Palabok: How to Make Filipino-Style Pancit Palabok

Another example of the Filipino’s fascination with noodle dishes is Pancit palabok. Unlike other noodles in the Filipino style, however, pancit palabok is smothered in a sweet shrimp sauce and filled with a delicious mishmash of smoked fish flakes, crushed pork cracklings, crisp bacon, boiled shrimp, fried garlic pieces, hard-boiled eggs, and green onions.

Pancit is a Filipino term for noodles. Chinese colonists in the archipelago brought noodles into the Philippines early on.

Through the years, they have been fully incorporated into local cuisine. Today, many variations and styles include noodle recipes.


  • Author: Romae Chanice Marquez
  • Recipe Category: Snacks / Main Dish
  • Cuisine: Chinese Origin, Filipino-Style

It can be a very complicated process to make pancit palabok with a multitude of ingredients. The best way to prepare the toppings first is to use the rendered fat from the bacon, the oil used in frying garlic, and the liquid used to cook the shrimps to add extra flavor to the sauce. The whole preparation and cooking time is 1 hour. This recipe is suitable for at least six people. 

Palabok: How to Make Filipino-Style Pancit Palabok

Pancit palabok is a famous Filipino noodle dish served in almost all local and traditional restaurants. Photo credits to: @capersandkindness.

Filipino-Style Pancit Palabok Ingredients

  • 10 ounces of rice noodles
  • 1 tablespoon of annatto powder
  • water
  • 7 cups of shrimp stock (from the boiled shrimp heads and shrimps)
  • 3 pieces of shrimp bouillon
  • 3 tablespoons of reserved bacon grease (from frying bacon)
  • 1/4 cup of flour
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of reserved garlic oil (from toasting garlic)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 pound of shrimp
  • oil
  • 1/2 cup of fish flakes
  • 1/2 pound of bacon, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of pork cracklings, crushed
  • 5 hard boiled eggs, peeled and quartered
  • 1/4 cup of green onions, chopped
  • calamansi or lemon, for toppings

Filipino-Style Pancit Palabok Instructions

Step 1: Soak rice noodles in water in a large bowl for around 3 to 4 minutes or until they are softened. Drain completely. Bring about 7 cups of water to a brisk boil in a medium heat pot.

Step 2: Add noodles and cook for approximately 1 minute. Drain thoroughly. Set aside.

For the toppings, 

Step 3: Cut the shrimp, leaving the tail intact. Reserve the faces of the shrimp. Bring 1 cup of water to a boil in a medium heat casserole. Remove shrimp and cook until the color changes for around 3 minutes. Remove shrimp with a slotted spoon and set aside. Book the water.

Step 4: Place the oil in a medium heat pot. Add fish flakes and cook for around 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until lightly browned and warm. Remove and set aside from the pan.

Step 5: Add chopped bacon and cook in a skillet over medium heat, occasionally stirring, until golden and crisp. Remove from the casserole and drain over paper towels. Reserve 2 cubic meters of bacon fat.

Step 6: Heat about a 1/4 cup of oil in a small pan over low heat. Add garlic and cook until browned and crisp and remove roasted garlic with a slotted spoon and clean on paper towels. Reserve the oil from the garlic.

For the sauce, 

Step 7: Chop the reserved shrimp heads with a knife. Combine shrimp heads and 4 cups of water in a medium heat bowl. Bring to a boil and skim any foam that comes up to the top. Lower heat and cook to remove flavor for about 10 minutes. Using a fine-mesh strainer, shrimp solids are filtered and discarded.

Step 8: Combine shrimp stock, remaining garlic oil, shrimp bouillon, and water in a bowl. Remove well until the annatto powder and shrimp bouillon have been dissolved, and the water has changed to orange.

Step 9: Place stored bacon grease in a medium heat saucepot. Add flour and cook for around 2 to 3 minutes or until golden, stirring constantly. Slowly whisking vigorously, add a mixture of shrimp stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to cool. Cook for 5 to 8 minutes or until thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Filipino-Style Pancit Palabok Additional Information

  • Per serving has 395 calories, 38g of carbohydrates, 9g of fat, and 17g of protein. 
  • In local restaurants, noodle dishes are also standard fare. Noodle-specific food establishments are often referred to as panciterias.
  • This dish serves 6 people.
  • Cook/prep time is around 1 hour.


Today, other pancit recipes include different meats as toppings, depending on a region’s best harvest. For more international recipes, click here.

Featured Image: @hilac.pancitpata / Instagram, @gastrovilleph / Instagram