Easy Filipino palabok recipe done under 30 minutes in a rich, shrimp sauce loaded with ground pork and lemon juice! Beautifully topped with only 5-ingredients needed to make this look party perfect!
Filipino palabok is a tasteful, seafood-rich dish with a to-die for shrimp sauce that coats every bite of the noodles!
If that’s not enough, this savory noodle dish is then further topped with green onion, chicharron (fried pork rinds), hard-boiled eggs, green onion, and more shrimp! Yes, please!
Perfect for large gatherings or celebrations, this Filipino pancit palabok recipe is sure to be a hit!
This post will go over everything you need to know to create this Filipino palabok.
Recipe difficulty: Moderate level (You’ll see why as this dish is bursting with flavor!)
So, how to cook pancit palabok? Cooking this favorite dish can be a bit tricky as we’re using rice noodles that is different from regular pasta noodles. Plus, the sauce needs to thicken so that it forms an almost gravy-like sauce on top of the palabok. Keep reading the tips below to be prepared!
Sam’s Pro Tips for this Filipino Palabok Recipe
Soak the Rice Noodles First
Similar to my Filipino Pancit Bihon Recipe with Pork and Vegetables, the rice noodles, need to soak for easier handling!
To prevent overcooking the noodles, soak the noodles in water for at least 10 minutes to get the noodles slightly separated.
Once the noodles are done soaking in this pancit palabok recipe, it will boil for only 3-4 minutes to finish cooking. Do not boil any longer as these noodles will overcook and start to clump! Seriously the worst!
Give Time for the Achuete Annatto Powder to Dissolve
There are so many types of annatto powder, so start with a little first. In this recipe, we used a ½ tablespoon for that beautiful orange-red color!
The powder will give a mild, nutty flavor to the dish and will color the palabok sauce. Plan to give the annatto powder time to dissolve in the water. I stirred the powder in the water consistently to break apart the clumps before incorporating into the sauce. This definitely took longer than a couple minutes for me!
The Beauty of Cornstarch
In order to get that beautiful gravy-like shrimp sauce in my Filipino simple palabok recipe, cornstarch is my secret ingredient!
I have seen other recipes use flour, which can work as well, but I love using cornstarch!
There are many uses for cornstarch like in my Hot and Crispy Fried Smelt Fish Perfect with Vinegar, which makes my fried smelt extra crispy, but it also thickens sauces easily!
A good rule of thumb is to mix the same amount of water with the cornstarch before incorporating into the sauce. Therefore, we use a ½ cup of water combined with a ½ cup of cornstarch before mixing into the shrimp sauce. Easily done for the perfect sauce!
Less Noodles Equals More Sauce
In this Filipino palabok recipe, we use only 8 ounces or half of the rice noodles. You can use more or the whole 16 ounces of the rice noodles, but we wanted the noodles extra saucy!
If you do use the full 16 ounces of the rice noodles, keep the sauce separate when storing in the refrigerator so that the noodles don’t absorb some of the sauce. Yes, this will happen!
Key Ingredients – Filipino Palabok Recipe
Below are some key and optional ingredients for this recipe:
- Rice noodles: Rice noodles, or Bihon noodles, cook relatively fast! Soak the noodles first in water so that it separates easily when adding to the pan.
- Ground pork: A pound of ground pork is used to create a nice texture in the shrimp sauce.
- Shrimp bouillon: Two shrimp bouillon cubes are used to create the shrimp sauce in this Filipino pancit palabok recipe. Simple and extra flavorful!
- Garlic and onion: The only two ingredients that need to be chopped for the sauce and adds that fresh flavor to the shrimp sauce.
- Fish sauce: Fish sauce is common in Filipino cuisine like our Filipino Fried Chicken Recipe with Lemon and Fish Sauce and is always an ingredient on-hand!
- Lemon: Lemon juice really adds that zing to this Filipino palabok! You already know lemon wedges will be one of the toppings!
- Cornstarch: My secret ingredient to the perfect sauce every time! A ½ cup of water will be combined with a ½ cup of the cornstarch.
- Annatto powder: ½ a tablespoon will be used to achieve the orange-red color of the noodle. Using the annatto powder will give a mild, nutty flavor to the palabok!
- Chicharron (fried pork rinds): For a crispy palabok recipe, add some crushed chicharron as a topping to give some crunch to the noodles. Definitely a fave!
- Hard-boiled eggs: Boil some eggs to top these noodles for this Filipino simple palabok recipe! For tips on perfectly cooking hard-boiled eggs each time, check out our Party Favorite Sriracha Deviled Eggs with Shredded Parmesan for some helpful tips!
- Lemon wedges: Having lemon wedges on the side when serving allows guests to put extra lemon juice on top of their noodles if desired! Plus, it looks extra fancy!
- Green onion: To add some greenery to this easy palabok recipe, add 1/3 cup of chopped green onion for a touch of freshness and color!
- Shrimp: For a time saving tip, I like to cook my cup of shrimp in the water boiled for the noodles! Once the water boils, I cook the shrimp for 3-5 minutes until cooked and set aside. Next, I throw my rice noodles in to cook right after. Efficient and flavorful!
More Variations to this Filipino Palabok Recipe
There are a few ways you can variate this Filipino palabok recipe. Here’s how:
- Add more toppings: You can definitely variate the toppings in this pancit palabok recipe! Try using tinapa flakes (smoked fish), toasted garlic, tofu, squid rings, or even other meats!
- Do you have other noodle dishes? Yes! Noodles are popular in Filipino cuisines! For other party favorites, check out our Filipino Pancit Bihon Recipe with Pork and Vegetables or The Ultimate Filipino Spaghetti Sauce Recipe (you’ll never look at spaghetti the same again!)
- What can I pair with this dish? This Filipino pancit palabok recipe is a popular main dish typically served during large gatherings and celebrations. To make this a complete meal, add our Filipino Pork Barbecue Skewer Recipe Perfectly Glazed or 3-Ingredient Filipino Banana Cue Recipe for Your Afternoon Snack for some favorite options!
Interested in Filipino cuisine, but don’t know where to begin? Download our Top 5 Crazy-Cheap Ingredients You Need for Filipino Cooking and Where to Find It from my free resource library!
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Frequently Asked Questions
What is palabok?
Palabok is a Filipino rice noodle dish in a shrimp gravy-like sauce topped with green onion, lemon wedges, chicharron, shrimp, and hard-boiled eggs.
How long does palabok last in the fridge?
Palabok can last 3-4 days in the refrigerator for optimal flavor. Therefore, if you do have leftovers, make sure to store the sauce and noodles separate.
What goes well with palabok?
Palabok is a great main dish and will work well with different sides such as cucumber salad, pork barbecue sticks, or even a dessert like flan.
How much juice can you get from one lemon?
Usually, 1 lemon can yield 3 tablespoons of juice depending on the size of the lemon.