Pancit Bihon (rice stick noodles) is the most popular Filipino noodle dish. This is offered in most restaurants in the country and is always a staple in any gathering or potluck events. This is also often served during birthdays, because tradition dictates we serve noodles for “long life”. Rice stick noodles are also used in Chinese, Malaysian, Singaporean and Taiwanese cuisine. They are also referred to as bee hoon or rice vermicelli.
As I have mentioned before Filipino families usually have their own recipe or way of cooking a dish. You might see variations of this when you search it in the web. What makes our family recipe different is that we like to add Chinese sausage and fish cake or fish ball to our pancit.
To make, first soak your rice stick noodles in water for a few minutes until softened then drain and set aside. In a heated pan or wok saute in 2 tbsp oil, 1 onion finely chopped and 2-3 cloves garlic minced. Cook until fragrant then add about 1/4 lb medium sized shrimp. When it turns bright pink take it out of the pan and set aside. Next add 1-2 pieces Chinese sausage sliced and cook until crisp at the edges. You then add your vegetables starting with 1 medium sized carrot cut into matchsticks, 1 cup green beans sliced at a bias and 2 stalks of chopped celery and half a head of shredded cabbage or napa cabbage. Stir and cook until vegetables are crisp tender. Last add 1 cup diced cooked chicken meat (I use chicken thighs). Then pour in 5-6 cups chicken broth preferably homemade, 2 ladles (cook’s spoon) soy sauce and 1-2 tbsp fish sauce (optional). Let this come to a boil. Remove half of your vegetable from the broth and set this aside to be used for garnish later. Add your bihon noodles and stir everything together until all ingredients are well combined. Cook until all the broth has been absorbed by the noodles. Transfer to a serving platter and garnish with shrimps and the vegetables you have set aside earlier.