Want to take your pancit fancy further?
Pancit is basically noodles, first introduced to Filipinos by the early Chinese settlers of the country. It has stuck to our local culture, especially after our fellow Pinoys crafted their own takes on the dish.
As flexible as its stretched dough, pancit can pass both as a staple meal and a dish for special occasions. Just as the local saying goes: Pancit for long life! But what really brought this dish close to our hearts are the rich flavors from its medley of ingredients, whatever the type of pancit.
So get your eager forks and chopsticks ready, here's a list of fifteen popular noodle dishes in the Philippines that you need to try with an extra squeeze of calamansi on top!
1. Pancit Canton
Perhaps the most common kind, Pancit Canton has thick yellow egg noodles, often stir-fried with soy sauce and other flavorings. It is often loaded with seafood, minced pork or chicken, bits of liver, and vegetables.
2. Pancit Bihon
Pancit Bihon's seasonings are commonly the same as that of pancit canton, but instead of the thick egg noodles, it uses bihon or rice vermicelli which is thin and transluscent in appearance. After being stir-fried, the white bihon absorbs the color and flavor of the soy sauce and other ingredients resulting to a glassy brown noodle dish.
3. Pancit Sotanghon
The sotanghon noodle is as thin as that of bihon but instead of translucence, the sotanghon has an opaque white color. Another difference are the ingredients used for the two. The bihon is made from rice flour, cornstarch, and water, while sotanghon is made out of potato starch and munggo (mung) beans. As for the taste and texture, the noodles are much alike that one can work as a substitute for the other.
4. Pancit Habhab
Originating from the province of Quezon, the Pancit Habhab or Pancit Lucban is famous for the unique way on how it is eaten. Served on a banana leaf without the comfort of utensils, the Pancit Habhab is eaten directly between the folded banana leaf. Putting some cane vinegar over this pancit will complete your habhab experience.
5. Pancit Puti
Pancit Puti skips the soy sauce resulting to a white noodle dish, instead it takes its rich flavor from minimal seasonings and the medley of its toppings like shrimp, grilled pork belly, and chicharon among its most common ingredients.
6. Pancit Bato
This pancit takes its name from the Municipality of Bato in Camarines Sur, Bicol where the dish originated. The Pancit Bato noodle has a harder texture which requires longer cooking time, but rewards a smoky flavor for a noodle dish.
7. Pancit Palabok
Pancit Palabok's signature look is a white sotanghon or bihon noodle on a plate, poured with a rich creamy orange sauce and topped with a flavorful medley of ingredients. The orange sauce is usually made from shrimp broth and stock, pork broth or bacon grease, flour, and the coloring from atsuete/annatto. Common toppings are hard boiled egg slices, chicharon, ground pork, and tofu among others.
8. Pancit Malabon
Pancit Malabon is almost the same as the Pancit Palabok only with thicker noodles that are served pre-mixed with the sauce. Another common distinction is that its toppings are usually inclined to have more seafood like squid, mussels, and shrimp all rounded up along with the common palabok toppings.
9. Pancit Miki Guisado
Unlike the Pancit Canton that is sold as hard block of noodles on the market, the Miki has thicker and rounder noodles that are sold soft, fresh, and pre-cooked making it easier and faster to cook.
10. Pancit Pusit
If Pancit Puti offers a clean slate to bihon noodles, the Pancit Pusit does quite the opposite. Popular for its black color, this pancit from the province of Cavite incorporates squid ink into bihon noodles. It is often topped with squid rings, kamias, kinchay, and chicharon.
11. Pancit Buko
Quirky it may seem, the pancit buko is an all-out coconut pancit dish. It uses strips of coconut meat as noodles, cooked with coconut oil, coconut cream, and topped with latik (coconut milk residue). Like the other pancit dishes, it is also garnished with vegetables and seafood.
This one's perfect for the rainy season. Thick egg noodles swim on a bowl of hot creamy crab and corn soup along with pork liver, cabbage, chicken meat, hard-boiled egg, and more.
As opposed to the thick and creamy soup of Lomi, the Mami's clear yellow broth goes perfectly with its light and slim egg noodles. Along with the beef, it is also often served with steamed dumplings put into the mix.
14. La Paz Batchoy
Another soup dish from the La Paz district in Iloilo City, La Paz Batchoy boasts of an abundant array of meaty ingredients. With a pork and beef stock simmered from marrow-rich bones plus the flavor of shrimp paste or bagoong, the miki noodles are soaked with pig's intestines, liver, crushed pork cracklings, and beef loin along with other seasonings.
You might argue that spaghetti is a kind of pasta, rather than pancit. But we gave this noodle dish a chance considering how Filipinos are so in love with the sweeter version of this Italian dish. Spaghetti has also become a commoner to the Filipino table on many different occasions with hotdog slices and ground meat as its common mix-ins.
Which of these pancit dishes are you a big fan of?