JAN - MARCH 2005

i, the investigative reporting magazine

Order your copy now!

Featured Stories

The Tastes that Bind
Cecile C.A. Balgos

The Big Picture
Vinia M. Datinguinoo

Mini-Size Me
Avigail Olarte and Yvonne T. Chua

Where's the Beef?
Luz Rimban

Green Dining
Alecks P. Pabico

Mutants on Your Plate
Alan C. Robles

Movable Feast
Ed Santiago

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
Ipat Luna

 F 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


Here’s a closer look at different types and styles of pancit and a regional map of pancit specialties:

Next year’s election will have many more young and urban voters than in the past. [Photo courtesy of Malaya]

Noodles by how they are cooked:

  • sautéed or “dry” — pancit guisado, pancit canton
  • soupy or “wet” (with broth) — mami, pancit molo, batchoy
  • deep-fried-noodle basket — pancit canton (another version)
  • a la luglog — dipped first in boiling broth to soften dried noodles
  • double cooked — fried-steamed or fried-boiled, etc. (This is the latest style of cooking noodles.)

Noodles by thickness:

  • medium 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)
  • thin to fine noodles — miswa, bihon, sotanghon, efuven (flat and thin, like linguini)
  • flat noodles like pancit molo

Noodles by make:

  • with wheat flour
  • with wheat flour and egg
  • with buckwheat
  • with mongo bean starch
  • with or without egg
  • with flour and kalabasa (squash) mash (also ube, saluyot, etc.)


  • Pancit 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!
  • Dinuguan on pancit (somewhere in Bicol) — just imagining this can make you almost taste it, doesn’t it? Yum.
  • Pancit Molo (Iloilo and Bacolod, Negros) — clear chicken broth with wontons (considered pancit because of their wrappers), lots of garlic, and crushed chorizo.
  • La 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.

  • Pancit 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 Tagalog regions.
  • The 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.

  • Pancit 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!
  • Pancit 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.
  • Pancit 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.
  • Lomi (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!
  • Pancit 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.
  • Pancit 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).
  • Buddy’s Pancit-style ( from the BLTB region) — Pancit guisado with sayote strips.
  • Pancit 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.
  • Efuven Pancit Guisado (Iloilo and Bacolod, Negros) — Flat and thin noodles that got baptized with the name of the noodle maker.
  • Pancit Marilao (Bulacan) — Luglog with crumbled day-old ukoy as added topping.
  • Pancit 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.

Email us your comments about this article, or post them in our blog.

Copyright © 2005 All rights reserved.