The World of Filipino Cooking
Pancit Malabon is a traditional Filipino dish usually served at a feast or special occasion—especially on birthdays where the use of long egg noodles symbolises longevity and good luck. Annatto seeds are used to color and flavor the dish giving it its distinct bright orange color. Unlike other Filipino noodle dishes, Pancit Malabon predominantly uses seafood as the protein with a distinct shrimp flavor in the sauce. Some chefs like to add other meats like pork or chicken, but I prefer to keep my Pancit Malabon focused on seafood only with the eggs of course—it’s also much faster to cook! It can be topped off with a little smoked fish (tinapa) or crunchy chicaron bits for texture and some concentrated salty flavor.
Good for 6–8
Prep time: 15 minute
Cooking time: 60 minutes
© 2021 Chris Urbano / Tuttle Publishing · Reproduced with permission.
You Will Need
Prepare the Annatto Water by boiling the annatto seeds in 2 cups of water for 5 minutes. Strain and set aside.
Remove the head and shells from the shrimp. Set the shrimp meat aside. Put the head and shells with 2 cups water in a saucepan, along with a little carrot, celery, onion and whole peppercorns for 20 minutes to create an improvised shrimp stock. Sieve and set the shrimp stock aside.
Soak the noodles in a bowl of water until it gets soft. Drain the water.
Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Quickly submerge the noodles and cook for 2–3 minutes or until soft. Drain the water and set the noodles aside.
Heat some oil in a deep skillet, quickly pan-fry the shrimp for around 30 seconds per side or until just cooked. Remove the shrimp and set aside. In the same skillet, quickly pan-fry the squid (if using) for 1–2 minutes until just cooked.
Add the reserved shrimp stock, Annatto Water and fish sauce to the same skillet. Bring to a boil then reduce to low heat and simmer. Add the flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring through until a thick rich consistency is reached.
Add the Napa cabbage and simmer for a further 1–2 minutes.
Arrange the noodles on a serving platter and pour over the sauce with the cooked cabbage. Add the cooked shrimp (if using). Toss the noodles until the sauce is well distributed.
Top with tinapa flakes, chopped green onions and sliced oiled egg.