Pancit Canton is one of the most common and popular Filipino noodle dishes. It is the Filipino version of Chinese Lo Mein or Chow Mein. Both Lo Mein and Pancit Canton noodles are stir-fried with meat and vegetables. A sauce (most commonly used soy sauce) is then added to give the dish its savory and umami flavor. While this Pancit can be fancied up and served to guests on special occasions, it is perfect for a quick weeknight meal and it only uses one piece of equipment, which is a wok or a skillet, so cleanup is a breeze. And I'm sure you can agree that a quick clean-up is an added plus when it comes to entertaining, or any day of the week for that matter!
This Pancit Canton Noodle recipe is inspired by my Pancit Guisado dish which is egg noodles stir-fried with vegetables and chicken. And if you'd rather have a vegetable version of this dish be sure to check out my Vegetable Filipino Pancit recipe.
- What Is Pancit Canton
- When Is Pancit Served
- Pancit Canton Ingredients
- Where Can I Buy Canton Noodles
- How To Cook Pancit Canton Noodles
- What To Serve With Pancit
- Variations For Filipino Pancit Canton Noodles
- Substitutions For Pancit Canton Ingredients
- How To Store Pancit Canton Noodles
- Time-Saving Tips
- Frequently Asked Questions
- 📖 Recipe Card
- 💬 Reviews
What Is Pancit Canton
Pancit (pronounced as pan-SIT) is a common Filipino stir fry noodle dish. Thus, to call a dish “pancit’ in Filipino, you can be sure that it is made with noodles. Pancit comes in many varieties and forms. And the dish themselves are named as such based on the type of noodles, cooking methods, place of origin, or ingredients used. Examples of these are Pancit Bihon, Pancit Palabok, Pancit Sotangon, Pancit Miki, and Pancit Malabon, just to name a few.
Pancit Canton is short for Cantonese, which this dish is said to have been influenced by.
The word Pancit comes from the Hokkien “pian e sit,” which literally translates to “something conveniently cooked” as in fast food. Panciteros are Chinese street vendors who sold pancit to working people, offering this Filipino noodle dish as a convenient alternative to making pancit from scratch. Interesting huh?
When Is Pancit Served
It is a Filipino tradition to serve Pancit noodles on special occasions, making birthdays the most popular of such events. Why? Because noodles symbolize long life and good health. Thus to have Pancit Noodles served for birthdays is literally wishing someone a long and healthy life. Interestingly though, it is said to not cut the noodles before eating them.
So, if you were invited to any Filipino gatherings you will bet there would be a platter of this very colorful Filipino noodle dish, with all sorts of meat (chicken, pork, beef, shrimp, or other seafood) and colorful vegetables like carrots, green beans, broccoli, pea pods, among many other varieties. The bright and festive colors of this dish will beautifully adorn a table setting on any special occasion.
Do note that while Pancit is often served during special events, it’s easy enough to prepare for any weeknight meal. Let me show you how to make this quick and delicious recipe. So first gather all your ingredients.
Pancit Canton Ingredients
- Oil: Olive oil and Sesame oil
- Sauce: Oyster Sauce and Soy sauce
- Aromatics: Garlic, Ginger, and Onion
- Vegetables: Broccoli, Carrots, Celery, Green Beans, Pea Pods (Snow Peas)
- Liquid: Homemade Chicken Stock or Chicken Broth
- Noodles: Pancit Canton Noodles
- Protein: while you can use any or a combination of beef, chicken, or pork, in order to save some time, I used cooked frozen shrimp which are already peeled and cleaned.
*See the recipe card below for ingredient quantities and full written instructions on how to make Pancit Canton Noodles.
Where Can I Buy Canton Noodles
With the popularity of Asian foods, you can find Pancit Canton Noodles in the Asian aisle of your local grocery store. I found some at Woodman’s and I’ve also seen them at Jewel or Mariano’s. Amazon also carries them. This is the brand I use.
How To Cook Pancit Canton Noodles
It really is super easy to make this popular Filipino noodle dish. The key is to cut up all the ingredients ahead of time because once your skillet or wok is hot, all the ingredients get stir-fried with the noodles and sauce, and it's done before you could even blink. OK, maybe a few blinks. 😉
Step 1: In a hot skillet or wok over medium to high heat, add oil, garlic, ginger, onion, and sauté until soft and translucent. About 2 minutes.
Step 2: Add the carrots to the skillet and sauté with the aromatics (garlic, ginger, and onion). Stir fry for about 2 minutes.
Step 3: Add the green beans to the skillet and sauté with the rest of the ingredients. Stir fry for about 2 minutes.
Step 4: Add the broccoli to the skillet and sauté with the rest of the ingredients. Stir fry for about 2 minutes.
Step 5: Add the pea pods to the skillet and sauté with the rest of the ingredients. Stir fry for about 2 minutes.
Step 6: Add the celery to the skillet and sauté with the rest of the ingredients. Stir fry for about 1 minute.
Step 7: Scoop out all the vegetables and set them on a plate or bowl. Meanwhile, in the same skillet or wok, add the sauce and liquid. Let it heat through for about 2 minutes.
Step 8: Add the dry pancit wheat noodles and stir-fry with the liquid until softened. This will take about 4 to 5 minutes.
Step 9: Keep stirring and tossing the pancit noodles until softened. Add more liquid or oil if necessary.
Step 10: Once the noodle is softened, add all the vegetable ingredients to the skillet along with the cooked shrimp and toss gently. Season to taste with salt or ground black pepper.
*See the recipe card below for ingredient quantities and full written instructions on how to cook the Pancit Canton Noodles.
Variations For Filipino Pancit Canton Noodles
What I love about any Pancit recipe is that you can add or omit ingredients to better suit your and your family’s taste or to fit any special dietary requirements.
- To make Pancit Vegetarian instead of meat you can substitute for extra-firm tofu and/or add more of your favorite vegetables instead. See the substitutions list below for other types of vegetables you can use to make Pancit. If you can have seafood, shrimp would be great to add to this recipe.
- To make Pancit gluten-free use Tamari or coconut aminos instead of soy sauce. Some oyster sauce is made with wheat flour, making it NOT gluten-free. This is the brand I use when making gluten-free recipes. And with everything, it's a great practice to always check the ingredient labels. Here's a great resource that goes over a list of brands that are gluten-free. Pancit Canton noodles are typically made of wheat flour. For a gluten-free option use rice or mungbean or bean thread noodles.
Substitutions For Pancit Canton Ingredients
Any ingredients for a pancit dish can be adjusted according to your personal taste. That's one of the reasons pancit is my go-to meal for a quick weeknight comfort food. I can just throw in any meat and/or vegetables I have available. And the sauce, any of your favorites will work! Use your imagination and enjoy! 🥘
- Protein: pork, beef, fish, shrimp, or a combination will be great.
- Vegetables: other types of vegetables can be added to Pancit noodles. Vegetables like bean sprouts, green cabbage, napa cabbage, snow peas, cauliflower, and bok choy.
- Sauces: fish sauce or hoisin sauce
- Oil: any of your favorites will work
- Liquid: Homemade Chicken Stock, Beef, Vegetable Stock, or even plain ole water works too! If the latter, adjust the sauces used to give the Pancit Noodles more flavor.
How To Store Pancit Canton Noodles
Leftovers should be promptly stored in a refrigerator in a tightly sealed container for up to 3 days.
Pancit can also be frozen for up to 30 days, promptly sealed in a freezer bag.
Let the frozen pancit thaw in the refrigerator for up to 12 hours or overnight.
Pancit can be reheated in a microwave-safe dish or in a wok or skillet with a little bit of oil. Just toss the Pancit until heated through.
- Use frozen stir-fry vegetables in place of fresh vegetables.
- Use already, cleaned, peeled, and cooked frozen shrimp.
- Pre-cut and pre-measure all ingredients ahead of time.
- Cut all vegetables the same size so they all cook at the same time.
- Use left-over meat and/or vegetables to make a quick pancit dish.
- Blanch all the vegetables and add them to the wok altogether.
Frequently Asked Questions
Blanching helps to retain the flavor, color, and texture of the vegetables. Blanching is when vegetables are quickly immersed in very hot water and then quickly placing them in an ice cold water bath.
Yes! You can serve Pancit Canton with any of these sauces to make them spicy - chili garlic sauce, Sriracha, or Sambal Oelek.
It is not necessary to soak the noodles. Just place the dried uncooked noodles in the wok or skillet with the hot liquid (water, broth, sauces) and stir frequently to allow the noodles to absorb the liquid. See cooking instructions #8 and #9 above.
It is not necessary to boil the noodles since they cook quite rapidly. Just place the dried uncooked noodles in the wok or skillet with the hot liquid (water, broth, sauces) and stir frequently to allow the noodles to absorb the liquid. See cooking instructions #8 and #9 above.
Thaw frozen shrimp overnight in the refrigerator. If you're pressed for time, you can take the frozen shrimp out of the packaging, and place them in a bowl with cold water. Rinse with more cold water, drain and use paper towels to absorb the excess water.
📖 Recipe Card
- 2 tablespoon Olive Oil
- 3 cloves Garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon Ginger minced
- 1 medium Onion sliced
- 1 cup Carrots sliced on a bias
- 1 cup Green Beans cut 2" or on a bias
- 1 cup Broccoli cut into small florets
- 1 cup Pea Pods ends removed
- 1 cup Celery sliced on a bias
- 2 tablespoon Sesame Oil
- 2 tablespoon Soy Sauce regular or low-sodim
- 1 tablespoon Oyster Sauce
- 1 cup Homemade Chicken Stock water or other broth will work too
- 16 oz Pancit Canton Noodles
- 1 lb Shrimp cleaned, peeled, and already cooked (frozen)
- 1 Lemon sliced in wedges
- In a hot skillet or wok over medium to high heat, add oil, garlic, ginger, onion, and sauté until soft and translucent. About 2 minutes.2 tablespoon Olive Oil, 3 cloves Garlic, 1 tablespoon Ginger, 1 medium Onion
- Add the carrots to the skillet and sauté with the aromatics (garlic, ginger, and onion). Stir fry for about 2 minutes.1 cup Carrots
- Add the green beans to the skillet and sauté with the rest of the ingredients. Stir fry for about 2 minutes.1 cup Green Beans
- Add the broccoli to the skillet and sauté with the rest of the ingredients. Stir fry for about 2 minutes.1 cup Broccoli
- Add the pea pods to the skillet and sauté with the rest of the ingredients. Stir fry for about 2 minutes.1 cup Pea Pods
- Add the celery to the skillet and sauté with the rest of the ingredients. Stir fry for about 1 minute.1 cup Celery
- Scoop out all the vegetables and set them on a plate or bowl. Meanwhile, in the same skillet or wok, add the sauce and liquid. Let it heat through for about 2 minutes.2 tablespoon Soy Sauce, 1 tablespoon Oyster Sauce, 1 cup Homemade Chicken Stock, 2 tablespoon Sesame Oil
- Add the dry pancit wheat noodles and stir-fry with the liquid until softened. This will take about 4 to 5 minutes.16 oz Pancit Canton Noodles
- Keep stirring and tossing the pancit noodles until softened. Add more liquid or oil if necessary.
- Once the noodle is softened, add all the vegetable ingredients to the skillet along with the cooked shrimp and toss gently. Season to taste with salt or ground black pepper. Serve with lemon wedges.1 lb Shrimp, 1 Lemon
- You can substitute the shrimp for beef, pork, chicken, or even tofu.
- For a vegetarian option, try my other recipe for Vegetable Filipino Pancit.
- Instead of chicken broth, you can also use beef broth or vegetable broth.
- This dish can be served hot or cold.
- Serve with sliced lemon wedges. The citrus really brings out all the sweet and savory flavor of the dish.
- To save cooking time, blanch all the vegetables and add them all at once to the wok. This will eliminate Steps #3 thru 6 and cut down on sautéeing time!
- Garnish with cilantro if desired.