Monday, August 5, 2013

Pansit Palabok (Noodles in Shrimp, Smoked Fish and Annatto Sauce)

Pansit palabok is my favorite noodle dish in the Philippines.  I would say it is the queen of all pansit or noodle dishes. It is made of vermicelli noodles that are either boiled or soaked in hot water and topped with annatto sauce flavored with shrimp, smoked fish and other seasonings. The toppings range from shredded smoked fish, pork cracklings or chicharon, hard-boiled eggs, fried tofu and vegetables.  Just like any other noodle dish, the secret to a great pansit palabok is the sauce. I learned making the sauce from scratch from my mom.

Ingredients and Procedures:

  • 1 lb. vermicelli noodles (soaked in hot water for 15-20 minutes or until tender but not soggy) If using the thicker palabok noodles, follow instructions on package.
Shrimp broth:
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup shrimp, chopped
  • 6 cups chicken broth or water used to boil shrimp for toppings
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Heat oil over medium high heat. Saute garlic, onion and shrimp for 5-7 minutes. 
  2. Add broth and season with salt and water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes.

Palabok sauce:
  • 1/4 cup achuete or annatto seeds soaked in 1/2 cup hot water
  • 2 cups shrimp broth
  • 1/4 cup smoked fish, minced
  • 6 tbsp. all-purpose flour dissolved in 1/2 cup water
  • Juice from 6 pcs. ripe tamarind, peeled, deveined and soaked in 1/4 cup hot water
  • Fish sauce or salt and pepper to taste
  1. Combine juice from soaked and drained annatto seeds with shrimp broth in a sauce pan over medium high heat. 
  2. Add smoked fish.
  3. Add flour and water mixture.
  4. Add tamarind juice and season with fish sauce/ salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer for 8 minutes or until the sauce is thick.

  • smoked fish, shredded
  • 1 cup fried tofu, diced
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, each quartered
  • 1 cup pork cracklings or chicharon, pounded
  • 1 cup boiled shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 2 tbsp. toasted minced garlic
  • 1/2 head of lettuce, shredded
  • spring onion, chopped
  • calamansi or lime

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