How To Make Pancit Palabok

Rice Noodles in Prawn Sauce

Pancit or Pansit means noodles in Filipino language or Tagalog and Palabok means spice or flavour. Filipino food have many influences including the Chinese cuisine. Noodles came to Philippines through Chinese traders and some settled in the Philippines. Filipinos learnt many different cooking techniques using local ingredients, making these dishes as our own. I enjoy making this dish because I can be creative with ingredients, I take add or take ingredients to suit my mood or guests requests.

You will always see Pancit in all Filipino occasions especially birthday parties. I believe we share some traditions as the Chinese, believing that eating Noodles will mean you will have longer life. The Chinese settlers marrying into Filipino families meant that the Filipino families adapted these traditions and was carried through generations. Until now many Filipino believe that having noodles will help us live longer, who wouldn’t want that?!

There are many variations to this dish, my recipe is simple using fresh ingredients and easy to follow. I used Mackerel instead of Tinapa (smoked black fin scad) because it is not available here in the UK. There is a perception that Filipino food is not healthy, it’s boring and brown. I want to show you that that is completely wrong. In this recipe I hope I can show you that Filipino food is healthy, colourful and delicious too! Find the recipe below and the video on how to make it below.

Watch how to make it here How To Make Pancit Palabok Please subscribe to my YouTube channel and Mailing list to receive Recipes, Supper club dates and Videos. Thank you!


Print Recipe
Serves: 10-15 Cooking Time: 1.5 hrs


  • 500g Rice noodles or Vermicelli
  • 500g Fresh prawns, separate head and peel the shell off the body
  • 300g Smoked mackerel, shredded
  • 1 packet annatto powder, dissolved in 5tbsp cold water
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1.5ltr water
  • 50g corn flour & 10ml water mixture for thickening
  • Fish sauce to taste
  • Salt to taste
  • A pinch ground pepper
  • Toppings
  • 3 hard oiled eggs, sliced
  • 1 bag chicharon or pork crackling, crushed
  • 1 bunch of spring onions, chopped
  • boiled pork belly, slice into cubes (optional)
  • Prawns body, boiled
  • Lemon wedges (optional)



Cook your noodles first, follow the instructions from the packet on how to cook it as it varies with different brand and leave it aside for later.


To make the sauce, pour water in a saucepan bring to boil, add half of the onions and let boil for 3-5 minutes.


Strain the head of the prawn into a bowl, crushing the head to let the juices out, throw away the head and place the juice into the sauce pan with the prawn stock.


Add some mackerel into the stock leaving some for toppings, add garlic and pepper into the stock. Mixing it well.


Season your sauce with salt, fish sauce and annatto mixture. Mix it until all the ingredients are incorporated and bring it to boil for 5-10 minutes.


Slowly pour the cornstarch mixture into the stock, continuously stir while pouring to avoid clotted cornstarch. Let it simmer for another 10-15 minutes while you prepare the serving bowl/plate and toppings. The consistency should be thicker but still little runny.


Taste your sauce, if you need to add more fish sauce or salt you can do it here and let it simmer for a few more minutes until you are happy with the taste.


Place the noodles into your serving plate, pour the sauce and arrange your toppings on top.


Serve and enjoy!


For seasoning you can adjust it to your taste buds, I personally don't like it too salty but I know Filipinos love their salt so you are welcome to add more or less salt or fish sauce. If you have left over toppings you can leave on the side, your guests can add more toppings on their plate as they go along.

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