Having visited the Philippines in the mid-to late 70’s often, and then lived and worked there for 4 years during the early 80’s, my eating habits have been strongly influenced by its wonderful food, especially the appreciation of fresh, well-seasoned vegetables and a myriad of exotic fruit.
While there are too many favorite dishes to mention, three groups of dishes stand out –
– Roasted pork in its many forms,
– Vegetable dishes with steamed rice in great variations,
– and, of course,
– Pancit, in its countless, tasty incarnations. 🙂 (See a list of many different pancit at the bottom of this page)
In Filipino cuisine, pancit or pansit are noodles. Noodles were introduced into the Philippines by the Chinese and have since been adopted into local cuisine. The term pancit is derived from the Hokkien pian i sit (Chinese: 便ê食; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: piān-ê-si̍t or Chinese: 便食; pinyin: biàn shí) which literally means “convenient food.” (Wiki excerpt)
My version today is a typical “homestyle pansit”, in that one uses pansit noodles with some protein (optional) and some vegetables, whatever one finds in the market that day. (When I was living there, regular folks bought all food that was not dried, fresh in the market every day. Few working -class families could afford a fridge, never mind a freezer. By the way, it was the same when I was a small kid back in Germany, my mom got her first fridge when I was about 6 years old. We did, however, have a freezer, albeit only during winter time – it was the shelf in front of our kitchen window which during the rest of the year held plants and flowers 🙂
The great convenience of pancit noodles is that you cook them right in the stock you are using. The noodles will keep their “al dente” texture even if you add a bit too much stock or if you cook them a minute longer as you should. They will soak-up all the stock and its flavor, as long as they have simmered for a few minutes and then rest in the stock until done. Convenience food ! 🙂
Bon Appétit ! Life is Good !
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- Buko Pancit (coconut strips are substituted for noodles, a specialty of Quezon province)
- Pancit Abra (common in Northern Luzon particularly in the province of Abra)
- Pancit Alanganin
- Pancit ni Juli
- Pancit Alahoy
- Pancit Batchoy
- Pancit Bato is local 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 Lanu (San Vicente Street in San Pedro, Laguna)
- Pancit Lomi (Batangas)
- Pancit Lucban
- Pancit Luglog
- Pancit Malabon
- Pancit Mami (round egg noodles)
- Pancit Mayaman (Guinayangan, Quezon)
- 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 Pusit
- 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)
Pancit bihon (aka bijon) is the type usually associated with the word “pancit“, very thin rice noodles fried with soy sauce some citrus, possibly with patis, and some variation of sliced meat and chopped vegetables. The exact bihon composition depends on someone’s personal recipe but usually, Chinese sausage and cabbage are the basic ingredients in a pancit bihon.
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
Pancit palabok/pancit luglog and pancit canton are communal comfort food, and can be found at nearly all Filipino potluck parties. They are best made and eaten in batches for they are easily consumed.
Pancit sotanghon is a cellophane noodle soup with a chicken broth base. It may include some kind of meat and vegetable. A typical sotanghon is made with calamansi, sliced straw mushrooms, slivered dark-meat chicken and green onion.
Batil patong is not commonly known outside of Tuguegarao in the province of Cagayan in Northern Luzon, Philippines. It is an unusual noodle dish with a sauce based on soy and “cara-beef” beef broth. It is served with two piquant side dishes: a cup of egg-drop soup made with the same cara-beef broth; and a dish of chopped onions, vinegar or calamansi, chili peppers, and soy sauce. The noodles are usually wheat-based and are topped with ground cara-beef, pork liver, mung bean sprouts, and poached egg from whence the name batil patong literally “scrambled and placed on top” is thought to be derived. Sometimes, other vegetables, crushed pork-rind cracklings or chorizos are also added on top.
Pancit Lomi Originally from Batangas, Pancit Lomi is usually sold in eateries across the province. With the mobility of the Filipinos; however, other people got wind of pancit lomi and now you will see different lomihans (eateries with just lomi) whipping up their own pancit lomi, panciterias (eateries specializing in pancit) adding it in their menu, and carinderias (which are usually offering the usual viands and not pancit) starting to offer it alongside its other rice-based meals.
Tiwi, Albay residents created a new pancit made from seaweed, which has health benefits. It is rich in calcium and magnesium and the seaweed noodles can be cooked into pancit canton, pancit luglug, spaghetti, or carbonara.