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Pancit

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Pancit or '"pansit"' is the term for noodles in Filipino cuisine. 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 which means "something conveniently cooked fast."

Left: Pancit with squid.

Different kinds of noodles can be found in Filipino supermarkets which can then be cooked at home. Noodle dishes are also standard fare in local restaurants. Food establishments specializing in noodles are often referred to as panciterias.

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Many variations of pancit exist. Pancit bihon is the type usually associated with the word "pancit", very thin rice noodles fried with soy sauce, some citrus, possibly with patis (fish sauce), and some variation of sliced meat and chopped vegetables.

Left: Strands of bihon rice noodles.

 
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The exact bihon composition depends on someone's personal recipe but usually, Chinese sausage and cabbage are the basic ingredients in a pancit bihon.

Left: Pancit bihon (bijon): Very thin rice noodles fried with soy sauce and some citrus (kalamansi) and possibly with patis (fish sauce), and some variation of sliced meat and chopped vegetables.

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
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Pancit palabok/pancit luglug 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.

Left: Pancit Palabok.

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 (citrus fruit common in the Philippines), sliced straw mushrooms, slivered dark-meat chicken and green onion.

 

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