Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Pancit Habhab

I have to be honest.  I have not tasted "real" Pancit Habhab.  In fact, I have no idea what it was.  All I know is that we went to the south of the Metropolitan to celebrate F-I-L's birthday; while we were waiting for the rest of the party to arrive, we walked around and found a small food fair.  And in one of the stalls, they were selling baked noodles called Pancit Lucban.  They looked like pancit canton except that they were thinner.

As usual, my curiosity got the better of me and I asked what they were and how they were cooked.

The saleslady said that Pancit Lucban is the type of noodles used to cook Pancit Habhab, which is a noodle dish/street food popular in the Quezon Province.  It is traditionally served on or in banana leaves, with a dash of vinegar or calamansi, and is eaten without spoons or forks.

What?  Seriously?


Apparently, to eat the noodles, you have to lift the banana leaf (with the noodles on it) to your lips and eat!

How is it cooked?

According to the saleslady, just like pancit canton, except that sayote is a crucial ingredient and more water/stock is used.

Oooo-kay.  (Of course I bought some noodles!) 

And here's my Pancit Habhab -

When I recounted to B's lola and a-te how this noodle dish is eaten and what it was called, A-te laughed and said that in Bisaya and/or Cebuano, "habhab" means to eat "like a dog", specifically without using utensils and by putting one's mouth directly to the food!  She proceeded to demonstrate and, indeed, it was the way the saleslady described it!

But, we ate ours with spoons and forks and plates!  Hubby proclaimed the dish a success, although with what as basis I don't know (since I was cooking "blind" and we both have not eaten authentic Pancit Habhab before).  In any case, it was delicious!  And I hope close to the real thing!

How I made mine -

8 thin slices of ginger
100 grams pork liver, sliced into cubes
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium size onion, sliced
200 grams pork belly, sliced into strips
200 grams medium size shrimp
1 to 1-1/2 liters stock or broth
1 to 2 tablespoons patis (fish sauce)
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1/2 to 1 teaspoon crushed or ground black pepper
1 small carrot, julienned
100 grams sitsaro (sugar snap peas), stringy ends removed
1 small sayote, julienned
1/4 head of cabbage, shredded
250 grams Pancit Lucban noodles
calamansi juice

In a large wok, sauté ginger then flash-fry the liver.  Transfer to a plate.

In the same wok, sauté onion and garlic until fragrant.  Add pork and shrimp stir fry for a couple of minutes, until the meat sizzles.  Add 1 liter of stock and out in the vegetables and seasonings.  When the mixture boils, put in the noodles.  Cook until the noodles have absorbed the liquid (texture is soft), about 6 to 10 minutes.  If the mixture is too dry, add more water, in 1/2-cup increments.  Adjust seasonings, to taste.

Serve with calamansi or vinegar.

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