Filipino Pancit Canton

Velveting is a Chinese technique used in stir-fry dishes that leaves meat succulent even after frying. It works well in this classic Filipino noodle dish.
Course Main
Cuisine Asian
Keyword pancit, chow mein, noodles, Filipino food, pancit canton
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4
Author Jean | Lemons + Anchovies


For the Chicken

  • 3 boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut in bite-size pieces
  • Roughly 2 - 21/2 teaspoons corn starch
  • 1-2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon low sodium soy sauce
  • Note: traditionally an egg white is added to the process but I find that it's not necessary

For the Noodles

  • 8 ounce package pancit canton noodles I use Excellent brand
  • Marinated Chicken above
  • Half small cabbage chopped
  • Half bunch kale chopped
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 onion
  • 1 cup green beans
  • 2-3 ounces whole grain pasta angel hair or spaghetti, optional
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • oil
  • Onion powder few dashes or to taste
  • Soy sauce few tablespoons
  • Oyster sauce 2-3 tablespoons or to taste. You an also use lo-mein sauce from the Asian aisle
  • Lemon wedges and ground white pepper for serving


Velvet Chicken

  1. Toss all the chicken ingredients together in a bowl--chicken, corn starch, soy sauce, oyster sauce. Allow the marinade to sit for 30 minutes to build flavor but if in a hurry, the technique will work without the wait.

Cook the Noodles

  1. In a wok or large skillet/pot, heat two to three tablespoons oil over medium high heat. Add the chicken pieces, tossing occasionally, and cook until the meat has slightly browned, about three to four minutes. Transfer the chicken to a large bowl and set aside.
  2. Using the same skillet (don't clean out the flavorful bits from the chicken) add another tablespoon or two of oil if needed and turn up the heat to high. Cook the onion for one two minutes then add the carrots and green beans. Cook for an additional minute or two. Season with a few dashes of onion powder. Next add the kale, soy sauce and oyster sauce and cook for about three minutes. Turn down the heat if the vegetables brown too quickly. Transfer the vegetables to the same bowl as the chicken and set aside.
  3. In the same skillet, add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Scrape the bits that have stuck to the pan as the stock comes to a boil. If using the whole grain pasta add them to the skillet first and cook them for about two minutes followed by the canton noodles. Lower the heat a little . The crispy canton noodles will soften in the liquid fairly quickly but you can the noodles soften uniformly by pressing them into the liquid and tossing them around with tongs or a spatula. Once the noodles/pasta have been moistened by the liquid add the chicken and vegetables and cabbage and toss everything together. Lower the heat, cover and allow the noodles to cook further. Check for doneness after five minutes. The noodles should be done. Taste for additional seasonings and plate and garnish with white pepper and lemon wedges. Enjoy.

Recipe Notes

This is a loosely-measured recipe but it would be difficult to get wrong. Use the smaller measurements and adjust seasonings to taste.