Vegetarian mung bean noodles

Vegetarian mung bean noodles

Vegetarian pancit sotanghon

7000 Islands
Jana Liebenstein

In her day, my lola (grandmother) made a distinction between the similar pancit sotanghon and pancit bihon. Sotanghon, using more expensive mung bean noodles, was more special than common bihon, rice noodles. The slippery elastic noodles were her pick for fiestas, when a big platter of pancit was served. Today, prices have evened and both noodles are ubiquitous.

This savoury vegetarian dish includes pancit classics: carrots, beans, cabbage and soy sauce seasoning. The vegetables should be tender but still crisp, so treat this as a stir-fry. No pancit is complete without a squirt of kalamansi, which brings all of the flavours together.


Quantity Ingredient
200g mung bean vermicelli or cellophane noodles
80ml vegetable oil
1 large onion, sliced
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 large carrots, cut into batons on the diagonal
200g green beans, trimmed and cut into 3 cm pieces on the diagonal
2 celery stalks, sliced on the diagonal
1/4 cabbage, cored and roughly shredded
500ml vegetable stock
80ml soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
kalamansi or lemon halves, to serve


  1. Place the noodles in a large heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water. Set aside for 5 minutes to soak. Drain well.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the vegetable oil in a wok or large deep frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and cook for 3 minutes, stirring until it has started to soften. Increase the heat to high, then add the carrot and beans and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add the celery and cabbage and stir-fry for a further 2 minutes, or until the vegetables are just tender but still have crunch. Transfer to a plate.
  3. Add the stock and soy sauce to the wok and bring to the boil over high heat. Add the noodles and cook for 3 minutes, tossing occasionally with two wooden spoons, until the liquid has evaporated. Remove the pan from the heat.
  4. Return the vegetables to the pan with the sesame oil. Season with salt flakes and freshly cracked black pepper, and gently toss to combine. Transfer to a serving platter and serve with kalamansi.
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