Pancit palabok and pancit luglug are essentially the same dish, the difference being primarily in the noodles used in the recipe. Luglug uses a thicker noodle than the traditional bihon of a pancit palabok.
Both pancit dishes use a round rice noodle (often specifically labeled for pancit luglug or palabok) smothered with a thick, golden shrimp sauce or other flavored sauce, and topped with:
- Shrimp, (the size and shell-on or shell-off depending on preference)
- Crushed or ground pork rind
- Hard-boiled egg (sliced into disks or quartered lengthwise or chopped)
- Tinapa (smoked fish) flakes
- Freshly minced green onion
I never realized that there are so many variations of ‘Pancit’! Here they are:
- Buko Pancit (coconut strips are substituted for noodles, a specialty of Quezon province)
- Pancit Alanganin
- Pancit Alahoy
- Pancit Batchoy
- Pancit Bato is indigenuous to the Bicol Region; especially the town of Bato in Camarines Sur.
- Pancit Bihon Guisado
- Pancit Bihongundoy
- Pancit Cabagan
- Pancit Canton (Lo mein and chow mein)
- Pancit Canton Ilonggo
- Pancit Chami (Lucena City, Quezon)
- Pancit Estacion (Tanza, Cavite)
- Pancit Habhab (Lucban, Quezon)
- Pancit Kilawin (a variety pancit originated from Rosario, Cavite. In lieu of pancit noodles, shredded unripe papaya fruit is used cooked with vinegar and fish. Usually partnered with Dinuguan dish)
- Pancit Kinalas (Naga City, Camarines Sur)
- Pancit Lomi
- Pancit Lucban
- Pancit Luglog
- Pancit Malabon
- Pancit Mami (round egg noodles)
- Pancit Miki (round egg noodles)
- Pancit Míki-Bíhon Guisado (round egg noodles + bihon)
- Pancit Olongapo (Pancit Miki with Sarsa sauce. Miki cooked in tradition added with sarsa a thickened chicken and pork broth, darkened a little with soy sauce of choice)
- Pancit Molo (wonton soup with wonton wrappers added to the broth, serving as its “noodles”)
- Pancit Moròng
- Pancit Palabok
- Pancit Pula (variation of Pancit Miki from Batangas City)
- Pancit Sotanghon
- Pansit Sabaw (Pansit Miki with soup)
- Pansit Tuguegarao or Batil Patong
- Pansit Sinanta (also from Tuguegarao, consists of flat egg noodles, bihon, clams and chicken, with broth colored with annatto)
Here’s my simple version of Pancit Palabok. The version I made did not contain any pork…
- 1 pack Bihon noodles/ or ‘Special Palabok (Cornstarch Sticks)’, soaked in water until softened then drained–You can purchase this at an Asian (Filipino Grocery Store).
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper (ground)
- 1 tablespoon annatto powder
- 2 tablespoon cooking oil
- 2 tablespoon fish sauce
- 6 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup red onions (diced)
- 1/2 pound ground pork (optional)
- 3 cups pork /or chicken /or veggie broth
- 1 piece shrimp cube ( I omitted this since I didn’t have it)
For the sauce/toppings:
- ¼ cup green onion or scallions (chopped) (I didn’t have green onions, so I substituted with cilantro herbs)
- ½ cup chicharrón (crushed)
- ½ cup smoked fish/ tinapa flakes
- ½ cup cooked shrimps (boiled)
- 1 cup boiled pork (cut into small and thin slices) (optional)
- 2 pieces fried firm tofu/ tokwa (cut into cubes) (optional)
- 2 pieces hard boiled eggs (sliced)
- 6 pieces calamansi (sliced) (If you don’t have calamansi, which a type of lemon commonly used in the Philippines/Filipino dishes, you can use lemon wedges, as I did)
- 3 tbsp fried garlic
- In a large bowl let the special palabok noodles/ bihon soak in tap water for about 10 to 15 minutes. Strain and set aside.
- Pour some cooking oil into a frying pan and if it’s hot enough, put the ground pork (Since I did not use pork, I used red onions in lieu of) and stir for about 5 minutes.
- In a separate bowl, pour in the annatto powder and the broth. Stir and add the mixture into the frying pan. Let it boil.
- Add shrimp cube (if you have it) and continuously stir while adding the flour from time to time.
- If the sauce is already thickened, add some fish sauce and black pepper. Set aside.
- Pour water into a pot. Put the soaked noodles earlier into the pot and let it boil until the noodles separate, mixing it occasionally. Leave noodles in the pot and let it sit for another 15-30 minutes approximately. (I let it sit for about 20 minutes).
- Place noodles in a strainer to remove any excess water, if any.
- Place the noodles into a plate and pour the sauce into the top of the noodles.
- Sprinkle some sliced hard-boiled eggs, shrimps, smoked fish flakes, crushed chicharrón, tofu, and green onions/scallions) for an appealing finish. Serve with kalamansi (Filipino-type lemon)/ or lemon wedges.
Kain na tayo! (Let’s eat!) –gcc