ISSUE NO. 1
JAN - MARCH 2005
The Tastes that Bind
Cecile C.A. Balgos
The Big Picture
Vinia M. Datinguinoo
Avigail Olarte and Yvonne T. Chua
Where's the Beef?
Alecks P. Pabico
Mutants on Your Plate
Alan C. Robles
Why are Filipinos Hungry?
Ernesto M. Ordoñez
At the Kitchen of Divine Mercy
Sheial S. Coronel
Republic of Pancit
Nancy Reyes Lumen
Mama Can't Eat
Vinia M. Datinguinoo
Eating Without Fear
E A S T A N D F A M I N E —
T H E T A S T E S T H A T B I N D
A PANCIT CHART
Here’s a closer look at different types and styles of pancit and a regional
map of pancit specialties:
Noodles by how they are cooked:
or “dry” — pancit guisado, pancit canton
or “wet” (with broth) — mami, pancit molo, batchoy
basket — pancit canton (another version)
la luglog — dipped first in boiling broth to soften dried noodles
cooked — fried-steamed or fried-boiled, etc. (This is the latest style
of cooking noodles.)
Noodles by thickness:
to fat noodles (like the Japanese udon) — miki, mami, canton, lomi,
pang-original Pancit Malabon or Luglog, North Park Noodles, pancit buko
(which is actually not real pancit as it is made with coconut meat)
to fine noodles — miswa, bihon, sotanghon, efuven (flat and thin, like
noodles like pancit molo
Noodles by make:
wheat flour and egg
mongo bean starch
or without egg
flour and kalabasa (squash) mash (also ube, saluyot,
NOODLES BY REGION
Habhab (Lucena, Quezon) — sautéed miki noodles served in a cone and
eaten sans utensils. It takes practice sucking the noodles without them
ending up all over your face or your shirt, but it’s fun!
on pancit (somewhere in Bicol) — just imagining this can make you almost
taste it, doesn’t it? Yum.
Molo (Iloilo and Bacolod, Negros) — clear chicken broth with wontons
(considered pancit because of their wrappers), lots of garlic, and crushed
Paz Batchoy (Iloilo) — soup with thin mami noodles and topped with lots
of chopped innards, garlic, and egg. It is the perfect hangover kicker
of all time. The secret ingredient in the broth is guinamos or Visayan
bagoong (fish paste), which gives the dish a sweet-salty-brine note.
Luglog (all over the country) — Made distinct by its orange shrimp-achuete
sauce enriched with toppings of chicharon (pork cracklings), tinapa
(smoked fish), kamias, wansoy, shrimp, etc. Many regions have adapted
this style of cooking pancit, although they vary in the kinds of noodles
that they use. Some of the popular pancit luglog are from Pampanga and
way pancit luglog was made in my grandparents’ restaurant, the Aristocrat,
in the 1950s was to pound the heads of hundreds of shrimps to make the
richly flavored base for the sauce. Then the sauce was thickened—not
with flour, never, never!—with beaten duck egg. The now sunset-colored
sauce was intensified with achuete oil. Tinapa, chicharon, green onion
leaves, garlic, and shrimp and sliced duck eggs made the pancit’s crowning
glory. It was like eating spoonfuls of thick, milky, nutty butter, with
flavors from the sea and freshened by the onion leaves. Dining on pancit
luglog has never felt as decadent since.
Malabon (originally from Malabon) — It uses fat rice noodles that are
first niluluglog. The noodles are tossed in a rich shrimp-achuete oil
and topped with the freshest, fattest newly shelled oysters, squid rings,
suaje or hipong puti (sweet-tasting shrimps) just out of the water,
and wansoy leaves. Rosie’s Pancit Malabon is still legend!
Puti (Manila and other gaya-gaya places) — This pancit relies solely
on the flavor of a good, hearty broth. Toppings are minimal. Some like
this pancit, some don’t.
Canton (everywhere) — Probably one of the most popular pancits, this
is a kind of pancit guisado with ginger-soy sauce flavor base. By habit,
there is always a sawsawan of calamansi and more soy sauce on the side.
Toppings vary, depending on the price. A de luxe pancit canton would
include a piece of squid with fancy diamond-shaped cuts across it, several
bola-bola, and a whole slew of chop suey on top.
(Batangas) — This delicious, al dente kind of egg noodle is usually
strongly spiced with pepper. Lomi is popular in Southern Tagalog and
has also made a mark in Chinese fast food. Lomi gets better as the ingredients
become more expensive: from plain fish balls (cut into thin slices)
to crab meat, shrimp balls, green peas—the works!
Sotanghon (Tagalog-style) — A “rich” dish starting from the noodle used:
sotanghon, which is more expensive than egg noodles. The way my grandmother
Aling Asiang prepared her superb, classic, Pancit Malabon is now a lost
art. Hear ye: sotanghon noodles are kept in cold water till ready to
be sautéed in hot achuete oil flavored with plenty of young garlic fried
in it. Toppings would be flaked chicken breast, handfuls of golden fried
garlic (which flavored the oil), and lots of freshly ground black peppercorn;
boiled duck egg—its yolks pressed through a sieve, and the same with
the egg whites. Only Navotas or Malabon patis was allowed to season
it, along with calamansi. Wansoy provided the coup de grace.
ng Bataan — This is pancit palabok with tons of tinapa, because tinapa
is one of the best products of Bataan (according to Luchi Roman Reyes
of that region’s famous Roman clan).
Pancit-style ( from the BLTB region) — Pancit guisado with sayote strips.
Musiko/ Pancit Vigan (Ilocos Region) — A soupy kind of miki dish meant
as merienda (so I guess this would be like a mami soup). The miki noodles
are made in Batac. It was christened pancit musiko because after the
town fiesta procession, this was the dish given free to the musicians.
Pancit Guisado (Iloilo and Bacolod, Negros) — Flat and thin noodles
that got baptized with the name of the noodle maker.
Marilao (Bulacan) — Luglog with crumbled day-old ukoy as added topping.
Langlang (Tagalog region) — A vegetable-topped pancit, much like a laksa,
the mixed vegetables dish popular in the same region. This is a very
wet pancit or a soupy pancit served in a shallow bowl.
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