Lo mein is an Asian stir-fry of meat and vegetables with noodles mixed in. This low carb Filipino pancit recipe is a great keto option.
There are certain family dishes that one misses when staying away from things like rice and potatoes.
For me, I miss Filipino lo mein. It's a delicious dish typically made with rice noodles. And, my father usually makes it whenever my family gets together.
My dad has a pot which is likely older than me which my siblings and I refer to as the “Filipino pancit recipe pot.”
My father has been making his signature dish in that pot for well over forty years and everyone looks forward to having the rice noodle entree at our family gatherings.
Low carb options for the Philippine noodles
After seeing a Thai noodle dish made using spaghetti squash, I wondered how the squash would taste as a in this Filipino lo mein.
I have tried spaghetti squash as a replacement for wheat pasta in Italian style dishes with tomato sauce. It was okay, but the taste and texture was off.
The Filipino lo mein, on the other hand is a stir-fry type of dish that mixes cooked noodles into a stir fry of meat and vegetables. It's a bit different from my keto lo mein recipe which uses shiratake noodles.
And, the color and texture of spaghetti squash is very similar to the thin firm rice noodles used in the Filipino pancit recipe.
Spaghetti squash is also better than making zucchini noodles. Although I do like serving zoodles with Alfredo sauce.
How to make pancit low carb
I decided to give it a try. My father always makes his recipe with pork, but I used chicken as that is what I had. The Filipino lo mein is usually made with pork, chicken, shrimp or a combination of these meats.
Although you can cook spaghetti squash in an Instant Pot, I decided to roast it in the oven. You can also prepare the spaghetti squash in a crock pot. To make things easier, the squash was cooked up the day before so I just had to add the strands into the dish.
To make the low carb pancit, I sautéed the chicken with onion and garlic until it was no longer pink. Then cabbage, carrots, green beans, and soy sauce were stirred in. Once the cabbage was soft, I added in the spaghetti squash and cooked until heated.
How does the low carb pancit compare to the standard recipe?
I must say that squash noodles worked quite well in place of the rice noodles. The squash complimented the cabbage perfectly.
In fact, it’s hard to tell the difference unless one takes a close look. Although it has a different flavor, I actually prefer the squash because rice is very bland.
If you've never made a Filipino pancit recipe, I highly recommend giving it a try. Chances are high that you'll be hooked on it.
Another one of my favorite low carb Filipino recipes is chicken adobo. It's so popular, it's known as the unofficial dish of the Philippines.
You may also like the slow cooked pork belly adobo or the Filipino style eggplant burgers.
I've also been known to enjoy garlic cauliflower fried rice which is a favorite for breakfast. And, I'm still trying to figure out a keto friendly lumpia recipe. But I think it should work with coconut wraps like those used in this keto egg rolls recipe.
Low Carb Filipino Pancit Recipe (Lo Mein)
Do you have a favorite Filipino recipe that you'd like to see made low carb? If so, let me know which one you'd like to see converted in the comments.
I've already added quite a few to the blog already, including the popular sinigang na hipon soup.
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Spaghetti Squash Filipino Pancit Bihon – Low Carb
- 4 cups spaghetti squash
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 pounds chicken breast sliced thin
- ½ head cabbage sliced thinly
- 1 small carrot cut into small pieces
- 1 cup green beans cut
- ¼ cup soy sauce or tamari, or coconut aminos
- lemon optional
- Roast the spaghetti squash in the oven: Pre-heat oven to 400°F. Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds with a spoon. Lay the two halves skin side up on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Cook in the oven for about 30-40 minutes or until the squash is cooked but still a bit firm. Flip each squash half and let it sit flesh side up until cool enough to handle. Using a fork, scrape the flesh lengthwise to strip it into thin strands. Measure out 4 cups of the strands in a bowl and set aside. (I actually cooked the squash the night before and refrigerated it so the "noodles" were ready to put into the pancit the next evening.)
- Heat oil in a wok or large skillet over medium heat. Saute chicken with onion and garlic until chicken is no longer pink.
- Stir in cabbage, carrots, green beans and soy sauce. Cook until cabbage begins to soften.
- Toss in spaghetti squash "noodles" and cook until heated through, stirring constantly.
- Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with cut lemon (we usually squeeze the lemon juice onto our pancit).
Low Carb Sweeteners | Keto Sweetener Conversion Chart
Array ( [calories] => 151 [carbohydrates] => 8 [protein] => 21 [fat] => 4 [fiber] => 2 [saturated_fat] => 1 [cholesterol] => 58 [sodium] => 447 [potassium] => 515 [sugar] => 3 [vitamin_a] => 1017 [vitamin_c] => 21 [calcium] => 40 [iron] => 1 )
Notes on Nutritional Information
Nutritional information for the recipe is provided as a courtesy and is approximate only. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Erythritol carbs are not included in carb counts as it has been shown not to impact blood sugar. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber.
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Thanks for reposting this. I can’t wait to try it. I love your story about for your Dads pancit making pot. My mom also had a really old wok we called the pancit pot. It was huge for feeding the whole family. ❤️
Love that there was a "pancit pot" in your family too!
Whole family loved this! My mom, who is from the Philippines, told me this tasted super authentic. Will be making again!
I'm going to try this with shirataki noodles. I personally LOVE spaghetti squash, but none of the men in the family like it at all. Thanks for a great recipe.
I just made this for dinner tonight. It was amazing. That hit of lemon juice was very nice. I use coconut aminos instead of soy sauce. What other spices might be added to this recipe?
Sometimes I sprinkle in a little Chinese 5 spice.
Would like to make your pancit, but I live on Romblon and no one seems to know what spaghetti squash is. Is there a Tagalog name for it?
I'm told that spaghetti squash is only grown in Northern Philippines (it's a winter squash) and it's hard to get elsewhere. But it is available in Makati markets when in season. I'm pretty sure it's still called spaghetti squash in tagalog. Here's an article I found where it was purchased in the Metro Manila area: http://www.marketmanila.com/archives/spaghetti-squash-vegetable-spaghetti
I’m half-Filipino and have been on a low-carb/keto journey lately. Not only have I enjoyed a few of your other recipes but I’m even more excited to have discovered this one to satisfy that comfort food craving! I will be making this soon!!
I hope you enjoy this recipe! My father's pancit is still the best and I've watched him make it so many times, but he never measures anything so it's a little different every time.
I can’t imagine ONLY using those small amounts of soy sauce and lemon for flavoring that amount. I’d be hitting it with a lot more herbs/ spices. Just sayin’!
The soy sauce and lemon are typically served with the dish at the table. 😉
please can you make a recipe for noodles made from agar, gulaman or gelatin?
I think konjac root noodles (shiratake) is a better option. Have you tried them?
Hi Lisa, do you think zucchini noodles would work instead of spaghetti squash! I'm not a fan of spaghetti squash but I love zucchini noodles!
Spaghetti squash is best, but fine zucchini noodles would work too.
Thank you, thank you, thank you! I am so happy to find this recipe. I no longer have to watch others have pancit, because if the rice noodles, now I can have some as well, healthier to boot! Again, thank you Lisa.
I actually like the spaghetti squash noodle better than the rice noodles Raquel!