This Vegetarian Palabok is a healthier version of a traditional Filipino noodle dish, known as Pancit Pabalok. It is a quick and easy noodle recipe that is great for birthdays, potlucks and celebrations!
What is Vegetarian Palabok?
Palabok is a savory Filipino noodle dish that is traditionally made with thin rice noodles doused in a creamy shrimp-infused sauce with festive toppings such as hard-boiled eggs, pork cracklings, shrimps, fish flakes, and scallions then beautifully served with calamansi citrus slices on the side.
Palabok means “sauce” while pancit comes from the Hokkien word “pian e sit,” which literally translates to “something conveniently cooked”. This easy noodle recipe has a variety of texture and flavor and is typically prepared for special and festive occasions.
This vegetarian version of Palabok uses plant-based ingredients such as tofu, vegan seasonings, cornstarch noodles and annato powder then topped with green onion slices, banana chips and crispy fried garlic which makes a delicious and healthy meal for the whole family.
Check out this super easy Filipino noodle recipe and recreate the dish at the comfort of your own home!
Health Benefits of Annato:
Annatto has been linked to various benefits including the following:
- natural food additive
- reduces inflammation
- improves eye and heart health
- anticancer properties
Tips and Procedures:
- Feel free to add a bit more water if sauce gets too thick to mix.
- Add black salt or Kalanamak to give an “eggy” note to the sauce.
- If you opt to use a different kind of noodles, please follow the package directions.
- If you don’t want to make your own sauce there are available ready mix sauces that is available in Asian markets like Mama Sitas.
- Topping options: sliced green onions, fried crushed garlic, calamansi citrus slices, crushed vegan chicharon, boiled egg and crushed pop soy or fried bean curd.
- Just omit the egg to make this recipe a vegan pancit palabok.
- Storage: Pancit palabok is best consumed immediately but leftovers can be stored in an airtight container and put in the fridge which typically lasts for about five days.
How to Make Vegetarian Palabok:
Listed below are all the ingredients you will need:
- palabok noodles (cornstarch noodles) or spaghetti noodles
- vegetable oil
- sweet onions
- annatto powder
- vegan chicken seasoning
- vegan fish sauce
- white sugar
- vegetable broth/water
- ground black pepper
- crispy garlic
- scallions (green onions)
- banana chips, optional
Cook noodles according to the package.
Place oil in a heated pan and sauté sweet onions for 2 minutes. Add in minced garlic and continue cooking for another 30 seconds. Then add the annatto powder, crumbled tofu, vegan chicken seasoning, vegan fish sauce, and white sugar. Mix well and continue cooking for another 2 minutes while stirring constantly:
Pour in the vegetable broth and bring to a rapid boil. Reduce to simmer for 10 minutes. In a small bowl, mix water and cornstarch. Add the mixture to the simmered sauce, and bring to a boil. Season the sauce with salt and ground black pepper to taste. Allow the sauce simmer for another minute until desired consistency is achieved:
Turn off the heat and pour the sauce over the cooked palabok noodles. Mix well and arrange the remaining ingredients:
Serve immediately. Enjoy!
Frequently Asked Questions:
Palabok sauce is traditionally made with shrimp stock, pork broth, ground pork, and brightly hued from annatto seeds. In this vegetarian recipe, I used annatto powder, crumbled tofu, vegan chicken seasoning, vegan fish sauce, white sugar and vegetable broth.
Pancit Palabok uses thin rice noodles, has shrimp broth in the sauce, and is served with the sauce on top while Pancit Malabon uses thicker rice noodle, its sauce contains crab fat and the sauce is mixed with the noodles before it is brought to the table. On the other hand, Pancit Luglug is the Kapampangan version of Pancit Palabok.
You may just use the main ingredients for sauce such as the vegetable broth or water, protein of your choice, annato powder, soy sauce, cornstarch, sugar, spices and seasonings available in your pantry.
- 6 oz palabok noodles (cornstarch noodles)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- ½ cup sweet onions chopped
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon annatto powder
- ¼ cup crumbled tofu
- 1 tablespoon vegan chicken seasoning
- 2 teaspoon vegan fish sauce
- 2 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 3 cups vegetable broth or water
- 1 tablespoon water
- 2 teaspoona cornstarch
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon fried garlic
- 1 large hard-boiled egg if vegan omit
- ⅛ cup chopped green onions
- ¼ cup banana chips optional
- ½ lemon cut into wedges
- Cook noodles according to the package.
- In a large pan over medium heat, add oil and saute onions for 2 minutes.
- Add in minced garlic and continue cooking for another 30 seconds.
- Mix in the annatto powder, crumbled tofu, vegan chicken seasoning, vegan fish sauce, sugar and continue cooking for another 2 minutes whil stirring continously.
- Pour in the vegetable broth and bring to a rapid boil, then reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes.
- While waiting, in a small bowl, mix water and cornstarch.
- Add the cornstarch mixture to pan and bring to a boil
- Season with salt and ground pepper to taste.
- Allow the sauce simmer for another minute until desired consistency is achieved.
- Turn off the heat and pour the sauce over the cooked palabok noodles and mix until combined.
- Garnish with the crispy garlic, egg, green onions, banana chips, and lemon.