Pancit Palabok is a hearty Filipino noodle dish that is flavorful and saucy! This recipe is made easy by using simpler ingredients without sacrificing the flavors at all!
What is Pancit Palabok?
Pancit Palabok is another popular and favorite pancit or noodle dish among Filipinos. It is made of rice noodles with thick yellow-orange sauce, and various toppings like shrimps, flakes of smoked fish, pork chicharon, hard-boiled eggs, spring onions, squid rings, fried garlic, among other things.
Unlike other Pancit varieties, like Bihon and Canton, where all ingredients are tossed together while being cooked, Pancit Palabok is prepared by parts and then assembled at the end when ready to serve.
A lot of people mistake it for Pancit Luglug and Pancit Malabon. These are regional varieties of Palabok with a few differences in ingredients and preparations.
What is the Palabok sauce made of?
Traditionally, the sauce is prepared by boiling whole shrimps to make a stock and use that as a base for the sauce. I also know some who use the fat, meat, and juice extracted from crabs and shrimp heads. The results are so flavorful and delicious! But since I like keeping things quick and easy, this Pancit Palabok recipe was simplified using the most basic ingredients but is still equally yummy.
I usually use fish sauce and shrimp cubes instead which cuts down the preparation and cooking time and is more economical.
The Pancit Palabok Toppings
Another plus point for this dish is how customizable it can be! You can assemble it to your liking by choosing the toppings that you like only. Aside from hard-boiled eggs, shrimps, and smoked fish, you can also use squid rings, ground pork, chicken meat, mussels, and tofu.
Foxy Tips when making Pancit Palabok at home
- Make sure to check on your rice noodle while cooking! Unlike other noodles, these are prone to overcooking which will result in mushy noodles. Just cook until they are pliant but still firm.
- Different brands of annatto powder can have varying effects. Some can have stronger coloring effects even with just a tablespoon. Start with a small amount first and add more as needed.
- For any leftovers, store the noodles, sauce, and toppings separately if you can. Put them in airtight containers and keep them in the fridge for up to a week. Reheat the noodles by soaking them in warm water.
Here are more noodle recipes that you can make at home!
Easy Pancit Palabok Recipe
- 500 grams rice noodles
- 3 tablespoons oil
- 2-3 gloves garlic - minced
- 1 medium onion - chopped
- 300 grams ground pork
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 ½ tablespoons annatto powder (food color can be used, but lesser) see Note 1
- 4 cups water -including shrimp stock
- 1 piece shrimp bouillon cube (pork cube if shrimp is not available)
- ½ cup flour
- 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoon ground pepper
- 4 hard boiled eggs - cut into slices
- 1 cup shrimps - boiled or steamed (reserve stock for the sauce)
- 1 cup chicharon (pork rind) - crushed
- ¼ cup spring onions chopped
- ½ cup smoked fish (tinapa) (if available)
- 8-10 pieces calamansi - cut into halves (or lemon)
- Soak the rice noodles in water for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, boil enough water in a pot. Once the noodles are done soaking, drain them from the cold water and then submerge in boiling water for a few minutes just until they are cooked but still firm, about 3-5 minutes. Once cooked, drain the water and transfer to a container or large bowl and set aside.
- In a saucepan over medium heat, saute garlic and onion in oil until tender. Add the ground pork and fish sauce and cook for 5-10 minutes or until all bits are cooked. Stir often to get rid of big lumps.
- Dilute the annatto powder in the 4 cups of water and add this to the pork. Add the shrimp bouillon and let simmer for some minutes until it starts to boil.
- In a small bowl combine flour and 1 cup of water to make a slurry. Add this to the pot and stir until the sauce becomes thick. Season with ground pepper and then turn off the heat.
- Pour three-quarters of the sauce into the noodles and mix until all noodles are covered with sauce. Transfer the noodles to a serving dish. Pour remaining sauce on top. Arrange toppings on top, finishing with the crushed chicharon and spring onions. Place the calamansi or lemon wedges on the sides or in another smaller bowl for squeezing. Serve while warm.
We originally posted this recipe in July 2015. We've updated it in February 2021 to include new photos, more tips, and a recipe video.
Fish sauce gave it the noypi delicious taste. Thank you for your recipe, a keeper. Hubby prefers your palabok than pancit.
What a great recipe, the whole family loved it. Easy and tasty!
I would like to use this as a meal prep just assemble each night with initial prep done at beginning of week. Any suggestions for me please?
Hi, I live in the US and not sure where to get tinapa flakes? Anyone can give me a source where to get it preferably online? Or, since you put on there if available only, would it taste just the same without it? Might be an odd question I apologize.
I've got a tip for you, Dee...2 actually. You can use any smoked fish as an alternative to tinapa or add a bit of liquid smoke😉, it would taste almost the same.
Hi! Thank you for sharing your recipe on Palabok. It looks simple and not too daunting to make. We have been missing this here in Canada. I would like to ask is there a substitute of tinapa? I am not sure where to get this here. Thank you and keep cooking, Bebs.
You can use any smoked fish like I do when we were in Germany.
Peter G. says
I loved & liked your recipes
Thank you, Peter! Glad that you do..
Gerlie G. Domingo says
Hi! all the your recipes is so good and very easy to prepare! I always used them in my class in school. Thank you for sharing. Love it so much!
That is awesome, Girlie! Happy that the blog helps you with school work. Thanks for the 5 stars too.
i wanna try and do this, your recipe looks easy and delish! but i don't eat pork. can i use ground turkey instead? or as i saw in one of the comments chicken??
cheryl veliganio says
I will try this one, one of this days, thanks for sharring
How did it go, Cheryl?
Lanie Trabilla says
My second try making palabok.
My first one wasn't that good, so I looked for a different recipe and found your recipe.
It was actually tasty.
Just made some adjustments such as:
- The palabok noodles I put it in cold water for 10 mins. then put in boiling water for 3 mins. Texture was perfect.
- I sautéed garlic, onions and shrimp together. I also put salt in this one as I didn't have any salty food to add in it. Then I removed the shrimps and put them on top of the palabok noodles.
- No pork, no chicharon (for the vegetarian ones who don't eat meat but still eat seafood) and no shrimp stock, so I used the same pan & oil where I sautéed the shrimps and mixed the veg. broth/cube there til it melted.
Then I poured the annatto mixture.
I almost forgot the flour, good thing I didn't put all of the water with an annatto lol.
It went well. Thanks for your recipe. I used it to guide me and I really liked it.
That is great, Lanie! Glad it worked for you 😘
Is the shrimp cube option you say? Could I use shrimp stock? If I don’t use anything will that greatly affect the taste? Thanks!
Shrimp stock is ok.
Wow, this is the best palabok recipe I've ever tried. Five stars!
That is great to hear, Christelle.
I followed every step on point Andy the noodles turned out tough it need to be extended to 8mins. It needed more seasoning so I added a little bit of salt, garlic powder and more patis.
Hi Pea, you have to read the package direction of the noodles you bought. It varies from one brand to the other. As for the seasoning, it is subjective so sure add as much as you like until you find the taste to your liking.
My first time planning to cook pancit palabok i search for easy way, then i come to this website... i read your recipe i will try...
I hope you like it Theresa...
Great recipe! I’m just a beginner when it comes to cooking and this one was manageable. The only thing is that I think the amount of annatto powder measurement depends on the type you buy? my dish turned out a light red orange with the exact 1 and 1/2 tbsp of powder diluted in 3 cups water. Maybe there’s a yellow version out there? I figured it’s because I had put too much. I used Mama Sita’s brand.
You could be right, Janeczka! I added a note to the annatto powder in the recipe as a guide. Thanks for your honest feedback!
Gillian Faith Tabasa says
wanna try this recipe
Please do! 🙂
Chona S. says
This is my first time to make Pancit Palabok and this recipe is a keeper, it’s really made easy and perfect. I used my left over chicken flakes instead of ground pork and added more annato powder. Thank you Beb for sharing. God bless.
You are most welcome Chona and thanks for the 5⭐️s! 🙂
How to get the yellow consistency of the sauce? I tried to make it and it’s light orange it looks pale in the noodles ???? it’s taste good but am not satisfied with the colour it looks like spaghetti to me.
Hi Rose, the yellow color comes from annatto or achuete. You can use the seeds or the powder. Add more of it if it is too pale but maybe you also have to add a bit more flour and water and adjust the seasoning. It should not turn orange though but rather egg-yellow. You could try a different brand if you are not happy with your achuete color.
Just found you by accident in IG. Love the recipes you posted. Do you have a youtube channel? If not, maybe you should consider it ????. Thanks for sharing your recipes.
Hi Charrys, Thanks for the comment. We do have a youtube channel...here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/FoxyFolksyM1005
Linde Bee says
love all your recipes. just happened to see your blog when l was looking for a pork sisig recipe. your presentation are so ornate and appealing that you seem like you can taste them just by looking. they look so yummy and yet simple to make. l am now a fan!!!! thank you.
Thanks for the very nice comment Linde! ????
SHERYL A.CANEDO says
Hi there, I really like your posted recipe just like palabok and and chicken afritada.i think its time to start a business soon..
Laila C. Ramos says
Will be my first time to try this Palabok recipe.....I love to eat every bit 8f it but doesn't try to cook it before.....and now that I am in food vending business I guess I should try everything.
No worries Laila, it is easy! Good luck to the business!
Daniel Sempere says
Thanks I followed the recipe and the Palabok tasted good. But what do we do with the shrimp cube? Were we suppose to mix it in the sauce? It didn't say in the instructions so I forgot to add it.
Hi Daniel. Thanks for commenting. The shrimp bouillon is anyway optional but I added it now in the recipe, it should be added to the sauce. 🙂