Pancit canton recipe that helps you make this favourite Filipino noodle dish at home with ingredients that are readily available in your local supermarket. Easy to make and customize for pancit canton noodles your family will love.
Whenever people find out I’m from the Philippines, I almost always get asked if I have a pancit recipe (lumpia, too, but that’s for another day lol).
I get asked so often that Red and I finally decided to document our pancit canton recipe and share it here for everyone to enjoy.
The best part is, this canton noodles recipe uses ingredients readily available in North America while still keeping that traditional pancit canton taste we all know and love.
What is pancit?
“Pancit” (pronounced pan-sit) is the general Filipino word for noodles and pancit canton is the Filipino version of Chinese lo mein (tossed noodles) and chow mein (stir fried noodles).
You take some noodles, stir-fry or toss it with soy sauce, some vegetables like carrots, and meat like chicken breast. Add some Chinese sausages or Chinese chorizo then serve it as a main or side.
Pancit canton is named after the kind of noodle used in the recipe.
(Love noodles? Try this mi xao gion (pan fried noodles) recipe!)
What is canton noodle?
This recipe uses canton which is a type of egg flour noodle. You can find rounded ones like spaghetti or flat ones like fettuccini.
The kind we buy often says flour stick noodles right on the packing. Apparently that’s what canton noodle is in English, who knew?
Why you’ll love this pancit canton recipe
We receive many requests to bring pancit canton for potlucks and special occasions. It’s everyone’s favourite! We often make it for weeknight dinners as well.
You’ll love cooking this pancit canton recipe too because:
- It’s easy to make. I break down all the steps for you in the recipe card below.
- The ingredients are easy to find and the recipe is very customizable so you can substitute with whatever you have on hand.
- No matter how you customize it though, it will still taste like the pancit canton from home.
What you’ll need
It’s easy and straightforward to make this beloved Filipino noodle dish. The prep is what takes a bit longer so just make sure you have all your ingredients ready to go.
We buy all pancit ingredients in our local supermarket. Just look in the Asian or international aisle for things like canton noodles or flour stick noodles, Chinese sausage or chorizo, and oyster sauce.
- Vegetable oil or canola oil
- Red bell pepper
- Snap peas
- Chicken breast
- Fish balls
- Chinese sausage (or Chinese chorizo)
- Chicken broth
- Soy sauce
- Oyster sauce
- Salt and ground black pepper
- Canton or flour stick noodles
- Dried black fungus
- Sesame oil
- Green onions
If your local store doesn’t carry some of these items, you are certainly going to find them in an Asian supermarket. Or there’s always amazon!
And it’s also easy to substitute other ingredients if you can’t find these exact ones. I list suggestions in the FAQ section below.
The tools you need to cook pancit are pretty basic too.
We like using a wok to cook pancit, but a large, deep skillet will also work. It also helps to have a mandoline or a food processor for all that chopping.
How to make
1 VEGETABLES. Add vegetable oil to a wok or a deep, large skillet over medium heat — high heat. Add red bell pepper, carrots and snap peas. Stir and cook for 1-2 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
2 GARLIC AND ONIONS. Add more oil to the pan and sauté garlic and onions until the onions are soft and translucent.
3 CHICKEN. Add in the chicken, stir and cook until lightly browned.
4 FISH BALLS. Add fish balls and cook for 2 minutes.
5 CHORIZO. Add chorizo or Chinese sausage and cook for a minute more. Be careful not to overcook or burn the meats. Lower the heat if necessary.
6 CHICKEN BROTH. Pour chicken broth and season with soy sauce, oyster sauce, salt and pepper. Stir then allow the mixture to boil.
7 CANTON NOODLES. Carefully add the canton noodles and stir until it absorbs all the liquid.
8 BLACK FUNGUS. Stir in black fungus then remove from heat.
9 COOKED VEGETABLES. Add back your cooked vegetables, half of your green onions and sesame oil. Stir until combined.
10 SERVE. Sprinkle the rest of your green onions before serving. Best served warm.
Here are some cooking tips to make the best pancit canton every time:
- Mis en place. Don’t get intimidated by the list of ingredients. The key to this pancit canton recipe is mis en place, which is a fancy French term for having all your ingredients measured, chopped, sliced, minced, etc. before you start cooking. Set out the pans you’re going to use, the measuring cups or spoons you need. Once you have everything ready, cooking will be a breeze.
- Similar-sized ingredients. As much as possible, cut and chop your ingredients into roughly the same size, especially the ones that go into the pan together, so they cook evenly.
- Crispy vegetables. Don’t overcook your vegetables. You want them crispy and crunchy. A couple of minutes in the pan should be enough, then take them out.
- Saucy noodles. You want your canton noodles to absorb all the liquid and be covered in sauce. So once you add them into your wok or pan, make sure to stir and toss them thoroughly.
Recipe substitutions and FAQs
There are different kinds of pancit, each named after the noodles used to make them, like pancit bihon and pancit habhab. Each one looks and tastes different though the preparation is similar.
What is common is that it’s a staple in any Filipino gathering because pancit signifies long life. I’m not sure why that is, though it’s a common belief among Filipinos that noodles = luck and abundance.
So if not pancit, sweet and salty Filipino spaghetti would most likely be on the menu instead.
Canton noodles or flour stick noodles have been dried and precooked so it doesn’t take long to fully cook them. A few quick minutes — whether tossing in sauce or stir-frying — is really all it takes.
To prep dried black fungus, best to follow package instructions.
What you’ll need to do is soak it in water and wait for it to bloom to about 3x its size (about 5 minutes). Once it does, remove from the water, pat dry and chop.
Don’t worry if you can’t find it in-store; you can leave it out of this recipe.
It’s easy to customize pancit canton. See some suggestions below:
– Protein. Instead of chicken (or in addition to it), you can use pork, shrimp or make it vegetarian and use fried tofu. You can even add chicken liver.
– Fish balls. Tofu can also replace fish balls. Or you can use squid balls or shrimp balls.
– Vegetables. If you can’t find snap peas, you can use snow peas. It doesn’t have to be red bell peppers; use yellow, green or orange. You can also add more of your favourite vegetables like celery, green beans or mushrooms.
You’ll want to eat pancit canton within a 3-4 days of making it. It doesn’t keep well even if you store it in the fridge. Happily, you would rarely have leftovers to deal with.
That’s it, pancit. Plus other Filipino favourites
So go ahead, take the plunge and make pancit today. It’s easier than you think. Plus, it’s delicious and remember, it brings good luck!
If you want to explore Filipino cuisine, start with these Filipino favourites:
- Filipino turon recipe for turon that’s crispy and crunchy whether fried or baked. Serve with vanilla ice cream and salted caramel sauce and you have yourself a dessert that transports you straight to the tropics.
- Here’s an easy pandesal recipe so you can make the quintessential Filipino bread roll at home. Crunchy outside, soft and chewy inside, perfect with butter or dipped in your morning coffee.
- Pan de coco is a sweet and fluffy Filipino bread roll that’s filled with sweetened coconut and then baked until golden brown. So good!
- Love cookies? Lengua de gato are Filipino butter cookies that are thin, crispy and so buttery. They’re very easy to make at home so you can enjoy them with your coffee, tea or whenever the craving hits.
Pancit Canton Recipe
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil divided
- ¾ cup julienned red bell pepper
- ¾ cup julienned carrots
- 1 cup snap peas
- 2 tbsp minced garlic
- ½ cup chopped onions
- ½ cup sliced chicken breast
- 1 cup fish balls sliced in half
- ½ cup sliced Chinese sausage also known as Chinese chorizo
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp oyster sauce
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- 1 16oz pack canton or flour stick noodles
- ¼ cup dried black fungus see note
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- ½ cup chopped green onions divided
- Add another tbsp of oil to the pan and sauté 2 tbsp garlic with ½ cup onions until the onions are soft and translucent.
- Stir in ½ cup chicken and cook until lightly browned.
- Add 1 cup fish balls and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add ½ cup Chinese sausage and cook for a minute more. Be careful not to overcook or burn the meats. Lower your heat if necessary.
- Carefully add the canton noodles and stir until it absorbs all the liquid.
- Add chopped black fungus then remove from heat.
- Add back your cooked vegetables, half of your chopped green onions and 1 tsp of sesame oil. Stir until combined.
- Sprinkle the rest of your green onions before serving. Best served warm.
Nutritional information are estimates only.
Did you make pancit canton noodles? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.