Pancit Bihon (Filipino Rice Noodles)

Pancit bihon is a classic Filipino dish of stir-fried rice noodles, crunchy veggies, pork, and a savory sauce. This recipe is worthy of a celebration but easy enough for a family dinner.

Two Bowls with Pancit Bihon (Filipino Rice Noodles) on a Placemat Next to a Bowl of Cracked Pepper

Simply Recipes / Frank Tiu

Pancit bihon guisado is a classic Filipino stir-fried noodle dish that’s a layer of flavors and textures in every bite. The dish includes silky noodles, robust bite-sized pork, crunchy vegetables, and the savory aroma of patis (fish sauce) mixed with the citrus sweetness of calamansi. Put it all together and you have a colorful and flavorful one-dish meal.

Pancit is a celebratory dish, one that is served for family get-togethers and to celebrate milestones, especially birthdays. Our elders often say the noodles invite long life and prosperity, so I cook pancit when we gather to celebrate life’s special moments.

Pancit Bihon (Filipino Rice Noodles) in a Wok and Two Servings in Two Bowls at a Table Setting with Utensils and an Empty Bowl

Simply Recipes / Frank Tiu

What Is Pancit Bihon?

Also known as bihon guisado to Filipinos, the word bihon comes from the Hokkien word “bi,” for rice and “hun” for flour. The term pancit is Tagalog, and its Chinese Hokkien origins mean “pian” for ready and “e-sit” for food. 

Bihon are thin thread-like noodles made with rice flour or flour mixed with rice and corn. They are dry, stiff, and semi-transparent when uncooked. As they cook and soften, the noodles turn translucent.

Pancit bihon is also called pancit guisado, the latter meaning sautéed. Guisadong pancit means the noodles are sautéed with strips of meat and vegetables. Sometimes, both pork and chicken are used. Other times, shrimp is added or sweet Chinese sausage (lap cheong) is mixed in.

According to the late Doreen G. Fernandez (pioneer Filipino food writer), the original Hokkien term for pancit (pian-e-sit) meant a conveniently cooked dish and did not necessarily mean noodles. Fernandez stated that the noodle dish was adapted to local ingredients and flavors. In the book “Republic of Taste”, Philippine culinary historian Guillermo Ramos explained that the Chinese from Fujian brought pancit to the Philippines.

How To Cook Pancit

Asian dishes like pancit are built around multiple layers of meat, seafood, and vegetables, often grown in one’s backyard. Everything is chopped to bite-sized proportions for quick cooking and ease when eating.

My mother taught me a good sauté is the base of a delicious dish. That is essentially how to cook pancit. I also boil the pork first in water and seasonings to get the best flavor, saving the broth for the stir-fry to flavor the noodles. 

Pancit Bihon (Filipino Rice Noodles) in a Wok with a Spatula

Simply Recipes / Frank Tiu

In my grandmother’s time, the meat simmered slowly for hours on the stovetop, and the stock was used for dishes like this one. I have shortened the cooking time, but still get the meaty goodness needed to give pancit bihon depth.

Shortcuts for Quicker Pancit

For a quicker cooking time, you can skip boiling the pork until soft and go straight to stir-frying the chopped meat with the vegetables. If you do this, you won’t have the flavorful broth from the pork and you will need more time to stir-fry meat. Use store-bought chicken broth or water for the liquid in the stir-fry.

You can also save time at dinnertime by making the pork ahead of time. I pre-boil the pork a few days ahead, then freeze the meat and broth for another day. When it’s time to make pancit, I defrost both and they are ready for the stir-fry.

Recipe Variations

This is a versatile noodle dish. You can add other vegetables like napa cabbage, bean sprouts, broccoli, bok choy, snow peas, sugar snap peas, or leafy greens. 

For a plant-based version, omit the pork and fish sauce and use vegetable broth or water in place of the pork broth. The flavors of a good sauté of vegetables and noodles with a spritz of citrus and soy sauce can make the dish just as delectable without meat.

Close-up: Pancit Bihon (Filipino Rice Noodles)

Simply Recipes / Frank Tiu

One-Dish Stir Fry Dinners

Pancit Bihon (Filipino Rice Noodles)

Prep Time 35 mins
Cook Time 60 mins
Total Time 95 mins
Servings 4 servings

Dried pancit bihon noodles, calamansi juice (fresh, frozen, or bottled), fish sauce, and soy sauce are sold at Asian markets or online sources for Asian and Filipino ingredients.


For the pork

  • 1/2 pound boneless pork belly or pork shoulder, whole slab

  • 3 cups water, for boiling the pork

  • 1 pinch salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

For the stir-fry

  • 8 ounces dried pancit bihon noodles

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 medium white or yellow onion, chopped

  • 1 large rib celery, chopped

  • 2 green onions, chopped, white and green parts divided

  • 1 tablespoon patis (fish sauce)

  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and julienned

  • 2 cups green beans, edges trimmed, sliced into 1-inch pieces

  • 3 cups shredded green cabbage

  • 1 1/2 cups broth, from cooking the pork

  • 2 tablespoons toyo (soy sauce)

  • 1 tablespoon calamansi juice (or lemon juice)

  • 1 pinch salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

For serving

  • 1/4 cup patis (fish sauce)

  • 1 tablespoon calamansi juice (or lemon juice)


  1. Cook the pork:

    Using a sharp knife, trim off and discard any excess fat from the pork.

    In a medium-sized stockpot, combine the pork with about 3 cups of water, or enough to cover the meat. Sprinkle with salt and ground pepper.

    Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then cover and adjust the heat to maintain a simmer. Cook until tender, about 45 minutes. 

    Reserve 1 1/2 cups of the pork broth for the stir-fry. When the meat is fork-tender, remove from the liquid and let it rest on a cutting board for about 10 to 15 minutes to cool. Slice the pork into 1/2-inch cubes. Set aside.

    Slab of Pork Boiling in a Dutch Oven for Pancit Bihon Recipe

    Simply Recipes / Frank Tiu

    Fork Poking Slab of Pork to Check if Tender for Pancit Bihon (Filipino Rice Noodles) Recipe

    Simply Recipes / Frank Tiu

    Pyrex Measuring Cup Used to Reserve Some of the Pork Broth for Pansit Bihon Recipe

    Simply Recipes / Frank Tiu

    Cubes of Pork on the Counter for Filipino Rice Noodles Recipe

    Simply Recipes / Frank Tiu

  2. Soften the bihon noodles:

    Place the dry noodles in a large bowl. Pour some water into a small bowl, and use your fingers to sprinkle water over the noodles until they become damp. Continue sprinkling water until the noodles get soft and pliable but not mushy. Set aside.

    Simple Tip!

    Some recipes suggest soaking the dried bihon noodles in water for a few minutes. I prefer to instead sprinkle water to soften the noodles. This method has worked well for my pancit and the noodles do not melt or clump together before cooking.

    Pancit Bihon Noodles in a Bowl Sprinkled with a Little Bit of Water for Filipino Rice Noodles with Pork Recipe

    Simply Recipes / Frank Tiu

  3. Stir fry the vegetables:

    Place a wok or large skillet over medium heat. Add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the garlic, onion, celery, and the white parts of the green onion and stir fry until soft and fragrant, for about 2 minutes. 

    Add the patis (fish sauce). Add the carrot and green beans and stir fry until beginning to soften. Add the shredded cabbage and toss well.

    Onions, Green Onions, Celery, and Garlic Added to a Work for Pancit Bihon (Filipino Rice Noodles)

    Simply Recipes / Frank Tiu

    Carrots and Green Beans Added to Wok for Pancit Bihon with Pork Recipe

    Simply Recipes / Frank Tiu

    Shredded Cabbage Added to Wok with Other Pancit Bihon Ingredients

    Simply Recipes / Frank Tiu

  4. Add the pork, noodles, and sauce:

    Add the sliced, cooked pork to the mixture. Add 1 1/2 cups of the reserved pork broth, the toyo (soy sauce), and calamansi juice. Stir to mix.

    Add the damp bihon noodles. Combine the noodles and the rest of the ingredients well.

    Cover the pan with a lid. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the noodles soften and blend well with the ingredients. The white noodles will become translucent as they cook and the broth will coat the noodles and give them a light brown hue. The broth eventually gets absorbed by the noodles the longer it simmers and should result in a dry pancit noodle dish. This will take 8 to 10 minutes total.

    Pork Cubes Added after Vegetables Wilted for Pancit Bihon

    Simply Recipes / Frank Tiu

    Bihon Noodles Added to Pancit Bihon in Wok

    Simply Recipes / Frank Tiu

  5. Season and serve:

    Sprinkle salt and pepper all over, to taste. Garnish with the green parts of the green onions.

    Serve warm with a dipping sauce of patis mixed with calamansi juice.

    Pancit bihon is best when served soon after it is cooked. If there are any leftovers, store pancit in the refrigerator in a covered container for up to a day. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop. It is not advisable to freeze pancit bihon because the noodles will get watery and the vegetables wilt.

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    Salt and Pepper Added to Pancit Bihon (Filipino Rice Noodles) in a Wok

    Simply Recipes / Frank Tiu

    Two Bowls with Pancit Bihon (Filipino Rice Noodles) on a Placemat Next to a Bowl of Cracked Pepper

    Simply Recipes / Frank Tiu

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
621 Calories
23g Fat
71g Carbs
33g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 621
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 23g 29%
Saturated Fat 7g 33%
Cholesterol 96mg 32%
Sodium 2530mg 110%
Total Carbohydrate 71g 26%
Dietary Fiber 6g 22%
Total Sugars 9g
Protein 33g
Vitamin C 55mg 273%
Calcium 162mg 12%
Iron 3mg 16%
Potassium 817mg 17%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.