24 Regional Varieties of Pancit in the Philippines
Few more days and it’s New Year’s Day! Hopefully 2021 brings us a lot of exciting new things, new beginning, and lots of opportunities that will help us forget the craziness of 2020. 2020 is quite a bad year, we have the Australian Bush Fires which drove many species to the brink of extinction. George Floyd was killed sparking mass protests around the world. Hong Kong protests. Taal Volcano eruption. Kobe Bryant’s helicopter crash and yes COVID-19. I think everyone would agree. All of us had been affected, some were worse than the others. Others lost their jobs, some lost their loved ones, many got infected but for those who are still with us today, alive and healthy. Let’s just be grateful we are all still here and let’s help those who got affected by this pandemic anyway we can.
Going back to our recipe or rather recipes today, it will be about the 24 of the most popular regional varieties of Pancit in the Philippines. Now how does that relate to the New Years? Pancit for starters is the Filipino’s version of stir fried noodles and according to food lore handed down from the Chinese. Noodles like pancit should be eaten on one’s birthday as “noodles represent long life and good health”. This food lore became a tradition and even extended on special occasions like Christmas and New Year’s. Who does not want to have long life and good health on every celebration? Since then it has been practiced by most Filipinos during this time of the year.
Pancit Canton and Pancit Bihon are the most popular ones, almost similar in preparation and ingredients, the only difference is the noodles used. Pancit Canton uses wheat flour noodles with egg added on it while Pancit Bihon uses rice. Our post today will showcase the different Regional Varieties of Pancit in the Philippines including both. Like pasta, each dish will be unique while some may use the same noodle type ingredients will be very different and it is highly influenced by regional produce available on each location where the pancit is prepared. What we will not include here are those noodle soup as we only focusing on the dry ones, so lest start.
Pancit Bihon (All across the Philippines) – The most basic one and perhaps the most popular one, made with rice noodles, chicken and mixed vegetables. Once this thing is cooked right, it can be the best tasting rice noodles you will ever try.
Pancit Canton (All across the Philippines) – Another popular one, this is the Filipino version of Chow Mein. Similar to pancit bihon in ingredients apart from the noodle type used.
Bam-i, Pancit Bisaya (Cebu) – The best of both worlds, Bihon and Canton noodles stir fried together with meats and mixed vegetables.
Chami (Lucena) – Made out of flat Miki Noodles stir fried with chicken meat, prawns or pork with vegetables like cabbage and carrots usually served with a dense bread called pinagong.
Cha misua, Cha misua, Miswa gisado (Filipino Chinese Communities) – A noodle served as a Filipino Chinese Birthday Tradition, prepared early in the morning. Traditionally, it’s supposed to be the first food of the one celebrating his birthday. Made with brown wheat flour noodles with boiled eggs, variety of meats, mushrooms and vegetables.
Maciang’s Pancit (San Pedro Laguna) – Stir fried noodles topped with over-easy fried egg and banana ketchup.
Pancit Batil Patung, Pancit Batil Patong, Pancit Tuguegarao (Tuguegarao) – Made out of pansit miki Tuguegarao, minced carabao meat (water buffalo), bean sprouts and other vegetables topped with egg and chicharon. Batil Patong if directly translated means “beat the egg” for Batil and “placed on top” for Patong and that explains the egg on top.
Pancit Bato (Camarines Sur) – Prepared similarly to pancit canton but the main ingredients are fresh shrimps and pechay cooked together with a type of noodles that are traditionally sun dried over stones dehydrating it giving a unique flavour.
Pancit Buko (Quezon and Laguna) – Instead of starch or rice-based noodles this dish is made with very thin strips of young coconut meat with various spices, vegetables, and meat or seafood.
Pancit Cabagan (Isabela) – This dish like a cross between the Pancit Canton and Pancit Palabok, sometimes it nearly looks similar to Hokkien Mee but has more sauce. Topped with chicharon, lechon kawali and quail eggs, it is quite saucy as well.
Pancit Efuven (Iloilo) – Made with white flat noodles called Efuven, these noodles looks like and tastes like linguine. Traditionally it is prepared with minimal ingredients like chicken, cabbage and carrots.
Pancit Estacion (Cavite) – These noodles main ingredient is mung bean sprouts and no noodles at all. Usually served with sauce made with corn starch, atsuete, tinapa and kamias.
Pancit Habhab, Pancit Hab-hab, Pancit Lucban (Lucban) – This noodle dish is known to be served on banana leaves. Eating them is simply by shaping the leaves like a half tube and sliding the contents down on to your hungry mouth.
Pancit Luglog, Pancit Luglug (Pampanga) – The very saucy version of the Pancit Palabok and Pancit Malabon. Similar to both this is also a noodle dish served with an array of seafood garnish, spring onions, hard boiled eggs in thick rice noodles.
Pancit Lusay (Ilocos) – A dish popular in Ilocos where lusay noodles are cooked with Laoag longaniza, sliced tomatoes, egg, onions and garlic then seasoned with some bagoong.
Pancit Macao (Unknown) – Macanese inspired Filipino noodle dish prepared with fresh yellow noodles stir fried with Chorizo de Macau, char siu pork, beef, prawns and vegetables.
Pancit Malabon (Malabon City, Metro Manila) – Almost similar to Palabok and Luglug but instead of it being served on seafood gravy, flavour is infused on the noodles, also served with squid and smoked fish as a topping.
Pancit Miki-Bihon Guisado (All across the Philippines) – A noodle dish which consists of two different noodles, Miki and Bihon. Miki or Shanghai noodles is the thicker of the two and it is a type of egg noodle while bihon on the other hand is the thinner one and is a variant of a rice noodle.
Pancit Palabok (All across the Philippines) – This noodle dish is prepared with thin rice noodles topped seafood gravy made with crab meat and smoked fish then garnished with seafood.
Pancit Pusit, Pancit Negra, Pancit Choco en su Tinta, Pancit Choka (Cavite) – Black seafood noodle dish made with squid ink and rice vermicelli called bihon. Other ingredients include baby squid, prawns, pork and vegetables like celery, cabbage and carrots.
Pancit Puti (Metro Manila) – White coloured stir fried noodle dish flavoured by ginisa together with a really good concentrated chicken stock, unlike other panic toppings are minimal.
Pancit Sotanghon (All across the Philippines) – Prepared with glass noodles coloured with annatto seeds, stir fried with prawns and chicken and sometimes chopped scrambled eggs.
Pancit Pansate (Cavite) – This noodle dish is prepared with fresh egg noodles stir fried with meat and vegetables served in a savoury bed of soy sauce gravy. Call it the saucy pancit.
Spabok (Origin Unknown) – Also called as Spaghetti Palabok as it is prepared with spaghetti noodles served on a seafood gravy made with crab meat, prawn butter and smoked fish topped with seafood, chicharon, egg and spring onions
There you go, the 24 Regional Varieties of Pancit in the Philippines, if you want to showcase your regions pancit that is not listed above, please comment below what they are and its recipe, so I can update this list and add that in.