Pancit Canton Bistek + Happy Birthday Dad! & Happy Anniversary to my Parents!


Happy weekend everyone! I have to start by wishing my Dad a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Today is his birthday and I am so glad that he is my Dad! Also,  on Thursday it was my parents 31st Wedding Anniversary! They are definitely a couple to look up to and admire. I’m glad they went out to celebrate yesterday by going to a Lea Salonga concert in Palm Springs. They had a great time and they deserve it! This post is dedicated to them.

As you probably know or if you have read some of my posts, that Filipinos (and many other cultures) celebrate special occasions by feasting well and by eating noodles, specifically a noodle dish called Pancit. There are many variations of Pancit noodles such as Pancit Guisado, Pancit Malabon, Pancit Hab-Hab, and Pancit Canton to name a few. Wikipedia lists 29 variations! I’m sure there are more out there!

I was thinking, for these specific occasions that I would do a different type of Pancit and of course continue in my fascination of tweaking and tinkering with foods. Since we are celebrating my Mom and Dad, I thought,” Hmmm…what is a dish that my Dad is known for and that my Mom often requests?” My Mom asks my Dad to make Bistek very often and it is a family favorite. It is a dish with Beef Steak and Onions in a soy-lemon sauce. Bistek is one of his specialties! Also, he loves to eat steak on his birthday in addition to Pancit, so I thought that the best dish to fit the special occasions would be to combine Pancit with Filipino Bistek. The result is a dish that is flavor-packed and fun to eat! It is hearty, yet light at the same time. It’s a noodle wonderland with meaty goodness! 


Marvin of Burnt Lumpia also has a version of Bistek Pancit Canton that I was unaware of until after I made this dish. I’d like to think that great minds think alike 😀


For the Bistek component, I used a sirloin steak and asked Martha, my butcher, to cut it for me into finger-sized strips. Normally I cut meat myself, but didn’t want to make too much of a mess that day. Thanks Martha!


Soy-sauce, lemon and/or calamansi are the main flavors of the marinade. Here is a bag of calamansi I brought home from visiting my parent’s last week. My Dad has been growing calamansi for a long time. I used 3 pieces and 1 lemon for the marinade. Feel free to add more or less according to your preferred level of sourness. 🙂


I whisked the soy-sauce, lemon, calamansi, steak seasoning (or just ground pepper), and a dash of Worcestershire sauce to make the marinade then let the meat soak in there for about 2 hours.


The chopped components:  Sliced red onion, sliced green onion, minced garlic, and chopped parsley.


When the meat has had a good amount of time to marinate, I then simmered it in with the sauce and chopped garlic for about 20 minutes.  I used to be so annoyed when my Dad or anyone else would  say “Bistek.” I liked calling it Beefsteak and Onions, not Bistek because it sounded funny and I thought that it’s not that hard to pronounce the “f” sound in Beefsteak. Since it is so common to say Bistek, I’ve generally let it go and let it be. 🙂


After simmering the beef, set it aside, add some broth, let it come to boil and add the dried  canton noodles. I used Chuka Soba. I think any chow mein noodle or even yaki-soba noodles would be fine. Dried noodles are  nice to use here because it soaks up the flavorful liquid that the beefsteak simmered in. Making pancit is nice because you do not need to use much oil as other noodle dishes may need because you let the noodles absorb the cooking liquid in contrast to stir-fry noodles.


It may seem as though there is too little liquid, but keep gently pressing on the noodles (be careful not to break them-I use a fork which helps against breakage) spooning liquid and tipping around the liquid throughout the noodles and it will soften up as pictured here. These types of noodles are designed to soften as they soak in hot liquid for a few minutes.


The softened noodles get a dose of red onion, parsley, and green onion (not pictured). Then it cooks for a little while longer to soften the onions and after that, the beef can be mixed in and it is done! If you want, add only half or 2/3 of the red onion first, then when everything is finished cooking and you’ve added the beef, add the remaining red onion and mix. It will soften a little with the residual heat. I like adding some onions later on because I like some onions to be soft and some to have  a little crunch. When my Dad makes Bistek, there are also onions in different stages of crunchiness and textures. We love the onions that way.


The finished Bistek Pancit Canton. Would have used a wok, but we don’t have one. My husband isn’t too keen on me getting much more cooking supplies because we live in an apartment. Lol.

Pancit Canton Bistek

Serves 3-4


  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 lemon and/or 3 pieces calamansi, juiced (you can just use lemon, just calamansi, or use both. I used both as I like the combo and like it sour. Feel free to tone down the amount if you don’t like too much sour flavor)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon steak seasoning (or just use ground black pepper)
  • Dash of Worcestershire sauce
  •  1 lb beef sirloin, sliced in finger-sized strips
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large onion, sliced into rings (I used red onion)
  • Dash cooking oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter (optional)
  • 3/4 cup beef or vegetable broth
  • 8 ounces dried Canton Noodles (You can also use Chuka Soba like what I used since it is in my neighborhood supermarket)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • salt & pepper to taste
  1. Marinate:  In a medium-sized bowl or zip-top bag, mix the soy sauce, lemon/calamansi juice, steak seasoning, and Worcestershire sauce. Mix in the beef and let it marinate 2 hours or overnight.
  2. Drain the beef, but keep the marinade. Heat some oil in a wok or pot and cook the garlic until softened. Add the marinade, butter, and beef and let the liquid come to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. Take the beef out of the pot and set aside. Add the broth, up the heat to medium, and let it come to a boil. Put the dried noodles on top and let it absorb the liquid. Keep tilting the pan and gently pressing on the noodles so that they soften. This will take 3 minutes or so.
  4. After the noodles have softened, add the red onions, 2/3 of the parlsey, 2/3 of the green onion. Mix and let the vegetables soften and cook for a few minutes. Add the beef, mix and cook for 1-2 more minutes. Garnish with the remaining parlsey and green onion. Serve with more calamansi, if desired.


To my Parents, I hope you enjoyed reading this post. You have given so much and now it’s time for the two of you to celebrate! Happy 31st Anniversary!

To my Dad, you make some of the best food, even when you add too much salt or pepper sometimes 🙂 Happy Birthday!

22 thoughts on “Pancit Canton Bistek + Happy Birthday Dad! & Happy Anniversary to my Parents!

  1. Samantha,
    Thanks for passing by my blog today. This recipe is great!! Going to make it for my wife. She loves Asian food. How many years do your parents have married? Mine will celebrate 51 years this September.

    Thanks Samantha always for your comments and readership to Savor the Food. 🙂

    Chef Randall

  2. I have been looking for a Calamansi here in San Antonio. I want one on my own. I mean, I wanna grow one on my backyard. I love Bistek especially when my mom is the one cooking it. I had tried it but it taste different since the calamansi gives it that taste to the beef. I wanna try this someday 🙂

    • I hope you can find a Calamansi tree to plant in your backyard. I think you can order a small tree online to plant, but am not sure the best place to order. I agree, it tastes better with calamansi 🙂

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