This Pancit Canton Recipe is made with stir-fried wheat noodles packed with savory and citrusy flavors. This versatile dish can be customized with proteins and vegetables that you like for a personalized twist.
What is Pancit Canton?
Pancit or pansit is a general Filipino term for noodles. Different types of pancit are classified primarily by the kind of noodles used.
For Pancit Canton, the noodles are made with wheat flour; some may contain egg, depending on the brand. It is stir-fried and usually includes chicken, pork, and vegetables seasoned with soy sauce and calamansi.
Ingredients you'll need
Dried pancit canton noodles are commonly used in traditional recipes, but you can also substitute them with thicker lo mein noodles for equally delicious results.
Notes and substitutions
- Pancit canton noodles: I used pre-cooked lo mein noodles made with wheat flour and eggs. They are thicker and more yellow but just as chewy as dried pancit canton noodles made from wheat flour.
- Proteins: Chicken, pork, fish or squid balls, and tofu are other options; sear them for more flavor. As an option, you may also add boiled quail eggs.
- Vegetables: I used shiitake mushrooms, carrots, and cabbage. Green beans, snow peas, celery, and bokchoy are other options.
- Chicken base or bouillon: You can use chicken or shrimp stock.
How to make this recipe
Prep and organize
- If you are using fresh pre-cooked noodles, drop them quickly in hot water and separate the strands. For dried noodles, prepare extra 3 cups of hot water.
- Make the sauce by combining 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 tablespoon fish sauce, 1 teaspoon bouillon or base, and a cup of hot water in a cup.
- If using dried shiitake mushrooms, soak them in hot water until tender. Remove the tough stems and slice.
Step 1: Over medium-high heat, add a bit of oil then lightly brown 6 to 8 shiitake mushrooms for about a minute. Move them aside, then sear 2 Chinese sausage links for another minute.
Step 2: Season 8 ounces of shrimp with salt and pepper, then add them to partially cook for about a minute. Add more oil as needed. Transfer to a plate.
Step 3: Add a bit of oil and sauté 3 garlic cloves and 1 onion until softened.
Step 4: Add 1 carrot and a small amount of sauce. Let it come to a boil.
If you are using dried noodles, add the entire sauce plus 3 cups of hot water.
Step 5: Add 2 pounds of noodles and the remaining sauce. Toss them and cook for about 3 minutes or until the noodles are heated through.
Add hot water if it gets too dry. Dried noodles will take about 5 minutes to cook.
Step 6: Add 3 cups of cabbage, mushrooms, sausage, and shrimp. Toss them together. Turn off the heat.
Step 7: Add 2 scallions, some black pepper, and cilantro (if using). Squeeze some lemon, lime, or calamansi juice. Serve and enjoy!
You do not need to pre-soak or pre-boil dried pancit canton noodles. Add them to the broth once they are boiling to rehydrate them. For fresh noodles, a quick dip in boiling water will loosen the strands.
As Filipinos love condiments, Pancit Canton will go well with toyomansi sauce made with soy sauce and calamansi (or lemon). A spiced vinegar with chilies and garlic sounds good as well.
Variations of Pancit
Pancit" (sometimes spelled "pansit") refers to noodles in Filipino cuisine, which are often associated with longevity or "long life." There are many types and regional variations. Here are just some of the most popular:
- Pancit Canton (Pancit Guisado): This is perhaps the most recognized version. It's a stir-fried dish made with wheat noodles, combined with a variety of vegetables and proteins.
- Pancit Bihon (Bihon Guisado): This version uses thin rice vermicelli noodles, stir-fried with a combination of meats and various vegetables.
- Sotanghon Guisado: Similar to Pancit Bihon, this stir-fry noodle dish uses bean thread noodles (also called cellophane or glass noodles) that turn translucent and smooth when cooked. Sotanghon soup is the soup version with a chicken and/or pork broth.
- Pancit Palabok: A rice noodle dish using thin rice noodles topped with a distinctive orange sauce, made from shrimp stock and tinapa (smoked fish). It's garnished with shrimp, crushed pork rinds, and hard-boiled eggs. Pancit luglug is a similar version, originating from Pampanga and uses thick cornstarch noodles.
- Pancit Malabon: Named after a city in Metro Manila, this dish features thick rice noodles with a signature orange-colored sauce. It's typically topped with ingredients like shrimp, squid, and oysters.
Other noodles and pasta recipes you may like
Did you make this recipe? I would love to know! Your feedback helps me make better recipes. Please rate, review, or comment below. Questions about this recipe are welcome, too!
- Wok or large sauté pan
- 2 pounds fresh lo mein noodles or 1 pound dried pancit canton noodles (see note)
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce sub: oyster sauce
- 1 teaspoon chicken or shrimp base or bouillon sub: chicken broth or shrimp stock
- 6 to 8 shiitake mushrooms fresh or dried (rehydrated), sliced (see note)
- 2 Chinese sausage links sliced (see note)
- 8 ounces shrimp shelled & deveined (see note)
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 small onion diced
- 1 medium carrot julienned (see note)
- 3 cups shredded cabbage (see note)
- 2 scallions sliced
- Lemon or calamansi juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cilantro optional
- Make the sauce by combining soy sauce, fish sauce, bouillon or base, and a cup of hot water in a cup. Set it aside.
- Over medium-high heat, add oil then lightly brown the mushrooms for about a minute. Move them aside, then sear the sausages for another minute.
- Season shrimp with salt and pepper, then add them to partially cook for about a minute. Add more oil as needed. Transfer to a plate.
- Sauté garlic and onions in oil until softened.
- Add carrots and a small amount of sauce to cook it. If you are using dried noodles, add the entire sauce and 3 cups of hot water. Let it come to a boil.
- Add noodles and the remaining sauce. Toss them and cook for about 3 minutes or until the noodles are heated through. Add hot water if it gets too dry.Dried noodles will take about 5 minutes to cook.
- Add cabbage, mushrooms, sausage, and shrimp. Toss them together. Turn off the heat.
- Add scallions, ground pepper, and cilantro (if using). Squeeze some lemon or calamansi juice. Serve and enjoy!
- Pancit canton noodles: If you are using fresh pre-cooked egg noodles, drop them quickly in boiling water to separate the strands. For dried noodles, prepare extra 3 cups of hot water.
- Shiitake mushroom: If using dried shiitake mushrooms, soak them in hot water until tender and remove the tough stems.
- Proteins: Chicken, pork, fish balls, and tofu are other options; sear them for more flavor. As an option, you may also add boiled quail eggs.
- Vegetables: You can also use green beans, snow peas, celery, and bokchoy.