Grandchildren are gifts from God, they are my delights and I enjoy cooking for them. I take them as blessings from above. My grandkids add colors to my life. To show them they’re precious, I’d do what I can to have them feel the warm love of their granny. I’m always willing to have something for them on their birthdays, not just presents but a dish cooked by their grandma with love.
While I was writing this, I was cooking at the same time for my grandson Ranzel’s second birthday celebration. I was cooking one of the Filipino’s favorite dishes on birthdays and other occasions; pancit palabok ( rice sticks noodles topped with shrimp/pork gravy, etc. ). If you are a Pinoy ( Filipino ) reading this you may already know how to prepare this simple but great-tasting dish but for the sake of those who are still not familiar with this recipe that may be interested in giving it a try, here’s my cooking instruction in the form of a poem. Ready?
Take one kilo rice sticks, aka pancit noodles,
Soak in cold water, for about ten minutes,
Boil a pot of water, dip the noodles and strain
On a tray set aside the cooked and drained rice sticks.
Mince one clove of garlic, fry it until brownish,
Then boil the pork belly, and slice it so thinly,
Fry one pack hard tofu, then chop in cube finely,
Pound some chicharon, chop scallions, and smoked fish flakes ready.
For the toppings spree, add shelled hard boiled eggs.
Peel some shrimp, make sure have it deveined
Chopped finely the garlic, onions and then sauté
Add ground pork, some fish sauce, depending on your taste.
Take the flour dissolved in cups of water or pork broth ,
Add dissolved annatto, then pour into the wok,
Put shrimp cubes, some seasoning on the broth from boiled pork.
Continuously stir, add black pepper, let it slowly cooked.
The third and fourth stanza of this instructional poem,
Is the palabok gravy’s how-to-do instruction,
Now get a plate and then put, some cooked rice noodles on,
Scoop right amount of gravy, spread it like a blush on.
The shrimp, sliced pork belly and the pound chicharon,
Shelled hard boiled eggs, smoked fish flakes and chopped scallions,
They’re the toppings and fried garlic, with squeezed sliced lemon,
Mixed them well with noodles, taste it you’ll most likely want more.
I hope the instruction is comprehensible though done through a poem. Below are the ingredients you need to prepare;
- 1 pack 1000 grams rice stick noodles ( bihon )
Ingredients for the Sauce
- 2 tbsp cooking oil
- ½ lb ground pork
- 1 tbsp anatto powder
- 3 cups pork broth
- 1 piece shrimp cube
- 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour or you may use cornstarch as an option
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- 1 cup boiled pork, thinly sliced and cut into small pieces
- 2 pieces fried firm tofu (tokwa), cubed
- ½ cup smoked fish (tinapa) flakes
- ½ cup pounded chicharon
- 6 hard boiled eggs, shelled & sliced
- 1 cup cooked shrimps (boiled or steamed)
- ¼ cup green onion or scallions, finely chopped
- 3 tbsp fried garlic
- 2 pieces sliced lemon or 8 pcs. Sliced lime ( calamansi )
Normally, the gravy is not automatically mixed with the noodles before serving. The noodles is being served plain, then the gravy will be put on later as well as the toppings by the person being served. But in occasions like my grandson’s birthday, the gravy was already blended with the noodles, as in the photo shown above to save time and to make sure that every guest would enjoy the same measure of its goodness.
The guests’ feedback was great. They enjoyed my pancit palabok ( garnished noodles ). My effort has been rewarded. It’s not about the guests’ appreciation of the dish but my reward was the joy in the face of my grandson. Perhaps, at his young age of two, he can already comprehend that his birthday’s celebration was a good one. I thank God for the opportunity of cooking for my grandkids and I praise Him for that privilege.
I would love to hear from you if you give cooking pancit palabok a try. Thank you for reading and God bless you!!