Not your grandma’s Pancit, my grandma’s Pancit

If you have read my adobo chicken wings blog from a few weeks ago then you have already had a crash course in how my family immigrated to the States from the Philippines. If you have go ahead a start skimming, if not you should and if you’re here for Filipino recipes you really should. In a nutshell both of my grandparents immigrated to Hawaii when they were very young (in their teens) in doing so they moved away from all their family. When my grandmother was 15 years old when she became a wife and moved away from her family, to a new country with her new husband. She had to learn quickly how to live on her own and run a household. Imagine that for a second, this is the reason I would never call my Filipino food traditional.What is traditional is having pancit for your birthday, sometimes it’s even just called birthday noodles. There’s a touch of food lore with pancit passed down from the Chinese where noodles represent long life and good health, so they must not be cut, or your luck and or life may depend on it.  

I don’t know anyone else who make pancit the way my grandma did, she would always use at least 3 different kinds of noodles, and a lot of ginger. Which I didn’t know until recently is not the norm. I’ve asked my grandma for a recipe a million times, the closest I ever got from her was quote “I open the fridge, see what I have, then put it in a pan with noodles.” end quote. As it happens that is her recipe for almost everything I’ve asked her. She never wrote anything down everything was just to taste. Which is I cook so when she passed there was nothing I could make that was her’s, it’s all guessing and tasting from memory. 

Now I know there are a lot of different kinds of pancit this is her take on bihon pancit, which is like a stir fry or a Filipino chow mein, probably because the Chinese introduced a similar dish to the islands. Usually, it’s made with only rice noodles, I on the other hand open my pantry and look at what random noodles I have, especially if I only have a bit of noodle left I’ll use that up first. Bihon pancit is a delicious balance of soy and citrus, with some sort of meat and vegetables, usually chicken and cabbage. Me, on the other hand, I love pork, porky pork pork, so clearly use chicken kidding I use pork, cabbage, carrot, onion, and the very untraditional french cut frozen green beans. One bowl of this and I’m 8 again visiting my grandma in Hawaii and that’s always a feeling I’ll miss now that she’s gone. 

Yield: 8 servings

Not your grandma's Pancit, my grandma's Pancit

Not your grandma's Pancit, my grandma's Pancit

I don't know anyone else who make pancit the way my grandma did, she would always use at least 3 different kinds of noodles, pork, cabbage, frenched green beans and a lot of ginger.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes


  • 1 pound ground Pork
  • 1 medium Onion, sliced thin
  • 2 Carrots, peeled and grated
  • 2 cups Cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup frenched frozen Green Beans
  • 1-inch knob of Ginger, minced
  • 3 cloves of Garlic, minced
  • 1 cup Chicken Stock
  • 1/2 a Lime, juiced (the other half cut for garnish)
  • 2 tablespoons Soy Sauce
  • 1 bunch Green Onions, thinly sliced divided by white and green part 
  • 1 bunch of Vermicelli Rice Noodles
  • 1/2 a bag of Cellophane Noodles
  • 1 bunch of Ramen Noodles
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


  1. Prep noodles, in a large bowl place all the noodles then cover with boiling water and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes until the noodles are soft but not fully cooked, drain and set aside. You'll want them to finish cooking in the pan.
  2. In a large skillet add about 1 teaspoon of a neutral oil add the pork, salt, and pepper break up the pork with a spatula but after that don't touch it so it can brown. Once the pork is cooked remove any excess of oil depending on how fatty the pork was you want a couple of teaspoons of fat in the pan.
  3. Add the onions (and a pinch of salt) to the pork then cook until soft and translucent.
  4. Add the cabbage and carrots (and a pinch of salt) cook until soft then add the green beans. You don't need to thaw before adding but you also can, either way, won't affect the end.
  5. While the vegetables are cooking in a small bowl (or measuring cup) mix together chicken stock, lime juice, soy sauce, pepper, and the white parts of the green onion.
  6. Once the vegetables are cooked make a well in the center of the pan add a touch of oil and cook the ginger and garlic until fragrant and soft then add the chicken stock mixture and the noodles. Toss all together coating the noodles in the sauce.
  7. Cook until the liquid has absorbed into the noodles, taste at this point for seasoning, add more salt pepper or soy sauce if needed.
  8. Serve hot garnish with the remaining green parts of the green onions and lime wedges.


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2 thoughts on “Not your grandma’s Pancit, my grandma’s Pancit

  1. I just made this. SO good and super easy. I used chicken instead of pork and added some garlic chili sauce at the end and garnished with a couple tbsps of cilantro. I’ll definitely have to keep this one in the meal rotation!

    1. Natalie that’s so great, I love the addition of cilantro! Another thing I do with this sometimes is make my chicken broth out of leftover rotisserie chicken and pull any meat and mix that into the noodles. Great way to use up some leftovers.

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