Written by, Bernadyn Nettles
A Classic Filipino Dish...
With a Twist
As a Filipino raised here in the USA, I am so glad that while growing up in my parents' house, our mom cooked us home-cooked meals, both American and Filipino dishes. One of those dishes I have grown up with and instantly bring me back to the childhood days whenever I get near it is a classic Filipino dish, called "Pancit Palabok." It is a popular recipe known to Filipinos that is delicious and usually doesn't last long after it is cooked! It is made typically with rice sticks or egg noodles, garlic, onion, pork, shrimp, Tinapa (smoked fish) flakes or pork rinds, hard boiled eggs, lemon or calamansi (a citrus, orange-like fruit) and of course, the shrimp gravy broth to give it that "Palabok" flavor.
American and Filipino Food Mash Up
I love combining my American and Filipino side, thus, I wanted to try something different one night when I was craving this Filipino dish but I didn't have pork, shrimp or egg noodles readily available in the kitchen. Instead, I figured, I have spaghetti noodles, tuna, some other ingredients and the Palabok gravy mix so why not try another Filipino dish with a little twist and see how it comes out? I made a Filipino with a twist dish before with the popular Filipino dish, called "Sinigang." It was different than how my mom cooked Sinigang but still had the same essential flavors of what I remember from my childhood.
How to Make Pancit Palabok with Spaghetti Noodles and Tuna
What You Need:
- Mama Sita's Palabok (shrimp gravy) mix - You can make this yourself but I always buy the packet, which can be purchased at local Asian markets or may be sold at grocery stores.
- 1 box thin spaghetti noodles
- 2 cans Chipotle Tuna in Olive Oil
- 1 head garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup green onions, sliced
- 1/2 cup red bell pepper, cubed
- 2 stalks celery, sliced
- 2 lemons, squeezed and/or calamansi, to taste
- In a large pot, boil spaghetti noodles according to package and add in red bell peppers and celery until noodles are cooked.
- While that is cooking, heat 2-3 tbsp. of cooking oil in a large frying pan and add garlic. Cook until brown.
- Add 3 cups water into pan and dissolve Palabok gravy mix. Stir well and bring to a boil. Continue to stir constantly until sauce thickens and smooths out.
- When spaghetti is done cooking, drain and return to pot.
- Drain cans of tuna and add to pot. Combine well.
- Add Palabok gravy mix into pot and combine well.
- You can transfer everything into a large casserole dish, if you like.
- Add the green onions on top and lemon juice or calamansi, to taste.
I hope you enjoy this variation to a traditional Filipino recipe.
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