

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