Pancit Bihon

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Recipe by Gravity84. Wikified by Kenning.

Pancit Bihon
Stir fried thin rice noodles. Looking around online I see this is also called Pancit Guisado, I've never heard that from anyone I know, so it might be another dialect or something. The noodles are about as thin as angel hair or somen and is one of the most popular noodle dishes in the Philippines.

Basic Bihon, The long way
4 bone in skin on chicken thighs
4 cups water
1 bay leaf
8 oz (half a package) of bihon noodles.
1 small cabbage, shredded, I prefer nappa cabbage over normal cabbage
2 carrots, julienned
1 large rib of celery, sliced thin
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp dark soy, or 3 tbsp light soy
1 tbsp fish sauce
4 links chinese sausage, cut diagonally into ellipsoidal medallions (optional)
1/2 lb shrimp, cleaned (optional)
Calamansi cut into wedges, or lime/lemon
3 scallions, minced

This way basically entails making your own stock. Salt/pepper the chicken. In a stockpot sear in oil in batches, not crowding. Replace all the chicken in the pot and add the water, simmer until cooked through, salt to taste. Drain and reserve both the chicken and the stock, remove the bay leaf. Shred the chicken. I like to remove the skin and crisp it separately from the chicken. Heat a wok with oil until the oil ripples, crisp chicken skin, reserve, brown garlic, saute onions and celery until soft, add carrots and chinese sausage. Cook through. Remove and reserve. Add all of the chicken stock, soy, and fish sauce, and bring to a boil. Add bihon noodles and all the reserved ingredients. Some may ask why we removed the stir fry to begin with, if we didn't it would be very difficult to get the noodles submerged in the stock. Stir gently and push the sides down to constantly keep the noodles submersed. Keep stirring until the noodles absorb all of the stock. Serve garnished with some scallions, and with a squirt of citrus, preferably calamansi, but lemon/lime is fine, too.

Variations You can make this a lot faster by using store bought chicken stock. Like many stir fried noodle dishes in Asia, many people will just put their leftovers in it. Leftover Costco rotisserie chicken is great for this. Green beans and bean sprouts are also added quite frequently, as is pork instead of chicken, or fish cakes like imitation crab, or fish balls. I've seen methods that involve soaking or parcooking the noodles in water before adding to the stock. I tried it the first time I made bihon on my own and thought it came out rather bland. I asked my mom about it and she said that it's important to let the noodles cook in the stock so that they get flavor, otherwise they're really bland. Makes sense to me, if your family does it the other way, that's fine, too. Anyone who want's to try that other way, you'll need considerably less stock when it comes to the stir fry. I'd just add it a cup at a time and stir until it's the proper texture.


Here's a version I made last night for dinner. This is pork loin, yellow carrots, and nappa cabbage.