Friday, September 09, 2011

That's it, Pancit! My Take on Pancit Cabagan

I have always enjoyed Pancit Cabagan. Though I have eaten this many times, I wasn't really familiar with its origin. The name makes me think of kabag, the Filipino term for stomach gas, which constantly afflicted me when I was a baby. This meant incessant bouts of crying, leading my Lola to think there was something wrong with me, and prompting her to bring me to an albularyo (faith healer). It turns out, Cabagan is a town in Isabela where this noodle dish originates.

My Pancit Cabagan

There is a store near our home that sells Pancit Cabagan, but the foodie in me wanted to try it in my own kitchen. This way, I can control how much of each ingredient goes into the dish. I also wanted an excuse to bring out my Minnie Mouse chopsticks.

This is my version of Cabagan's famous Pancit.

For the toppings
1/2 kg pork belly
24 quail eggs, hard boiled

For the noodles
800 g egg noodles
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, minced
1/2 kg pork liver, sliced
1 small cabbage, julienned
1 bunch string beans, about 10 stalks, julienned
2 carrots, julienned

For the sauce
4 cups water
3/4 cup soy sauce
1 chicken bouillon cube
1/4 cup cornstarch, dissolved in 2 tablespoons water

1. Preheat the turbo broiler to 400 F. Wash the pork belly then pat dry. Score the skin and salt the pork belly. Place a baking pan inside the broiler and place the rack on top. This is to prevent the meat from touching the oil that accumulates at the bottom. Place the pork belly on the rack. Cook for 30 minutes or until browned and crispy.
2. In a small saucepan, place the quail eggs with enough cold water to cover them. Bring to boil and then turn off the heat. Keeping the lid on, let the eggs sit for 5 minutes. Remove from pan and cool a little before peeling.
3. Meanwhile, in a large pan, saute the onion and garlic in a little oil. Add the pork liver. When the raw color is gone, add the cabbage, string beans and carrots. Cook for a few minutes (making sure the vegetables are still crisp), transfer to a platter then set aside.
4. In the same pan, add the water, soy sauce and the bouillon cube. Thicken the sauce by adding the cornstarch mixture. When the sauce has thickened, return the vegetables to the pan. Remove from heat and add the noodles. Top with the sliced pork and quail eggs.

I used egg noodles. Pancit Cabagan is usually made with miki.

I used a baking pan to raise the rack. Keep the pork belly from touching the oil that accumulates. This ensures they stay crispy.

Lechon Kawali as a topping? Yummy!

The vegetables with the pork liver.

Pancit Cabagan with the Lechon Kawali and Quail Egg toppings.

Pancit means it's time to bring out the chopsticks :)

There wasn't as much sauce as I would have wanted, but it's still delicious.

Happy cooking!


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  2. Does this ever look good, thanks for the recipe to try and look very forward to it.

  3. i will try to his this...thanks!!!

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