All The Different Kinds Of Pancit You Can Find In Cavite

How many of these have you tried?

IMAGE Majoy Siason

Have you ever wondered why there are so many different kinds of pancit? This handaan, merienda, or even daily staple, finds its roots long before Spanish colonizers came. Instead, the iconic noodle dish began with the Chinese when they settled and traded with us centuries before. Over centuries, as different parts of the Philippines adapted the recipe, it morphed into different styles according to the culture and geography of each region. In Cavite alone, we can name nine different kinds of pancit.

Why does Cavite have so many kinds of pancit

It starts with Sangley Point, or "Punta de Sangley" as the Spaniards called it in 1574. It is located in Cavite and was a port for Chinese traders. According to Ige Ramos, food historian and writer, the Chinese who settled in Cavite assimilated so well that there was no need for a separate Chinatown. This translated to their local cuisine, with noodles becoming a huge staple in most of the regions in Cavite.

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1 Pancit Henoy

This pancit dish from Kawit, Cavite uses miki noodles and is sauced up with crushed calf liver, and thickened with ground glutinous rice. It also happens to be the late president Emilio Aguinaldo's favorite dish and that's why it was named after his title: heneral. According to his grandson, Angelo Aguinaldo, this pancit enriched with calf liver and glutinous rice, was a nutritious, quick meal for a president on the run, as he evaded his enemies. 

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You can sample different kinds of pancit such as these from Pancit Center.

2 Pancit Estacion

Originating from Tanza, this dish is similar to pancit palabok's flavors with atsuete, and tinapa, but has a unique element to it: it has no actual noodles! Instead, for the "noodles," togue is used. 

Also try the Pancit Puso which is rich with flavor.
Photo by Majoy Siason

3 Pancit de Carajay or Pancit Puso

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"Carajay" refers to the gigantic wok that this delicious pancit is cooked in. Flavor-wise though, the title "pancit puso" describes it better. It has a rich sauce made with dikdikin, or shrimp head broth, and is topped with chicharon, eggs, shrimp, chorizo, and more. The most essential part though is the souring agent: pickled banana blossoms. It's either served on top or on the side.

This sour "pancit" is not meant to be eaten alone.
Photo by Majoy Siason

4 Pancit Kilawin

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Incorporated in the dish, or sometimes even replacing all the noodles, are shredded unripe papaya cooked with vinegar and fish. It's meant to be eaten as part of "tres Marias," a combination of three dishes dubbed as terno-terno. Those two other dishes it's traditionally eaten with are kare-kare and adobong pula. You can sample this trinity of dishes at the famous Cantina de Tita A.

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5 Pancit Pansate

This old pancit recipe comes from the sweet and spicy Indonesian "Satay" recipe. This pancit is made with miki noodles stir-fried in a delicious, soy-based sauce. 

This pancit is made with leftover adobong pusit.
Photo by Mark Jesalva

6 Pansit Negra / Pancit Choko En Su Tinta

The Caviteños are an ingenious bunch. This recipe from Silang happened when they had leftover adobong pusit, and of course, they always had stuff for pancit, they combined the two for this delicious, rich, squid ink pancit.

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Pancit Palabok is made with shrimp head broth. 
Photo by Riell Santos

7 Pancit Palabok

With nearby waters, Cavite makes use of their shrimps a lot. The shrimp head broth is what makes this saucy dish shine. It's topped with flavorful sliced pork or chicharon, and boiled eggs. This is the kind you order at Jollibee.

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The sauce of this pancit luglug recipe is made intensely flavorful by extracting maximum flavor from the peeled shrimps.
Photo by Bianca Laxamana

8 Pancit Luglog

This pancit version uses big, thick rice noodles and is often saucier than the Malabon variety.

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Nov 20, 2015

This is famously available at Amber.
Photo by Gio Oliva

9 Pancit Malabon

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This pancit version on the other hand, has even thicker noodles than luglog. Also, it often involves tinapa and loads of seafood. 

Can you imagine just how many pancit recipes the Philippines has as a whole? After all, we've had centuries making so many variations to these noodle dishes. Can you pick your favorite?

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