April 2, 2008

Pancit Palabok

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Pancit palabok is my favorite pancit (noodle dish). Palabok is the Filipino word for garnish or embellishment. But the garnishings in palabok are more than decorations, they make the noodle dish very special and incredibly delicious. I have eaten palabok on a regular basis (almost once a week) in Manila in restaurants and during get-togethers. The pancit can be purchased from stores that sell them made to order, plated on different sizes of banana leaf-lined woven bamboo platters called bilao. Most Filipinos I know including my mother never cook palabok at home because it is tedious to prepare and because there are so many choices of stores in Manila that specialize in the yummiest pancit palabok. Unfortunately for us Filipinos living outside the Philippines and most specially if you are in an area like mine where there are very few Filipinos there is no chance of finding a place that sells or serves very good pancit palabok. We have no choice but to prepare it at home when the craving hits us. I prepared the garnish and shrimp sauce yesterday and assembled the pancit palabok today. It was worth all the time making it, the pancit is utterly delicious!

Pancit Palabok
400 grams fat bihon (rice noodles)
1 tablespoon achiote seeds
¼ cup grapeseed oil
½ cup ground chicharron
¼ cup fish extract
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
2½ tablespoons calamansi juice
2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon water
2 cups shredded napa cabbage, blanched
1 pound medium shrimps, peeled and fried (reserve heads and peels for broth)
1 cup crumbled chicharron
2 cups chopped pork adobo
1 pound squid adobo, sliced
3 hard cooked eggs, sliced
2 tablespoons crumbled fried garlic slices
2 tablespoons sliced green onions
calamansi juice and fish extract
  • Soften noodles in room temperature water. When softened, cook in a pot of boiling water until tender but still firm. Drain and set aside.
  • In a small skillet heat grapeseed oil and achiote seeds on low heat for 1 minute. Strain and discard seeds. Set oil aside.
  • In a large pan, boil 4 cups water and reserved shrimp heads and shells and a dash of salt. Lower heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove shells and discard. Add cornstarch mixture and simmer for a few minutes until sauce has thickened. Add the ground chicharron, the achiote oil, black pepper, fish extract, and calamansi juice. Mix well. Add the cooked noodles and toss until noodles are well coated.
  • Transfer into a large serving platter. Top with shredded cabbage, shrimps, pork adobo, chopped chicharron, squid, garlic, spring onions, and sliced eggs. Serve with calamansi juice and fish extract on the side.


Chibog in Chief said...

me too oggi, this is my favorite pinoy noodle dish.. i remember when i was in college i cooked one for my birthday and it was catastrophic for it was the first time i cooked for 50 people..hahaha i still have that horrifying scene in my head where people tend to say its good when it wasn't..hahah but not i overcome that phobia i just ordered a bilao of palabok for my birthday, phoning is easier hahah thanks for this treat yummy

Anonymous said...

I also love ordering palabok at restaurants or small filipino markets that have food counters. But I have terrible memories of homecooked versions because my dad attempted to make this once when I was young. It didn't turn out so great.

raissa said...

wow! your palabok has one heck of a load of garnishes on it. LOVE IT! I have not tried squid on palabok well I havent tried making it myself. And when I order it from restaurants, some like to play "hide and seek". They hide the garnishes and I try to seek them =) YUMMY!!

Oggi said...

dhanggit that was so brave making pancit palabok for 50 people! I have never cooked for a big crowd before, that would be scary.:)

marvin palabok is one Filipino dish I have not seen in the Filipino grocery or restaurants here.
Maybe it's your turn to impress your Dad and cook palabok for him.:)

raissa all the palabok are on top, no hide and seek.:)
And this recipe which is from a food magazine the husband got from Manila has all the flavors I remember and love. I'll definitely make this again.

Anonymous said...

oh my, I want some! Your palabok looks utterly delicious :) You're right, I haven't made this dish in a long time because of the time it takes to prepare all the ingredients.

It also doesn't help that I'm the only one who likes it in my house. The kids only like pancit bihon :(

Anonymous said...

I feel so lucky to have my filipino customers bring me pancit on a monthly basis, yummy!!
Filipino food rocks!

Oggi said...

JMom, we love palabok and bihon, and canton too!:)

White On Rice Couple, I'm glad you like Filipino food and pancit!:)

Sidney said...

Another yummy dish!

Oggi said...

Sidney, yes oh yes, the palabok is super yummy!

Ruy said...

Woohoo Palabok! This is my favoritest pancit ever!
Hi Oggi! Missed getting hungry here.=)

Oggi said...

Ruy welcome back!

 gmirage said...

Wowow!!! Sarap naman, toppings pa lang busog na!!! Thanks for this I don't need to use the instant mix...lol. And as usual, great photos to go with it...

Oggi said...

gizelle thanks. I used to buy those instant mixes but the instructions are vague and some steps are missing.
Homemade are better!:)

Unknown said...

does pancit palabok will spoil easily? how many days? thanks

Jun said...

does pancit palabok will spoil easily? how many days? thanks

Anonymous said...

I can't wait to have palabok with sahog. I made a batch last week without chicharon since I gave up meat for Lent. Almost Easter! Yeah!

Your palabok looks sooooooo sarap.

Momo, juanagrafica, and the Craft Baller said...

We always serve our palabok home style -- everything is separate (noodles, sauce, toppings all in separate containers) and each person assembles their own plate. if you store it that way, then it will last for a while. and also then the chicharon is always crunchy. it's the squid and the shrimp that will spoil first so if they are kept separate, you can just make more if you still have noodles and sauce. we usually have to chop more green onions and eggs, too. but keeping it separate we can eat on the same noodles and sauce for a week (and we never get tired of them).

Oggi said...

moonglow, sorry I didn't see your comment. Pancit palabok is the best!:)

MissM2u, we didn't have any leftovers from this small batch...everything was eaten in one sitting.;p

That's also how we normally serve pancit palabok. Just like spaghetti, the sauce and palabok are separate, then we pile on top according to preference.

Maimai said...

Love,love pancit palabok so are my friends here, and that's they're number one request everytime we have a salu-salo, since we dont have any Filipino Restaurant in our area. My version is I use the shrimp powder which you can find in any mexican grocery or Walmart for the sauce and instead of using ground pork I use the chicharon where I also get from Walmart, ground up some divide it mixing some with the sauce tog. with the noodles and reserving some for toppings. I also choppped the boiled eggs instead of slicing it( because it vanishes so easily) using those eggs slicer (slice horizontaly first then switch egg vertically and slice again)so its not too messy.One more shortcut is using those frozen cooked shrimp.

Oggi said...

Maimai, thanks for the tips.:)

The Daily Palette said...

I can't believe I lost my well-thought of comment, gah. Scrolling up and back kasi, Ha-ha. See, I've been a fan of your blog for a while (Moonglow).

Matigas ang ulo ko (stubborn) when it comes to Pancit Palabok na masarap like yours. Kahit may allergies. There are days I feel na "kaya ko" (with feeling).

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