This Filipino comfort food is not only delicious and flavorful, it’s easy to make and filled with veggies. Chicken pancit bihon is a good recipe for a weeknight dinner or to bring to a potluck.
What is pancit bihon?
Pancit bihon consists of rice noodles, meat and vegetables fried in a savory sauce. These delicious stir-fried noodles are a popular dish in Filipino cuisine.
This popular stir fry recipe was actually introduced by Chinese immigrants and subsequently adapted based on Filipino flavors and ingredients.
While this version of pancit uses thin rice noodles, making it “pancit bihon”, there are several other varieties including pancit canton (egg noodles) and pancit sotanghon (bean vermicelli).
Ingredients for Chicken Pancit Bihon
The ingredients and possible alternatives for chicken pancit bihon are listed below. You should be able to find most of these ingredients at your local grocery store or at any Asian markets.
|Thin rice noodles
|Bean vermicelli noodles, angel hair pasta, thin egg noodles, thinly sliced cabbage, udon noodles, white rice
|Vegetable oil, olive oil, avocado oil, sunflower oil
|Minced garlic (from jar), garlic powder
|White onion, sweet onion, red onion, shallot, leek
|Boneless skinless chicken breast
|Boneless skinless chicken thighs, pork loin or shoulder, pork belly, extra firm tofu, spam, chicken liver
|Salt and black pepper
|Chicken stock, chicken bone broth
|Red cabbage, bok choy, snow peas, snap peas, green onions
|Red bell peppers, orange bell peppers
|Dark soy sauce, oyster sauce
|Brown sugar, honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar, agave nectar
How to make Chicken Pancit Bihon
First, soak your thin rice noodles in warm water for about 15-20 minutes. Use the soak time to prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Slice your chicken breast into small bite sized pieces and add to a medium sized bowl. Add salt and black pepper and toss until well coated.
In a large skillet over medium heat, add the canola oil. Once hot, add the garlic and onion. When these start to brown, add the sliced chicken breast and continue to cook until pieces are browned on the outside.
Add the vegetables (green cabbage and carrots), prepared chicken bouillon, soy sauce, fish sauce and sugar. Let the mixture simmer until the vegetables are softened.
Remove the chicken and vegetables from the pan, leaving the excess broth in the pan. Add the soaked rice noodles to the pan and simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated.
Add the rest of the ingredients back into the pan and toss everything together. Serve with lime wedges, chopped green onion and garlic chips to garnish your delicious chicken pancit bihon.
First, I will always suggest prepping all your ingredients before making this dish. Make sure your carrots and cabbage are shredded, onions are sliced, chicken is sliced and garlic is minced before beginning the cooking process.
Second, if you prefer a richer version of this recipe, swap the chicken breast for chicken thighs or pork belly. This will add extra fat to the dish and while this isn’t the healthiest swap, it does lead to a more flavorful dish.
Third, always serve with a few lime wedges. The lime juice sprinkled over the final product adds a “sour” element to the dish, balancing out the sweet, salty and bitter flavors. You can also choose to use lemon juice instead.
Fourth, make sure you soak your rice noodles before adding them to the broth. They will not be able to cook fully if you put them in dry. Follow the instructions on the rice noodle package to determine how much soaking they require.
Lastly, try cutting against the grain (as opposed to with the grain) when slicing your chicken into bite sized pieces. This will lead to more tender pieces that don’t require much chewing.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the difference between pancit bihon and pancit canton?
The difference between pancit bihon and pancit canton is the type of noodles that are used. Bihon noodles are thin rice noodles while canton noodles are thin egg noodles.
Bihon noodles have a neutral flavor and are translucent. Canton noodles have a richer flavor and are a yellowish-brown color. Both are delicious, but result in slightly different dishes.
Where does pancit bihon come from?
Pancit bihon is from the Philippines, though the inspiration for the dish came from Chinese immigrants. It’s a popular noodle dish in Filipino cuisine and is found at many Filipino restaurants.
Is pancit bihon healthy for you?
Yes! This chicken pancit bihon is a healthy and nutrition-packed dish. It contains several kinds of vegetables, cabbage, carrots, onion and green onion, plus it’s high in protein and low in saturated fat.
That being said, it’s only moderately high in fiber. By swapping the rice noodles for brown rice noodles (affiliate link), you can increase the amount of fiber in the dish.
Along with this, the dish is high in sodium due to the chicken broth and soy sauce. To reduce the amount of sodium, swap these ingredients for low sodium varieties and skip seasoning the chicken (use only black pepper).
Chicken Pancit Bihon
- 4 oz dry thin rice noodles
- 1 tbsp canola oil
- 6 oz chicken breast
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 yellow onion sliced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1/4 cup soy sauce low sodium
- 1/2 tsp fish sauce
- 1 tsp white sugar
- 1.5 cups prepared chicken bouillon low sodium
- 2 cups green cabbage shredded
- 1/4 cup carrot shredded
- 2 stalks green onion chopped, to garnish
- 1/2 lime sliced, to garnish
- garlic chips optional, to garnish
- First, soak your thin rice noodles in warm water for about 15-20 minutes (or as directed on the package). Use the soak time to prepare the rest of the ingredients.
- Slice your chicken breast into small bite sized pieces and add to a medium sized bowl. Add salt and black pepper and toss until well coated.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, add the canola oil. Once hot, add the garlic and onion. When these start to brown, add the sliced chicken breast and continue to cook until pieces are browned on the outside.
- Add the vegetables (green cabbage and carrots), prepared chicken bouillon, soy sauce, fish sauce and sugar. Let the mixture simmer until the vegetables are softened.
- Remove the chicken and vegetables from the pan, leaving the excess broth in the pan. Add the soaked rice noodles to the pan and simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated.
- Add the rest of the ingredients back into the pan and toss everything together. Serve with lime wedges, chopped green onion and garlic chips to garnish.