28 Apr2009


We had a wonderful version of this dish at Pendy’s in Bacolod. It was lighter and less rich (sum-ul is the Visayan term I would use), with just enough chopped bits of liver and vegetables. The noodles seemed to cooked just enough, oddly “al dente” in texture, I thought, particularly in comparison to our usually more water/broth-logged pancits. So when I spotted the “efuven” noodles at a Saturday market, and then again at a small Chinese food store in Greenhills, I thought I would experiment. And no, I had no idea how an “authentic” Pancit Efuven was made, so if you are Negrense or from Bacolod and I totally screwed this up, please leave me a comment. For my first attempt, I made a saute with onions, carrots, celery, some pork, liver, cabbage and broth and when this was cooked, I added the noodles and let them cook for several minutes. Worried that it looked dry, I added more hot water, which it promptly absorbed…


The result? A delicious, flavorful but almost “too rich” (ngilngig for Visayans) pancit that was best with a lot of kalamansi squeezed on top of it. It was quite soggy, and you couldn’t eat too much of it in one go. It was good but not the light, almost al dente feel of the version we enjoyed in Bacolod. So a few weeks later, I decided to try this again…


The second batch of “Efuven” or “Hipoven” noodles I purchased came with instructions that gave me some clues… the darned noodles were apparently already pre-cooked! And thus didn’t necessarily need to be cooked again. In fact, the accompanying recipe suggested cooking the topping and just plopping them over the dry noodles. I am not a big fan of crunchy noodles, so I thought I would just alter my earlier attempt. This time around, I made a saute with onions, celery, carrots, green beens, cabbage, shrimp, ham, broth and water, a touch of kikkoman, then added the noodles at the last minute, turned off the heat after two minutes and stirred until it was all softened and cooked.


The second batch was better than the first, but still a little soggy. I was able to eat this entire green bowl full of noodles, and again, it tasted better with the kalamansi. But i don’t think I have the concept and heart of dish totally right yet. And if you have some ideas, let me know. The thin noodles approximate a thinner fettucine, and they are a nice vehicle for the broth and veggies. This would make terrific merienda fare, in the same way my favorite pinoy noodles, sotanghon guisado, is brilliant in the late afternoon. But these were not the kind of noodles that some would make a proxy for a viand, in the manner that some highly flavored pancit cantons seem to taste pretty good with some steamed rice in the same spoon full… :)

P.S. I have no idea why they are called “Efuven” of “Hipoven”… probably named after someone or someplace they were invented… They are supposed to be made with flour, eggs and water, but they are quite pale and nearly white when compared to other egg noodles.



  1. lee says:

    I love efuven noodles.

    Apr 28, 2009 | 2:08 pm


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  3. Ariel says:

    Hi MM,
    when you have close to what you had in Bacolod, can we have the recipe? thx

    Apr 28, 2009 | 2:37 pm

  4. Gener says:

    Hmmmmm! i can imagine how simply delicious it is! Is anyone here experienced eating rice noodles with sugar and coconut milk? Indians says taste perfect, for them maybe but we dont used to it so i cannot guarantee….

    Apr 28, 2009 | 3:22 pm

  5. Lei says:

    can’t fail to notice that the seeds of the calamansi are already removed. very thoughtful plating!

    Apr 28, 2009 | 5:10 pm

  6. maricar says:

    hmmmm….am craving for it right now…….can we buy that only in the saturday market? whereelse could we buy those noodles?

    Apr 28, 2009 | 6:36 pm

  7. Connie C says:

    Hi MM.

    I have had a similar experience of not having the right consistency for my cooked pancit, be it sotanghon, bihon, pancit malabon, chap chae , chow foon, potato noodles, soba, etc. Here in the US , it can be a dizzying array of sorts so you better know your noodles. In the Philippines, I find that even the bihon (rice sticks) I used to know has now been adulterated or substituted with CORN STARCH though still labeled to appear like the traditional rice sticks. One cannot go by brand alone. So much for quality control that is perhaps sacrificed depending on the variety of rice used for bihon making in particular, especially since the price of rice has gone to astronomical levels.

    Having learned to cook noodles the usual sauté method without preparation, I found that it can lead to sometimes disastrous results especially if one is in a hurry. Some noodles need preparation to cook properly.

    Here are links you might find useful:



    Apr 28, 2009 | 6:50 pm

  8. Connie C says:

    Sorry, if the first link (earlier) leads you to a different one, try this one and click on Asian Noodles topic which has pictures:


    Apr 28, 2009 | 7:02 pm

  9. Apicio says:

    Efuven or Hipoven sounds to me our version of efu-mein or what some Chinese restaurants here call efu noodles.

    Apr 28, 2009 | 7:30 pm

  10. Apicio says:

    Oops my fingers are too trigger-happy this morning. Furthermore according to Terry Durack in his book simply called noodle, e-fu is thick and pre-fried which makes it a resilient sturdy chew (I guess particularly if you use liquid sparingly). Apparently it is to e-fu we refer to when we make noodles obligatory for birthdays since they are also called long-life noodles. He gives our own pancit Canton as its Philippine version.

    Apr 28, 2009 | 7:53 pm

  11. britelite says:

    is the term sum ul cebuano?in ilonggo its sum ud.

    Apr 28, 2009 | 9:40 pm

  12. betty q. says:

    Ok, Doc! When I make Pancit Bihon or Sotanghon or any kind except the fat bihon for Palabok (which I soak in COLD WATER OVERNIGHT so it doesn’t turn to mush when you blanch it the next day), I add the DRIED BIHON OR SOTANGHON to the guisado vegetables with meat and BROTH in it. The noddles absorb the flavour of the broth making it really malinamnam while it is cooking and being softened. I more broth if needed. I DON”T START WITH A SWIMMIMG POOL OF BROTH. My mom always said it is ALWAYS EASIER to add more later if needed.

    It doesn’t matter whether they are the Pinoy rice sticks or other brands. As long as you add the dried noodles to the broth, it won’t turn to mush! You be the judge of how much broth initially to start woith and add more if needed.

    Apr 28, 2009 | 11:18 pm

  13. betty q. says:

    Off the tangent, MM…sorry! Uhmm, Vanessa and Chris: If you are reading this post…I have responded to your FFTG query. I haven’t forgotten, Chris. I promised you I will try to trouble shoot for you and my response is in the JANUARY POST (recipe index). My apologies, Chris..the paper I wrote your name on to be answered got buried somewhere in my kitchen drawer!

    Apr 28, 2009 | 11:28 pm

  14. ECC says:

    This (aside from your Bacolod posts) is the first time I have heard of a Pancit Efuven though it looks just like any other pancit. I guess it is the use of a particular kind of noodle that makes it “Efuven”. I woud like to try this pancit someday.

    Hi Betty Q – haven’t heard from you in a while. Will e-mail you soon with some news.

    Apr 29, 2009 | 2:07 am

  15. isabel says:

    hi MM,

    i’m from bacolod and in my family we normally serve efuven noodles like chow mein(western). we just cook the meat and vegetables in a thick sauce then just before serving, the efuven is placed in a deep dish and covered with the sauce. the efuven should still be crispy but flavored with the sauce. hope this helps… :) by the way, the best efuven noodles in negros are made by the javelosa family in victorias, neg.occ.


    Apr 29, 2009 | 3:04 am

  16. betty q. says:

    Hey Apicio: I think you are right on the dot! Efuven: root word, maybe e-fu? Same in Chinese …deepfried noodles then topped with a some kind of chop suey like Canton…remember Homebuddy?…just like Isabel’s description of the Efuven Pancit. Do I even make sense, Apicio? I think I am still under the influence of heat stroke!….hahahaha

    ECC: do try to buy EFU noodles in Asian stores. They come prepackaged and already cooked…need to make choop suey with all the goodies and a bit saucy and top the EFU noodles with that. The taste is akin to Pancit Canton like Apicio said! If you cannot find the EFU noodles, go to a Chinese restauarant. Ask for it…just the PACKAGED EFU NOODLES. Make sure you specify PACKAGED!!!! The finished product is close to the picture up above…It is MESTIZA not tanned at all!

    Apr 29, 2009 | 3:27 am

  17. isabel says:

    …by the way, you don’t need to fry or boil the noodles… just make sure they don’t smell rancid… the efuven can even be eaten as is, like a snack…

    Apr 29, 2009 | 4:36 am

  18. Kristine P. says:

    Hi, MM! i’m an avid reader of your blog..and this is the first comment..i couldn’t help but comment kasi po i’m a ‘pansit addict’..may it be our Filo pansit, chinese and vietnamese noodles, even pasta! i eat our pansit with rice, pandesal, etc… My son was born on the 22nd of the month in 2005, and ever since i cook pansit or pasta every 22nd..for long life! heheh! anyway, with the rice noodles, what we normally do, because it’s already been pre-cooked, instead of adding them to the actual mixture, we pour boiling water and leave it for at least 2 minutes just to loosen the noodles and to warm them up a bit. then drain it and add the mixture to ‘to the noodles’..hope it’ll help…enjoy!

    Apr 29, 2009 | 7:38 am

  19. marissewalangkaparis says:

    Sounds delish. Let me give it a try…but first I need to find some Efu-noodles…. sounds easier to do as I always have issues about broth quantity..this one is a topping. Great!! Now to hunt for those noodles. Thanks!!

    Apr 29, 2009 | 8:32 am

  20. lee says:

    Philippine Star April 29, 2009.

    Header: Alert level raised as swine flu enters dangerous phase.

    News at Left of Banner: Lechon: Asia’s best pig ever

    News at Right of Banner: RP emergency plan readied vs flu

    Apr 29, 2009 | 9:28 am

  21. kiko says:

    so, is it rice or egg noodle? Anyone?

    Apr 29, 2009 | 9:29 am

  22. ECC says:

    Thanks Betty Q, I will try to look for these Efu noodles.

    Apr 29, 2009 | 9:41 am

  23. mel says:

    I heard on DZMM this morning that the latest issue of Time magazine features Anthony Bourdain(?)saying that CEBU lechon is the best pig he has tasted in the world.

    Surely it’s related to swine flu but is still great for Philippine lechon…hope to become a tourist must.

    Credit to you.

    Apr 29, 2009 | 12:56 pm

  24. gansilagan says:

    Since the topic is about noodles, can anyone help me on how to cook the thick pancit malabon noodles? I’ve experimented on making pancit malabon 3 times. Those who tasted it said it tastes very much like the “Ang Tunay na Pancit Malabon” brand. However, my big problem is that the noodles either turned out tough/not al dente, soggy or “putol-putol”. Please help!

    Apr 29, 2009 | 1:21 pm

  25. Apicio says:

    Noodles that snapped into short tiny pieces is no longer noodles, it has passed into the realm of a man’s best friend’s first meal of the day. I suspect that it is the result of having sat in water too long, having boiled too long or simply a bad batch of rice noodles. The only way I avoid a hit or miss situation such as this is by soaking the rice noodles in cold water just until you can clip it with your finger nail (when it has soaked through) and steaming it. Observe and zero in on the optimum soaking and cooking time. Remember that it is called luglog because you only need to dunk it boiling water.

    Apr 29, 2009 | 8:00 pm

  26. betty q. says:

    Gansilagan: Where are you? If you are in North America or somewhere outside PI and fresh Malabon noodles is not accessible, try to use the one found in Asian stores, dried noodle section…it looks like spaghetti…I think it is called Lai Fun? I will check later for the exact name. Here it comes in clear cellophane package with green label. I much prefer to use over he Pinoy ones just because I find it holds its shape better and not as skinny as the Pinoy ones.

    Just like Apicio said, i soak it in REALLY COLD WATER (the dried noodles) overnight. Then come next morning, I just blanch it in boiling water for a FEW SECONDS tasting it as I go along until I like the texture. DO NOT STIR UNTIL YOU READY TO ASSEMBLE YOUR PANCIT. You can steam it like the way Apicio does.

    If you are near a Chinese deli/restaurant…sometimes they sell FRESH RICE SPAGHETTI (Malabon noodles). It is not cheap. One pack here enough for 1 person only can cost like $2CDN. But you know how PInoys eat Pancit Malabon…for a family of 4. if I buy the fresh ones, I might need to spend $20 on the noodles as opposed to the dry ones which only cost less than CDN$1.00 per pack….2 packs is enough for a family of 4 like mine.

    I think Ted has already posted the recipe for me. Please just type Pancit Malabon in the search engine if you would like to try my version. Hey, if you try mine, please give me feedback. So, far only Alilay has given me feedback!

    Apr 30, 2009 | 1:05 am

  27. zel says:

    Did you find the noodles a bit oily?

    Apr 30, 2009 | 6:18 am

  28. faye,a says:

    I’m from Iloilo, and I love these noodles! For the recipe we usually saute garlic, onions, celery, carrots, stripped pork loin, bits of liver, cauliflower bits, let them swim in a bit of pork/chicken broth with oyster sauce, halved fish balls, let the sauce thicken and toss in the noodles for 5 min. As far as I can remember (and how I like it), it should not be too soggy, or swimming in sauce – the noodles are flavorful just by themselves – the easiest way to do it is throw what you usually have for bihon guisado and use efuven noodles instead. And, no rice please.

    May 1, 2009 | 10:58 am

  29. faye,a says:

    oh! don’t forget to add the chopped Chinese cabbage in the end.. Must still be a bit crispy. :)

    May 1, 2009 | 10:59 am

  30. farida says:

    Hi BettyQ,
    I did try your way of soaking the noodles overnight in cold water, then blanched it the next day. Turned out really well. Now, what is the difference between pancit malabon & pancit palabok. Anyway, I like your idea of using the oil in which the garlic and shrimps were sauteed to mix with the noodles. It does give it more flavor. And also, thanks for the tip of soaking the shrimp in brine. It does work and kept the shrimp tender. I hsve done this with my Thanksgiving turkey, thanks to Tyler Florence of foodtv.

    Jul 16, 2009 | 1:09 pm

  31. Flavours of Iloilo says:

    Actually EFUVEN is the name of the noodles and you can cook it anyway you like just liek bihon or sotanghon. it’s like a mini linguine.
    There was a local show (here in Iloilo) that prepared pancit efuven. eveyrthing was right except when the named of the pancit appeared on tv is was PANCIT F WOOVEN lol

    Nov 3, 2009 | 12:11 am


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