Pancit Palabok - Seafood Noodles

This is one of my personal favourites as shellfish is my kryptonite! A very popular dish loved by many because of the rich and deep flavours of the sauce, complimented by an array of varied toppings that magically work well together. A dish very similar to other recipes known as 'Pancit Luglug' which has thicker noodles and 'Pancit Malabon' which has less sauce but packed with a variety of seafood. Once upon a time Malabon was a city surrounded by fish ports so it was a given that this dish was destined to be created!

My version incorporates all my favourite bits from all 3 recipes - thick noodles, with loads of sauce and even more seafood!


The Sauce

1/2kg Prawns (raw or cooked)- with shells

800ml - 1L of fish stock

1 onion

3 garlic cloves

1-2 tbsp Fish Sauce

Pinch of Saffron soaked in 1/4 cup of warm water (substitute for achuete/annatto oil)

2 tbsp of cornflour and 1/4 cup of water solution


Noodles - from the local oriental wholesaler 'Palabok Noodles'

(thin or thick rice noodles are both just as good)

Toppings - all optional but highly recommended ;)

1/2kg Prawns (raw or cooked)- with shells

Mixed seafood (squid, scallops and mussels or any other seafood)

1 tbsp of sweet soy sauce

Shredded smoked mackerel

Chopped spring onion

Fried garlic

Dried tiny shrimp (fried)

Crushed Pork scratchings 'chicharon'

Boiled eggs

Chopped spring onions

Slice of lemon wedges

The Sauce

Chop off the heads of 1/2 kg prawns and peel shells. Fry shells and heads in some oil, crushing the heads with a wooden spoon then once it has a bit of colour add the fish stock for about 30mins. Leave to cool and when ready - blitz all the contents in a food processor. Strain the contents, extracting all the juice into a bowl using a sieve or a cheese cloth. Now you have your vital ingredient!

In medium heat fry the garlic and onions in a bit of oil until the onions are soft. Add the prawns and mussels, prawn juice and saffron with water. Stir to incorporate all the ingredients together. Add the corn starch solution and fish sauce then mix until the sauce thickens to a gravy like consistency. Taste and season with salt and pepper accordingly or fish sauce. If the sauce becomes too thick just add a bit of water to thin out.

The Noodles

Follow the packet instructions is always the best guidance but in case it's not clear here's my advise. Soak the noodles in 15-20 mins then boil in salted water untill soft. Strain and set aside.

The Toppings

Drizzle the seafood (1/2kg of prawns, squid and scallops) with the sweet soy sauce and fry until cooked and a caramelised glaze has formed.

If making the garlic chips from scratch - finely slice the garlic and shallow fry in some oil until it is a shade darker than golden.

Shallow fry the dried tiny shrimp untill crispy.

Boil the eggs for 6 mins for half or 10 mins for hard boiled.

Flake the smoked mackarel.

Chop up spring onions.

Slice lemon into wedges or as you wish.


Pour sauce all over noodles and add the toppings as preferred. Finish off with a squeeze of lemon. Sit back, relax and indulge!

Check out the vid for more visual aids. Hope you enjoy! ;)