Pancit malbong (literally “stir-fried”) was born in Iloilo City, Philippines as an adaptation from local recipes to suit the taste of the country’s growing population.
What Is The Origin Of Pancit Malabon?
Pancit Malabon originated in Iloilo City, Philippines where it has become one of its signature dishes.
The word pancit means stir-fry or fried rice and the name comes from the fact that this dish was originally prepared by stirring up leftover rice with meat and vegetables for a quick meal.
It eventually evolved into what we know today as pancit malabon.
This version uses rice vermicelli instead of leftover rice, but adds other ingredients like chopped pork shoulder, shredded chicken, onions, green bell pepper, garlic, and tomatoes.
The original recipe called for using only red beansprouts, but they were later replaced with spinach leaves when the dish started gaining popularity among Filipinos who moved to the United States during World War II.
What Makes Pancit Malabon Unique?
The most distinctive feature of this food is its texture – it has a soft and chewy consistency similar to that of macaroni pasta or vermicelli, but without any flour or starch used in its preparation.
In addition, there is no need for boiling water when preparing this dish, which allows you to skip those tedious steps normally associated with cooking rice noodles.
As such, pancit malabon can be prepared quickly and easily, making it ideal for busy families who don’t have much time on their hands.
What Are The Ingredients Of Pancit Malabon?
A typical pancit malabon contains rice noodles, egg, pork or chicken meat, chopped green onion, tomato paste, garlic, salt, soy sauce, sugar, coconut milk, ginger, pepper, and other spices such as turmeric powder.
You can also add ground beef or fish into your pancit malabon if you want.
You can use any kind of seafood like prawns, squid, mussels, sea urchins, and octopus for additional flavor.
The most important thing when making this delicious meal is the quality of the ingredients used.
The best way to achieve this is by shopping at a good supermarket where they sell high quality products.
If you cannot find anything at your nearest grocery store, try buying it online.
It is very common practice in Asian countries to cook rice noodles using water and only a little bit of oil.
This method ensures that the noodles don’t get soggy even after being boiled for long periods of time.
An essential ingredient in any pancit malabon because it adds protein to the dish which helps make it more filling.
This is another one of the main ingredients in pancit malabon since it provides some extra calories.
Pork has a higher fat content than chicken so it tastes better.
Green onions provide great aroma and flavor to food when sautéed but do not have much nutritional value.
However, their strong smell will help mask other unpleasant smells coming from other ingredients in the dish.
This is another key ingredient in pancit malabon because it gives the dish its characteristic color and flavor.
Also, it is rich in vitamin C, B vitamins, and minerals including potassium, copper, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, and zinc.
This is probably the most widely known spice among Filipinos.
Garlic has many health benefits especially against cancer.
It also imparts flavor to foods.
Soy sauce comes from fermented soybeans mixed with various kinds of seasonings.
They are packed full of nutrients like fiber, calcium, Vitamin D, niacin, phosphorous, thiamine, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, folate, B-6, and magnesium.
Soy sauce also improves digestion and aids in weight loss.
In Asia, ginger is considered to be an aphrodisiac due to its stimulating effect on the body.
Ginger stimulates the appetite and boosts energy levels.
It also acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory agent.
This staple ingredient in Philippine cuisine has been around for centuries.
Coconut milk is extremely beneficial to people suffering from heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, allergies, constipation, and indigestion.
In addition, it is also effective in lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Black pepper is native to India and Sri Lanka.
Its seeds contain over 100 different chemical compounds called polyphenols.
These chemicals are responsible for giving black pepper its bitter taste.
Black peppers also boost metabolism, improve sleep cycle, fight off bacteria, increase immunity, reduce inflammation, and prevent ulcers.
Turmeric is a member of the ginger family.
The active compound in turmeric is curcumin.
Curcumin has numerous medicinal properties such as preventing cancerous tumors, reducing pain, improving memory, and slowing down the aging process.
How Is Pancit Malabon Cooked?
The most common way to cook pancit malabon is by frying it in oil or deep fryer.
The traditional method involves boiling the whole mixture of rice flour, water, salt, and spices until they form dough balls which can then be cut into strips before being fried in hot oil.
Other methods involve steaming them first to remove some of their moisture content.
Some cooks also use fresh egg yolks instead of the usual tapioca starch.
Egg whites work well too but require more time for the noodles to absorb all the liquid during cooking.
1.Pancit Malabon Ingredients
In addition to the usual ingredients used in making any kind of noodles like wheat flour, cornflour, potato starch, and so on, you need to add some additional ingredients when preparing this particular dish.
Rice flour – Rice flour is added along with the other flours to make the final product lighter and easier to digest.
Some chefs prefer using raw rice flour because its texture will be better suited for the dish.
But since this would mean consuming unprocessed food which could lead to health problems, many people opt for refined white rice flour.
Egg Yolk – You may have noticed that most pancit malabon recipes call for one or two eggs per serving.
This is done to bind the sauce together once the noodles are boiled.
Eggs help stabilize the sauce while keeping it from separating into layers due to evaporation.
So if you don’t want to consume raw eggs, you can substitute them with egg yolks, which still retain the same binding properties as eggs do.
Salt – Salt plays a number of roles in this dish.
First, it helps keep the noodles moist after frying.
Second, it adds flavor to the finished product.
Thirdly, it acts as a preservative.
Without the presence of salt, your noodles would quickly turn moldy and lose their desired shape.
In fact, you can find pre-made packets of pancit malabon already seasoned with salt.
Water – Water is what gives pancit malabon its characteristic consistency and color.
While tapioca starch works just fine for thickening sauces, it doesn’t give off enough body to maintain the required texture of the noodles themselves.
2. How Do You Make Pancit Malabon Recipe?
Follow these steps below to learn how to prepare pancit malabon at home:
Step 1 – Boil the rice flour and water mixture in a large pot over medium heat for 15 minutes.
Step 2 – Add in the salt and stir well to dissolve completely.
Step 3 – Turn down the heat and let the mixture rest for 5 minutes.
Step 4 – Remove the pan from the stove and pour out about half of the mixture onto a clean surface.
Step 5 – Using wet hands, knead the remaining portion of the mixture until smooth and pliable. You should be able to stretch the dough without breaking it.
Step 6 – Divide the dough into small portions approximately the size of your palm each.
Step 7 – Roll each piece of dough between your palms to create thin sheets.
Step 8 – Cut the noodles into ribbons.
Step 9 – Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Once the water boils, drop in the cut noodles one at a time and allow it to blanch for 30 seconds before removing it from the water with a slotted spoon.
Step 10 – Dump the noodles back into the original pot with the rest of the cooking water. Allow the noodles to soak up the water for another five minutes before draining thoroughly.
Step 11 – Heat oil in a wok or skillet over high heat. Cook the drained noodles until golden brown, stirring constantly to avoid sticking.
Step 12 – Pour the vinegar and sugar mixture into the wok. Stir continuously as the vinegar caramelizes. When the noodles start turning translucent, toss in the chopped onions and green onions. Season with pepper.
Who Invented Pancit Malabon?
The dish can be traced back to the first century AD when it was brought by traders from China who settled along the shores of Panay Island in what is now known as Visayan region of the Philippines.
The Chinese settlers were also responsible for spreading the Chinese cuisine throughout the islands during this period.
In the 19th century, the Spanish colonizers introduced their own food culture into the area, which eventually blended together to form a new hybrid of dishes known today as Philippine cuisine.
To further enrich the variety of traditional foods, Japanese immigrants also arrived in the country around the same time.
These people brought with them a different set of culinary techniques and recipes, such as the katsuobushi or bonito flakes used in miso soup, which later became a staple meal among Filipinos.
Another important cultural influence came from Spain itself.
This included the use of olive oil instead of coconut milk, soy sauce as a substitute for fish sauce, and garlic as one of many spices used in cooking.
As these countries influenced each other through trade and migration, the flavors of various cuisines merged into a distinctively Filipino version of food that has evolved over centuries.
With all of these influences, the pancit malabon we know today was created.
What Is The History Of Pancit Malabon?
The earliest records show that this dish originated in Malaybalay, Bukidnon province, where it was first created by a Muslim cook named Tio Domingo.
However, due to its popularity, the dish spread all over Luzon Island, eventually becoming more widely known throughout the entire Philippines as “pancit.” The word “malabon” refers to any dish similar to pancit malabon, which includes other dishes such as pancit miki, pancit na bangka, and pancit tinapak.
Origins of Pancit Malabon
According to the book “Food Culture in the Philippines,” written by Dr.
Marlon Fajardo, the original pancit malabon had only one ingredient — rice noodles — while most versions today have added additional ingredients like meat or seafood.
In fact, there are two main kinds of pancit malabon — one that contains shrimp and another containing raw fish.
Some versions also include eggs and spinach leaves in their mixture.
A version of pancit malabon without shrimp has been recorded since the 1930s, but it wasn’t until after World War II when the dish became very common.
During the war years, many people were forced to move around for work, and so they traveled far away from home to find food that tasted good to them.
This led to the creation of different variations of pancit malabon that included different types of seafood, pork, beef, and even chicken.
The term “pancit” means “to stir fry,” and it comes from the Spanish word “panque.”
Malabon literally translates into “stomach pain,” although some believe this name comes from the way the dish looks on a plate.
How Popular Is Pancit Malabon?
Since it first appeared in the 1920s, pancit malabon has been popularized by Filipinos who have migrated abroad or settled overseas.
Pancit malabon today can be found in most major cities across the world including Australia, Canada, England, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, and the United States.
There are many different types of pancit malabon. Some versions use beef instead of meatballs while others use chicken instead of pork and some even add fish paste for extra flavor.
What Are The Variants Of Pancit Malabon?
There are several variations on how you can make this dish.
Some versions call for different kinds of meat or seafood instead of just shrimp.
Others use beef, chicken, pork, and even fish fillet.
The most traditional version uses only boiled white rice flour sheets which are called ‘noodles’ or ‘malunsod.’
However, there are also versions where it is made with wheat flour.
You can either buy them already prepared at grocery stores or cook your own.
For the latter option, you will need to soak the rice paper sheets in water until they become soft enough before using them.
To prepare the dish, combine all the necessary ingredients except the rice noodles and mix well.
Then add the rice noodles and stir everything together until you get a homogeneous mixture.
You may have to adjust some of the seasonings if you want to change its flavor profile.
What Are The Common Toppings For Pancit Malabon?
The most common topping on pancit malabon is the shredded pork belly or kare kare, which is also used in other types of Filipino dishes such as adobo, sinigang, or dinuguan.
Other commonly used toppings include calamansi juice, soy sauce, fried garlic, crushed prawn paste, fish balls, and pickled green mangoes.
How Do You Eat Pancit Malabon?
The most common way to enjoy this delicious meal is by first having your choice of meat or seafood on top of the rice noodles, then add some fresh veggies like cabbage, eggplant, carrots, and onions, along with a few pieces of garlic if available.
Finally, cover everything with the noodles before finishing it off with a generous amount of hot chili sauce!
If you don’t care for spicy food, you can also opt for the sweet version instead.
In place of the hot chili sauce, you will find sugar syrup mixed with lemon juice and water.
This creates a sweeter but equally tasty dish.
- 1 kilo thick rice noodles
- 6 tbsp achuete oil
- 6 cups shrimp stock
- 2 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup of water
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- salt and pepper to taste
- Noodles should be cooked as directed on the packaging. The traditional Pancit Malabon noodles must be soaked in water overnight before being cooked. Place aside.
- Sautéing the minced garlic and onion is the first step in preparing the sauce.
- Add the cooked pork chops, and simmer for three minutes.
- Stir in the fish sauce and black pepper.
- Add shrimp juice and annatto water, then bring to a boil.
- Stir in the crushed pig rinds (chicharon).
- Turn off the heat after 2 to 3 minutes of simmering.
- Put the cooked noodles and sauce in a sizable bowl, and stir to combine.
- Placing the tinapa flakes, eggs, parsley, garlic, and cabbage on top of the sauce and noodle combination in a large serving platter.
- Serve with lemon or calamansi and a lot of love. Share and enjoy!