Monday, January 26, 2009


The Conventional Pancit Sotanghon Guisado
with Meats and Veggies

Puto which are steamed rice cakes (entry#61) are great accompaniments to the Pancit
and the calamansi are used as condiments (entry#66). Split a calamansi in half and squeeze its juice on the noodles to enhance the noodles' flavor.

Before I go further, let me create a little glossary here for those who are not familiar with this dish.
PANCIT is a name for Philippine noodles
SOTANGHON is a type or a variety of noodle
GUISADO means stirfried or pan fried or sauteed. It is a method the noodles are cooked.
There you go, now you have an interpretation of the title which is:

Pancit Sotanghon, dried noodles

Other names for sotanghon are, bean thread noodles, glass noodles and Chinese vermicelli.
Other types of noodles are made from flour, others are made from rice which are called rice sticks.
The reason why sotanghon noodles are called bean thread noodles is because they are made from mung beans. I'm not going to discuss about mung beans at this time, but maybe in the future.

Sotanghon noodles soaking in warm water.

I can only guess why these noodles are called glass noodles. Maybe it is because when soaked in water, they become transluscent and resemble glass.
I have no clue why they are called vermicelli. I thought that is an Italian pasta.

There are many different ways to cook noodles, but the conventional way of cooking sotanghon is strir fried with a lot of different kinds of veggies in the ingredient such as cabbage, pea pods, carrots, etc. But my favorite kind is very simple, no veggies, but chicken only.

This is Pancit Sotanghon done my way.

Quick and simple but very flavorful. The noodles are firm, but not dry. Perfectly moist and not mushy, and no veggies, just chicken. Mmmmmmmmmm, really full of flavor!!

Recipe for Sotanghon Guisado: (Updated)
1 package (1 lb.) sotanghon noodles
3 tbsp canola oil
2 cups (or more) cooked chicken, shredded
3-4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 onion, chopped
1/4 cup soy sauce or patis (or half and half)
2 water or chicken broth, or (bouillon or paste in 2 cups hot water )
1 tbsp. anatto oil (click here for the recipe #67 Anatto Oil)
freshly cracked peppercorns or
whole peppercorns
Veggies (optional)

1) In a pot or a large bowl soak the noodles in warm water (about 15-20 minutes)
2) While the noodles are soaking, heat the oil in a wok or a large skillet over medium heat
3) Saute the garlic until fragrant, not browned.
4) Add the onion and continue to saute until the onions are wilted.
5) Add the chicken and continue to saute for about 4 minutes then add the soy sauce or patis.
6) Turn the heat to medium high then add the broth and bring it to a boil.
7) Stir in the anatto oil and the pepper. Turn the heat down to medium and simmer for about 3 minutes.
8) Drain the noodles and mix them in with the simmering chicken and its broth.
9) Continue to stir until the noodles are tender but firm and not mushy.

Notes from MaMely:
1) From my observations, the amount of broth needed to cook the sotanghon noodles depends on how long the noodles were pre-soaked in the water. The longer they are soaked in the water, the lesser broth they needed to cook in. If they are soaked only for just say, 5 minutes, you need more than 2 cups of water or broth. The liquid is the key to make a perfect Sotanghon Guisado. Too much liquid makes the noodles to be mushy and break up to tiny pieces; not enough liquid makes the noodles dry and rubbery.

2) I used rotisserie chicken from Costco and by simmering water with the chicken, broth is produced. If you have some chicken broth on hand, that is perfect, definitely use that in place of water. Sometimes I use some chicken base in paste form but it contains plenty of salt just like bouillon cubes. I'm trying to avoid too much salt in my diet nowadays.


  1. Mely,
    Thanks a lot for sharing your secrets! I spent a great deal of time scouring your recipes here last night.
    I have been cooking pancit using chicken stock as well, but parang me kulang lagi (although my friends say it is masarap). maybe the secret is indeed the oyster sauce. And I will try cooking my pancit next time with annatto.
    BTW, you have been awarded the Lemonade Award here for your unrelenting unselfish, sharing and caring attitude, and your gratitude that shines in your blogposts. Please continue with your good work!

  2. OMG!!! Manang, an award??!!I've never had any award in my whole entire life!! What is Lemon award??
    thank you very much for visting my site. Yes, I think it's both the anatto oil and the oyster sauce that make the pancit taste better. But let me tell you that you need to find the Mamasita's oyster sauce ( see my entry on oyster sauce, entry #19. If you cant't find mamasita's just stick to soy sauce.the other brands taste awful.
    Thanks again and have a nice day! (night)

  3. naku! eto na yung palaman ng pandesal! drooling...=P