Pancit Palabok

This traditional dish from the Philippines uses simple ingredients and employs the concept of “use everything.”

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Recipe Origin: The Philippines

This traditional dish uses simple ingredients and employs the concept of “use everything.” Instead of discarding them, the heads of shrimp are included to create an unapologetically intense, shrimp-flavored sauce. Pancit means noodles and palabok means garnishing, so literally this dish is noodles doused in sauce and garnished with a mash-up of ingredients. We removed the traditional pork belly, replaced the pork cracklings with crispy shallot and substituted hard-to-find tinapa (smoked fish) flakes with your choice of smoked fish. Crispy shallots, hard-boiled egg, shrimp, tofu, smoked fish and green onions are arranged over noodles.

Prep Time
45 min
45 min


  • 3/4 lb brown rice noodles (vermicelli or Pad Thai style)
  • 4 shallots, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup brown rice flour, divided
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • 1/2 lb extra-large shrimp, heads and shell on
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1/4 lb lean ground pork
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric (TRY: Simply Organic Turmeric Root)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 lb organic firm tofu, cut into
  • 1/4-inch cubes
  • 4 oz cold smoked fish, skin and bones removed and flaked, optional
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 hard-boiled eggs, halved
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. In a large bowl, soak noodles in cold water for 15 minutes. Toss shallots with 2 tbsp flour, then arrange in a single layer on a large parchment-lined baking sheet and mist with cooking spray. Bake for 15 minutes, stirring once and misting again with cooking spray to brown evenly. Season with salt and set aside.
  2. Remove heads from shrimp and place in a medium saucepan. Peel shrimp and add shells to pot with heads. Devein shrimp and set aside. Cover shrimp shells and heads with broth and bring to a boil on high. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes, skimming and discarding foam from surface of broth occasionally. Cool broth slightly and strain through a fine-mesh sieve; press shells with a spoon then discard heads and shells. Set broth aside.
  3. Heat a large nonstick skillet or medium saucepan on medium-high. Add pork and cook, stirring until browned, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and yellow onion and sauté until softened, about 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and add turmeric and paprika; cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly until fragrant. Add remaining 2 tbsp flour and cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly until browned. Add shrimp broth and fish sauce and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low; simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently until thickened. Remove from heat, cover to keep warm.
  4. In a large nonstick skillet on medium high, heat oil. Sauté tofu until lightly browned on all sides, about 3 minutes. Add shrimp and cook, stirring occasionally, until firm and opaque, about 2 minutes.
  5. In a large pot of boiling water, immerse noodles to heat through. Drain and divide among bowls. Top noodles with pork mixture, shrimp-tofu mixture, crispy shallots, smoked fish (if using), green onions and hard-boiled egg. Garnish with lime wedges.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size 1/6 of pancit palabok
  • Calories 384
  • Carbohydrate Content 59 g
  • Cholesterol Content 118 mg
  • Fat Content 7 g
  • Fiber Content 7 g
  • Protein Content 21 g
  • Saturated Fat Content 3 g
  • Sodium Content 335 mg
  • Sugar Content 5 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat Content 0 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat Content 0 g