Pancit Palabok Recipe


Discover the vibrant and savory flavors of Pancit Palabok, a beloved Filipino noodle dish that’s as visually stunning as it is delicious. This iconic dish features rice noodles topped with a rich and flavorful shrimp sauce, garnished with an array of colorful toppings such as crushed chicharrón (pork cracklings), hard-boiled eggs, and fresh green onions. In this article, we’ll explore the art of making Pancit Palabok from scratch, along with tips for achieving the perfect balance of flavors and textures that make this dish a favorite among Filipino households and food enthusiasts worldwide.

Why Choose Pancit Palabok?

  1. Rich and Flavorful: Pancit Palabok is known for its rich and flavorful shrimp sauce, which is made from a combination of shrimp broth, ground pork, and annatto powder. The sauce is then thickened to perfection and seasoned with fish sauce and other aromatic ingredients for a burst of savory goodness in every bite.
  2. Colorful and Festive: With its vibrant toppings and colorful presentation, Pancit Palabok is often served on special occasions and celebrations such as birthdays, fiestas, and family gatherings. Its visually appealing appearance adds a festive touch to any table and makes it a standout dish at parties and potlucks.
  3. Versatile and Customizable: While Pancit Palabok traditionally features shrimp sauce and toppings such as chicharrón, hard-boiled eggs, and green onions, you can customize the dish to suit your taste preferences. Additions such as squid rings, shrimp, tofu, or fried garlic can enhance the flavor and texture of the dish, allowing you to put your own twist on this classic recipe.


  • Rice noodles (bihon)
  • Shrimp broth
  • Ground pork
  • Annatto powder (achuete)
  • Fish sauce (patis)
  • Cornstarch (for thickening)
  • Toppings: Crushed chicharrón, hard-boiled eggs, fresh green onions, fried garlic, shrimp, squid rings


  1. Prepare the Shrimp Sauce: Start by making the shrimp sauce, also known as “palabok sauce.” Sauté ground pork in a skillet until browned, then add shrimp broth, annatto powder, and fish sauce. Simmer until the flavors meld together, then thicken the sauce with a cornstarch slurry until it reaches the desired consistency.
  2. Cook the Rice Noodles: Cook the rice noodles (bihon) according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  3. Assemble the Pancit Palabok: Arrange the cooked rice noodles on a serving platter or individual plates. Ladle the shrimp sauce generously over the noodles, ensuring that each strand is coated with the flavorful sauce.
  4. Add Toppings: Sprinkle crushed chicharrón over the top of the shrimp sauce, followed by slices of hard-boiled eggs, chopped green onions, fried garlic, and any other desired toppings such as shrimp or squid rings.

Serving and Storage Tips:

Serving Tips:

  1. Garnish Before Serving: Just before serving, garnish Pancit Palabok with additional toppings such as crushed chicharrón, chopped green onions, and fried garlic. This not only adds visual appeal but also enhances the flavor and texture of the dish.
  2. Serve with Calamansi or Lemon Wedges: Offer calamansi or lemon wedges on the side to squeeze over Pancit Palabok before eating. The tangy citrus flavor adds brightness to the dish and balances the richness of the shrimp sauce.
  3. Accompaniments: Serve Pancit Palabok with traditional Filipino sides such as pandesal (Filipino bread rolls), ensaladang talong (grilled eggplant salad), or atchara (pickled green papaya) for a complete meal experience.
  4. Family-Style Presentation: Arrange Pancit Palabok on a large serving platter for family-style dining, allowing everyone to help themselves to generous portions. This fosters a sense of togetherness and encourages sharing among diners.

Storage Tips:

  1. Refrigeration: Store any leftover Pancit Palabok in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. To maintain freshness, store the shrimp sauce and noodles separately and combine them just before reheating and serving.
  2. Reheating: To reheat Pancit Palabok, gently reheat the shrimp sauce on the stovetop over low heat until warmed through. Meanwhile, soak the cooked rice noodles in hot water for a few minutes to soften them before draining and reheating. Combine the warmed sauce and noodles in a skillet or microwave-safe dish and heat until hot.
  3. Freezing: While Pancit Palabok is best enjoyed fresh, you can freeze leftovers for longer storage. Portion the cooled shrimp sauce and noodles into individual freezer-safe containers, leaving some room for expansion. Seal tightly and freeze for up to 1-2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating and serving. Keep in mind that the texture of the noodles may become slightly softer upon thawing and reheating.
  4. Note: To preserve the integrity of the toppings, consider adding fresh garnishes such as chopped green onions and fried garlic just before serving rather than incorporating them into the dish before storage.


1. Can I use other types of noodles instead of bihon for Pancit Palabok? While bihon (rice noodles) is traditionally used for Pancit Palabok, you can experiment with other types of noodles such as miki (egg noodles) or sotanghon (glass noodles) for different textures.

2. Is Pancit Palabok spicy? The level of spiciness in Pancit Palabok can be adjusted according to personal preference. The shrimp sauce typically contains ground pepper, but additional chili powder or hot sauce can be added for extra heat.

3. Can I make Pancit Palabok without shrimp? If you have a shrimp allergy or prefer not to use shrimp, you can substitute with other proteins such as shredded chicken, ground pork, or tofu. Adjust the seasoning accordingly to maintain the flavor profile.

4. How long does it take to make Pancit Palabok from scratch? Preparation time for Pancit Palabok can vary depending on factors such as cooking experience and ingredient availability. On average, it takes about 30-45 minutes to prepare and cook Pancit Palabok from scratch.

5. Can I make Pancit Palabok ahead of time for a party? Yes, you can prepare Pancit Palabok ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator. However, it’s best to assemble the dish just before serving to maintain the freshness and texture of the noodles and toppings.

6. Is Pancit Palabok gluten-free? Pancit Palabok made with rice noodles (bihon) is naturally gluten-free. However, be sure to check the labels of other ingredients such as soy sauce and chicharrón for gluten-containing ingredients.

7. Can I omit the pork in the shrimp sauce for a vegetarian version? Yes, you can omit the pork in the shrimp sauce to make a vegetarian version of Pancit Palabok. Simply use vegetable broth or water as a substitute for the shrimp broth and adjust the seasoning to taste.

8. Can I freeze leftover Pancit Palabok? While Pancit Palabok can be frozen for longer storage, the texture of the noodles and toppings may change slightly upon thawing and reheating. It’s best to consume freshly made Pancit Palabok within a few days for optimal taste and texture.

9. Can I use store-bought shrimp sauce instead of making it from scratch? If you’re short on time, you can use store-bought shrimp sauce or shrimp paste (bagoong) as a shortcut for making Pancit Palabok. However, homemade shrimp sauce will yield the best flavor and texture.

10. Can I customize the toppings for Pancit Palabok? Absolutely! While traditional toppings include crushed chicharrón, hard-boiled eggs, and green onions, you can get creative and add additional toppings such as shrimp, squid rings, fried tofu, or sliced calamansi for extra flavor and variety.


Pancit Palabok is more than just a noodle dish – it’s a celebration of Filipino flavors, culture, and culinary tradition. With its rich shrimp sauce, colorful toppings, and aromatic seasonings, Pancit Palabok is sure to impress even the most discerning palates and become a favorite in your recipe repertoire. Whether served at a special occasion or enjoyed as a comforting meal at home, Pancit Palabok brings people together with its irresistible taste and vibrant presentation. So gather your ingredients, channel your inner chef, and get ready to savor the deliciousness of Pancit Palabok today!

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