Palabok, Fast and Simple

Food Trip  /   /  By Rica Espiritu  /  447 views

There’s no way you can cook good Palabok in less than 30 minutes. I tried and failed. I can’t be miserable about it because the main ingredient, aligue, makes everything taste heavenly.

This was an experiment. It succeeded the first time we tried it at home because I had several people helping me out to prepare the ingredients. What makes this different is that each of the “component” is cooked separately. Since we took pics, I will describe how each one was prepared.

The Topping

Crushed Chicharon:


We used Lapid’s chicharon. Not, R. Lapid’s, Lapid’s only. R. Lapid’s chicharon has a lot of vetsin and has been flavored in its own way. Lapid’s chicharon however is still cooked and salted to taste. Technically we just crushed it while it was in the bag and crushed it some more when it was in the bowl.

Crushing it feels so good – a really good stress reliever. Just make sure people don’t start picking off the bits and pieces or else you will have less than what you started with.

I didn’t measure this. Mainly because I thought that if I crushed the entire bag, I’d still have enough left over to use when I do munggo soup. Ha! It didn’t happen that way. The people who helped me ended up eating half of it [whistles]…ok, I did cheat and ate a few too.

Small Shrimp or Fresh Hibi:



Peeled, deveined, chopped and sauteed in garlic. We were eating it like peanuts – so happy we were able to take a pic.

Sauteed Squid:


Cleaned, diced and sauteed in garlic.

Chopped green onions and fried tofu:


I usually chop the tofu into smaller pieces before frying them. It makes it crispier and easier to prepare. If you wish to mince the tofu after frying them. That’s ok too – although after a time it gets chewy – not crispy.

Hmmm…is it me or this plate has more shrimp than the first one I posted?

The Rice Noodles:

We used Super Q Bihon. Soak in water for 15 minutes before cooking it [just follow the instructions in the back].

Optional Toppings:

You can add [yes, ADD] tinapa flakes [smoked fish, fried and flayed – is that the word for that?] and hard boiled egg.

We actually forgot the egg.

The Sauce:

  • cooking oil
  • 1/2 kilo ground pork
  • 2 cups pork broth
  • 1 piece shrimp cube [optional]
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • black pepper
  • 4 – 6 tbsp crab fat


Saute ground pork, add broth and pepper. Once cooked, add the crab fat. Since I had a bottle – I dumped the entire bottle in. Yes, that’s why I didn’t need anatto seeds to make the sauce “yellow”. If you don’t have crab fat, you can use the shrimp cube and use fish sauce to taste.

Once it is cooked, assemble all of them per plate to look something like this:



I deliberately cooked a lot of sauce because this can be kept and stored in ready to heat containers for at least 3 weeks. Put it in the freezer to make it last longer. There will be days wherein all you want to do is crush chicharon while boiling eggs. That can do for a quick topping over cold rice noodles. Or if you no longer have noodles, you can just do this over rice and it will be just as good.

Have said and done all that – I still think that my mother-in-law’s palabok is still the best and my friend’s pancit luglog is to die for.

About the Author

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