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Pancit Palabok Recipe

Pancit Palabok Recipe

Back when I was a kid, I remember my dad would make requests to my mom to cook pancit palabok. I only knew one pancit which is the bihon back then (I didn’t even know it’s called pancit bihon) but when I tried my mom’s pancit palabok, it opened my world to all the other pancits in the Philippines. There is pancit guisado, miki bihon (chami), sotanghon, hab-hab, lug-lug, malabon, and many other pancits which vary based in the province or town it originated in the Philippines. With this one, we will focus on a personal favorite, the palabok.

This Filipino food is undoubtedly one of the most popular rice noodle meals in the Philippines. You can eat it as a main or as a snack as some folks in the PI would do. It’s sauce full of umami brought about by the shrimp, seafood stock, and fish sauce, made vibrant by the color of achuete. It’s simply so good to slurp, just make sure the sauce won’t touch your clothing.

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 35 minutes

Serving: 6 people



½ lb thinly sliced pork

1 ½ lbs shrimp

1 firefly chopped white onion

3 tsps minced garlic

1 tsp annatto powder 

2 tbsps cornstarch

⅓ tsp black ground pepper

2 cups seafood stock

2 tablespoons cooking oil

1/2 cup water

2 tbsps fish sauce or to taste


4 cups water

8 oz rice noodles


2-3 hard boiled eggs

⅓ tinapa flakes

⅓ cup crushed pork rinds

5 green onions chopped

Calamansi or lemon wedges


Making the Sauce

  1. In a saucepan, bring the seafood stock to a boil. Pour in the shrimp until they are cooked or roughly 3-4 minutes. Peel the shells of the shrimp and set aside for later. 
  2. Boil 1/4 cup of the water separately from the seafood stock then add in the annatto powder.
  3. Mix the other ¼ cup of water (room temperature) with the cornstarch and set aside.
  4. In a large pan, saute the onion and garlic. Add the pork and stir occasionally for about 5 minutes. For added color, you may brown the pork a little bit.
  5. Mix in the shrimp, seafood stock, fish sauce, and black pepper, then simmer for about 3 minutes.
  6. Put out the fire but leave the pan on the stove and pour in the cornstarch mixer. Mix until fully mixed and thick.

Cooking the Noodles

  1. Pour 4 cups of water in a deep pot and bring to a boil. 
  2. Add the noodles and cook for about 3 minutes. 
  3. Drain the water and place the noodles in a serving or mixing dish.

Assembling and Serving

  1. If needed, reheat the sauce. Pour generously over the noodles.
  2. Place eggs, tinapa and green onions as desired.
  3. Serve with calamansi or lemon wedges

Hope you enjoy making it as much as you enjoy eating it. Would you agree that Filipino food just brings in a lot of memories, stories and even history? Who makes the best palabok in your town? Shout out to them in the comments below.

There you go! It’s not as hard as it seems. The pressure cooking and washing part may be the most time consuming but it pays off when you have that first bite of the super tender meat. What’s your favorite version of Kare-Kare? Comment below.



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