Pancit, a Filipino dish that has different variants that are usually made from rice noodles, vegetables, and meats such as chicken or pork, is largely enjoyed by people with a taste for lovely foreign recipes.
As much as you may love Pancit, you also cannot afford to stir up your gluten intolerance or intensify the symptoms of your celiac disease, which is why you should be careful about the ingredients used, especially if you’re purchasing the dish outside.
While the decision to adopt gluten-free diets may not be a result of gluten intolerance or celiac disease, most people like me have woken up to the negative long-term effects of gluten and have decided to condition their diets.
This article will explore all forms of Pancit and help you understand which ones have gluten and gluten-free options, including ingredients that could contribute to gluten content and better alternative ways you can prepare Pancit while ensuring it’s gluten-free.
Is Pancit gluten free?
While traditional Pancit makes use of rice noodles, which are free from gluten, there are other ingredients used for different recipes, such as soy sauce, oyster sauce, and possible cross-contamination that could occur during preparation; all these make Pancit (canton) not gluten-free.
In some restaurants, priority is given to your meal when you indicate your dietary restrictions. However, the best way to ensure your pancit is gluten free is by making them yourself with gluten free pancit noodles and sauce. Towards the end of this article, we have shared a recipe you will love to try.
Here is a table of gluten-free ingredients used in Pancit recipes:
|Rice noodles||Rice noodles are the base of traditional Pancit recipes, and they are gluten-free. These noodles are derived from rice flour and water. Hence, it is a safe choice for individuals with gluten intolerance or celiac disease.|
|Vegetables||Vegetables used in traditional Pancit recipes are naturally gluten-free, and they include carrots, beans, and bell peppers.|
|Protein Sources||The sources of protein in pancit are usually naturally gluten-free when not processed (shrimp, pork, chicken, or tofu).|
|Bean Thread Noodles||Bean thread noodles, which can also be referred to as glass noodles or cellophane noodles, are a gluten-free option that is derived from mung bean starch. Their unique texture makes them suitable to be used in a pancit dish.|
|Tamari Sauce||This Japanese sauce made from fermented soybean paste has the same taste and is a gluten-free alternative to regular soy sauce, which contains wheat, a source of gluten.|
|Coconut Aminos||This gluten-free and soy-free condiment, derived from coconut sap, has a sweeter and milder flavor when compared to soy sauce, which makes it a great choice for people who want to indulge in something different.|
Here is a table of ingredients or practices that are common sources of gluten in Pancit:
|Soy Sauce||Traditional Pancit recipes usually require soy sauce, of which wheat is part. If you have gluten sensitivity or celiac, you already know better than to avoid foods containing rye, wheat, and barley as they are sources of gluten, and traditional soy sauce is not gluten-free. You’re better off saucing or requesting gluten-free soy sauce.|
|Oyster Sauce||Some Pancit recipes are brought to life with oyster sauce, which could contain gluten. But there is gluten-free oyster sauce, which could be used instead.|
|Cross-Contamination||There is a huge risk of gluten contamination in your kitchen or restaurants where your meals are prepared. If utensils, cutting boards, or cooking surfaces used for preparing gluten-contained meals are used in making meals that are intended to be gluten-free, there is a possibility of cross-contamination.|
Besides the traditional Pancit, are other variations gluten-free? Just like the traditional recipe, the gluten content of these other variations will depend on the ingredients used and how they were prepared.
Is Pancit Canton Gluten Free?
Pancit canton makes use of wheat-based canton noodles, which are not gluten-free making it not safe for individuals with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.
But you could make do with or request for rice stick noodles to be used instead (if you’re making them yourself or getting them from a restaurant). This would be the only way to get a gluten-free Pancit canton.
Is Pancit Malabon Gluten Free?
Pancit Malabon is made with thick rice noodles, vegetables, and meat, making it a gluten-free delicacy. A common source of gluten contamination would be the sauce. When dining out, communicate the need for a gluten-free sauce, or if you’re making it yourself, you could use tamari sauce instead.
Is pancit bihon gluten free?
Pancit Bihon is usually made with naturally gluten-free rice noodles. However, make sure to inquire about the ingredients used when you dine out, or check the ingredients of the specific brand or recipe you’re using, as some may contain gluten from other ingredients like soy sauce.
It is of utmost importance for you to inquire about the ingredients or the method of preparation of the particular Pancit you’re interested in in order to determine if it is gluten-free.
Tips for making or ordering a gluten-free Pancit
In most cases, to get gluten-free food, you need to make it yourself, but there is a possibility of buying ingredients that contain gluten. Also, some restaurants could produce gluten-contaminated food as a result of their cooking practices. Below are tips that will help keep your Pancit gluten-free:
When purchasing ingredients for your Pancit recipes, such as noodles, soy sauce, or other sauces, always check the label for gluten-free certifications.
While these labels might greatly simplify the process of eliminating gluten, they don’t always imply that the product is gluten-free.
If the amount of gluten in a product is less than 20 parts per million (ppm), it can be labeled as gluten-free in the US, the EU, and Canada. This implies that up to 20 parts of a million parts of the product can contain gluten, according to Pubmed.
Gluten-Free Pancit Recipe
- 8 ounces gluten-free rice noodles (vermicelli or bihon)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 small carrot, julienned
- 1 small bell pepper (red or green), sliced into thin strips
- 1 cup sliced cabbage
- 1 cup sliced green beans
- 1 cup sliced snow peas
- 1 cup gluten-free chicken or vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons gluten-free soy sauce (make sure it’s labeled as gluten-free)
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce (make sure it’s labeled as gluten-free)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 cups cooked and shredded chicken (optional for a meat version)
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- Lime wedges for garnish
- Prepare Rice Noodles:
- After cooking the gluten-free rice noodles, drain, rinse with cold water, and set aside.
- Sauté Aromatics:
- Heat the vegetable oil over medium heat in a large wok. Add minced garlic and chopped onion. Sauté until the onion becomes translucent.
- Add Vegetables:
- Add the julienned carrot, sliced bell pepper, cabbage, green beans, and snow peas. Sauté for about 3-4 minutes until the vegetables begin to soften.
- Pour in Broth and Sauces:
- Pour the gluten-free chicken or vegetable broth into the pan, followed by the gluten-free soy sauce and fish sauce. Stir well to combine the flavors.
- Add Cooked Noodles:
- Add the cooked and drained rice noodles to the pan. Gently toss them with the vegetables and the sauce mixture. Continue to cook for another 3-4 minutes, allowing the noodles to absorb the flavors and soften.
- Season and Garnish:
- Season with ground black pepper and add the shredded chicken if you’re making a meat version. Stir to combine.
- Garnish your gluten-free pancit with chopped green onions and fresh cilantro. Serve hot with lime wedges on the side.
When dining out, it is essential to communicate your gluten-free dietary requirements to the restaurant staff. Inquire about their practices to avoid possible cross-contamination in the kitchen.
It is always best to choose restaurants that have gluten-free menus or restaurants with experience in accommodating gluten-free requests. Ensure they use gluten-free soy sauce or tamari.
While making Pancit at home, always cleanse your cooking utensils ( kitchen equipment, and cutting boards ) to prevent gluten residue from cross-contaminating your Pancit.