I am sharing with you today the classic version of another popular Filipino food – Pancit Guisado with Chicken and Vegetables. This mouthwatering combination features tender chicken strips sautéed with an array of colorful vegetables like carrots, cabbage, bell peppers, celery, and snap peas. This easy recipe for a one-pot meal is a great way to use up all the veggies and any leftover meats you have. It's absolutely perfect for a weeknight meal!
History and Origin
Pancit Guisado is a staple in Filipino households and an absolute crowd-pleaser at gatherings. But where did it all begin? Well, let's take a trip down memory lane to discover its origin.
This delectable dish can be traced back to the Chinese influence on Filipino culture. You see, centuries ago, Chinese traders settled in the Philippines and brought along their culinary traditions. One of these traditions was stir-frying noodles with various ingredients - thus laying the foundation for Pancit Guisado.
As time went on, Filipinos began incorporating their own local flavors and ingredients into this Chinese-inspired dish. They added their personal touch by using native vegetables like carrots, cabbage, and green beans alongside meat or seafood options such as chicken, pork, shrimp, or even squid.
The word "Guisado" itself means "sautéed" in Spanish - which demonstrates yet another cultural influence on Filipino cuisine. The Spanish colonization of the Philippines left an indelible mark on its culinary landscape.
Today, Pancit Guisado has become an iconic comfort food that symbolizes unity and celebration within Filipino communities worldwide. It holds a special place during birthdays and other special occasions as it is believed to bring long life and good fortune when consumed.
One of the great things about this dish is its incredible versatility. This dish can be customized in many ways to suit your taste preferences or whatever ingredients you have on hand. Whether you're a vegetarian, seafood lover, or meat enthusiast, there's always an option for everyone.
Note that the list of ingredients below is just a guide and what I had readily available. So when you're making this feel free to personalize the dish and use any combination of ingredients you like to make your own version of this popular dish. See the variations and substitutions section below for ideas.
- Oil: Olive oil and Sesame oil
- Sauce: Soy sauce. If you want to make a Gluten-Free Pancit Guisado use Tamari, Coconut, or Liquid Aminos in place of the soy sauce.
- Aromatics: Garlic and Onion
- Vegetables: Celery, Cabbage, Carrots, Pea Pods, Red Pepper
- Meat: Chicken (cut into small pieces)
- Liquid: Homemade Chicken Stock
- Noodles: Egg Noodles
HINT: Cutting the vegetables all the same size will keep cooking time at a minimum.
*See the recipe card below for ingredient quantities and full written instructions on how to make this classic Filipino dish.
How To Cook Pancit
STEP 1: In a wok or large skillet, over medium heat sauté garlic and onions with olive oil.
STEP 2: Add the chicken and stir-fry for about a minute until it is no longer pink.
STEP 3: Add the carrots and stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes.
STEP 4: Add the pea pods and stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes.
STEP 5: Add the cabbage and stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes.
STEP 6: Add the celery and bell peppers and stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes.
STEP 7: Remove all the vegetables from the skillet and set them on a plate. Add the chicken stock to the skillet and scrape the bits from the bottom of the pan. This will add flavor to your Pancit Guisado dish.
STEP 8: After about 1 minute when the stock is warm, add the egg noodles in the skillet.
STEP 9: Using a spatula or chopsticks, stir and toss the noodles until softened and cooked through.
STEP 10: Add the chicken and the vegetables to the skillet and season with soy sauce, sesame oil, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Optional to garnish with sliced green onions and lemon wedges!
HINT: Blanch the vegetables together for 2 minutes and since you will be stir-frying there's no need to shock them. Blanching keeps the vegetables crisp and helps retain their vibrant colors. Shocking the vegetables after blanching means placing the vegetables in a bowl with iced water.
*See the recipe card below for ingredient quantities and full written instructions on how to make this Filipino noodle dish.
Variations and Substitutions
1. Classic Pancit Guisado: Let's start with the basics. Traditional pancit guisado typically features stir-fried rice noodles with colorful vegetables like carrots, cabbage, bell peppers, and green beans. It's commonly cooked with sliced meat or shrimp for added protein. Tossed in a savory sauce made from soy sauce, garlic, and fish sauce (or oyster sauce), this classic version is always a crowd-pleaser!
2. Seafood Sensation: If you're a seafood enthusiast, why not give your pancit guisado an oceanic twist? Swap out the meat for an assortment of fresh seafood such as shrimp, squid rings, mussels, or crab meat! The delicate flavors of the seafood combine beautifully with the noodles and veggies to create a mouthwatering treat that will transport your taste buds straight to the beach.
3. Meat Lover’s Delight: For all those carnivores out there who can't resist chunks of juicy meat in their dishes – fear not! Pancit guisado can easily be customized to cater to your preferences. Consider using chicken breast strips or thinly sliced pork instead of traditional meats. You could even experiment by adding succulent pieces of beef or Chinese sausage for that extra burst of flavor!
4. Veggie Paradise: Looking for a lighter option without compromising on taste? Opting for a vegetarian version is just what you need! Load up on different types of mushrooms such as shiitake or oyster mushrooms or add tofu for a protein-packed alternative. Don't forget to pile on the veggies – think broccoli florets, snap peas, baby corn, and bok choy. The vibrant colors and crisp texture will make your pancit guisado a true veggie paradise!
5. Gluten Free Option:
- Noodles: Use rice flour, potato noodles, or mung bean noodles
- Vegetables: All fresh vegetables are naturally gluten-free
- Meat: All fresh meats are naturally gluten-free. Don't use any processed or breaded meats.
- Sauces: Use coconut or liquid aminos, Tamari, and this brand of Fish Sauce.
- Liquid: Of course, homemade chicken stock is always better as you know what is in it. However, if you are purchasing, it's always good advice to read the label. Here's a great site that goes over a list of brands that are gluten-free.
6. Seasoning Infusion: A squeeze of calamansi juice (Filipino lime) adds a tanginess that brightens up every bite. Don't forget black pepper for that little kick of heat – adjust it according to your preference!
7. Garnish for Color and Taste: Last but most certainly not least – garnishes! Freshly chopped scallions or spring onions sprinkled on top lend a touch of freshness while adding another layer of color contrast. And if you're feeling adventurous or want an extra zing in your meal, serve it alongside crushed chicharron (pork cracklings) for a crispy, indulgent twist.
Types of Noodles to Make Pancit
I used egg noodles for this Pancit Guisado recipe because they're readily available so that YOU can make this recipe at home! 😬 However, if you want to use another type of noodles, you surely can. That's the beauty of this recipe, any variety of noodles will work!
Whether you've just cooked up a big batch or ordered some from your favorite restaurant, you may be wondering how to store it properly so that it stays fresh and tasty for as long as possible. Don't worry, we've got you covered!
First things first, let your pancit guisado cool down before storing it. This will prevent any excess moisture from building up and causing sogginess later on. Once cooled, transfer the dish into an airtight container or Ziploc bag.
If you're planning to enjoy your pancit guisado within the next day or two, simply pop it in the refrigerator. It'll stay fresh and flavorful for a little while longer. Just make sure to consume it within 3-4 days to maintain its quality.
Now, if you want to keep your pancit guisado for an extended period (maybe because you made a huge batch), freezing is your best bet. Freezing not only preserves the taste but also locks in all those yummy flavors.
To freeze pancit guisado properly, divide it into individual serving portions or family-sized portions based on your needs. Place each portion in separate freezer-safe containers or resealable bags to avoid clumping together during freezing.
Before sealing the containers or bags completely, try removing any excess air by pressing gently on them – this helps prevent freezer burn and maintains the dish's texture better during thawing.
Label each container with the date when you cooked or bought the pancit guisado; trust us; this simple step will save you from playing guessing games later on!
Now that everything is ready for storage let's put them in their chilly home - aka the freezer! Make sure to place them towards the back where temperatures are more consistent rather than near the front where they may get exposed to warmer air when you open the freezer.
When you're ready to enjoy your frozen pancit guisado, it's time for thawing. For smaller portions, you can simply transfer them from the freezer to the fridge and let them slowly defrost overnight. If you're in a rush, using the defrost setting on your microwave is an option too - just make sure to keep an eye on it and do it in increments. If pancit guisado is reheated in the microwave for too long, it tends to get rubbery.
We know you might have some questions about this mouthwatering Filipino dish, so we've put together a friendly FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) guide just for you.
Pancit guisado is a popular Filipino noodle dish that combines stir-fried noodles with an array of vegetables, meat or seafood, and savory seasonings. It's a versatile and flavorful dish that can be enjoyed by anyone, whether you're a vegetarian or a meat lover.
Typically, pancit canton (also known as flour stick noodles) or bihon (rice vermicelli) are used to make pancit guisado. Both types of noodles bring their unique textures and flavors to the dish. You can choose your favorite type of noodle based on personal preference.
While there are many variations out there, common ingredients found in traditional pancit guisado include sliced chicken or pork, shrimp, cabbage, carrots, bell peppers, onions, garlic, soy sauce, fish sauce (patis), and various spices. However, feel free to get creative and add your own favorite veggies or proteins!
Absolutely! Pancit guisado can easily be adapted to suit vegetarian or vegan diets by omitting the meat and seafood components while loading up on colorful veggies like mushrooms, snap peas, tofu cubes, or tempeh. Just remember to use vegetable-based sauces instead of fish sauce for seasoning.
Cooking pancit guisado is fairly easy! Start by sautéing garlic and onions in a large pan or wok, then add your choice of meat or seafood. Once cooked, set them aside and stir-fry the vegetables until they're slightly tender. Next, toss in the noodles and mix everything together with soy sauce and fish sauce. Keep stirring until the noodles are coated and fully cooked. Serve hot and enjoy!
Yes! You can make this delicious and tasty Pancit recipe ahead of time and keep it refrigerated until it's time to serve. A quick warm-up in the microwave is all it takes!
Pancit noodles can be found in any Asian market or local grocery store located in the Asian aisle. Their dried noodles come packed in a cellophane bag. Fresh egg noodles can also be used. These will most likely be located in the produce aisle or refrigerated section. I have also seen them frozen.
Recipes That Pair Well With Pancit
📖 Recipe Card
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup chicken
- 1 clove garlic crushed
- ½ cup onions thinly sliced
- ½ cup fresh carrots thinly sliced or julienned
- ½ cup fresh peapods with stringy ends removed
- ¼ cup fresh cabbage sliced
- 2 stalks celery sliced ¼" thick
- 1 cup chicken stock
- ½ red bell pepper sliced thinly
- 8 ounce egg noodles
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
- In a wok or skillet, over medium heat sauté garlic and onions with olive oil. Cook for one minute.1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 clove garlic, ½ cup onions
- Add the chicken and stir-fry for about a minute until it is no longer pink.1 cup chicken
- Add the carrots and stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes.½ cup fresh carrots
- Add the pea pods and stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes.½ cup fresh peapods
- Add the cabbage and stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes.¼ cup fresh cabbage
- Add the celery and bell peppers and stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes.½ red bell pepper, 2 stalks celery
- Remove all the vegetables from the skillet and set them on a plate. Add the chicken stock to the skillet and scrape the bits from the bottom of the pan. This will add flavor to your Pancit Guisado dish.1 cup chicken stock
- After about 1 minute when the stock is warm, add the egg noodles in the skillet.8 ounce egg noodles
- Using a spatula or chopsticks, stir and toss the noodles until softened and cooked through.
- Add the chicken and the vegetables to the skillet and season with soy sauce and sesame oil and a squeeze of lemon juice. Serve with lemon wedges!1 Tablespoon sesame oil, 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- Time-saving tips: cut and pre-measure all the ingredients ahead of time.
- Cut all the vegetables evenly so they cook quickly.
- To help save time, blanch the vegetables.
- Serve with a slice of lemon on the side. I find that a light squeeze of the lemon juice gives the dish an added zing!
- For a non-meat variety, use fried tofu, and/or a combination of other green and leafy vegetables.
- Use coconut aminos in place of soy sauce if desired.