Stir-Fried Simplicity -Lucban Pancit Habhab Done Right

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If you’ve ever been to Quezon, our neighboring province from Marinduque, you would have come to this special pancit dish. Pancit Habhab offers a refreshing lightness and simplicity compared to other traditional Filipino noodle dishes. 

This one humble noodle dish was introduced to me by a dearest college friend, VG, who came from a small town in Quezon where Pancit Habhab was like sacred communion. I remember VG showing me how to eat it straight from the communal banana leaf plate, the noodles still sizzling hot. 

Almost two decades have passed since VG was taken from this world too soon, sadly a victim of campus violence, yet each time I make Pancit Habhab, VG’s spirit suddenly fills my kitchen. 

The Pancit Habhab originated as street food in the laidback town of Lucban, Quezon where locals favored thin miki egg noodles ideally suited for quick stir-frying.  The key to this pancit dish lies in keeping the Pancit Habhab inclusive yet unpretentious, using affordable cuts of protein like pork and liver. This allows the dominant flavors to come from the special Lukban miki noodles. The focus also stays on quick-cooking vegetables that surrender their essence to the seasoned oil and soy-spiced sauce coating every last strand of noodle. Not so much as to smother the pancit and crunchy enough to provide additional texture and sweetness to the Pancit Habhab.

Served traditionally on banana leaves for easy eating with hands and a drizzle of vinegar as a side condiment, Pancit Habhab is an explosion of flavors that one hankers for, long after a serving is gone.  The noodles offer themselves freely to be savored one bite at a time, reminding us that true nourishment comes from embracing life’s simpler pleasures with mindfulness and ease. Drizzle it with our tuba vinegar and be transported to a salty, sweet, and sour heaven! You eat it as you walk around the town, marveling at its quaint old houses, especially famous around the Pahiyas Festival. 

Ps, the quail eggs is a new addition but add another layer of creaminess to the dish~!

Relish the simple,

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