Bicol’s Pancit Bato

Posted by Cat Ramos

I have just returned from a long weekend of sun, sand and sea in Camarines Norte. I’ve fallen head over heels with Bicol — its sights, its people and most definitely, its food.

I was never a fan of coconut milk because of the “revolution” it creates in my stomach. And I only started eating spicy food a couple of years ago. But somehow, the combination of coconut milk and chili typical in Bicolano food works for me. In fact, I now count Bicol express as one of my most favourite Filipino dishes. I hope to attempt cooking this in the future.

I did buy a couple of orders of frozen Bicol express from Bagasbas Surfers Dine-Inn. Should last me about a week.

I was already missing Bicolano food that I decided to try making pancit Bato. Our gracious host Noelyn served this for breakfast when we stayed at her house in Bato, Camarines Sur earlier this year. It was love at first bite. Before leaving CamSur, I bought several packs of dried pancit Bato (P35 for each 150 gram pack) so I can cook it at home.

Obviously, pancit Bato got its name from the town of Bato. But according to my surfing instructor Jhong, it is popular in many parts of Bicol. And rightly so.

The recipe on the pack seems pretty straightforward but I checked Google for other recipes, just to be sure. It was a very easy dish, and less than 30 minutes later, my sister and I were wolfing down my very first homemade pancit Bato. 🙂

You will need (2-3 servings)

1 pack dried pancit Bato (150 grams)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large yellow onion, sliced
1 medium carrot, julienned
50 grams fresh or frozen shrimp, shelled
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon patis (fish sauce)
Freshly ground black pepper
3 cups water
Cooking oil
Juice from 5 pieces of calamansi

Let’s get cooking!

1. Heat oil in a pan and saute garlic, onions and shrimp.
2. When onion is translucent, add in the carrots and continue sauteeing for 2 minutes.
3. Add soy sauce, patis, black pepper and water. Simmer for 5 minutes.
4. Add in the pancit and cook until the noodles are tender but not mushy.
5. Remove from heat and mix in the calamansi juice before serving.



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