Very excited to share these birthday recipes! They turned out really well and my husband really enjoyed them! As I mentioned in the last post, I made Cobb salad, my husband’s favorite salad, and pancit palabok with udon noodles and smoked salmon. Why noodles and salad? We always celebrate birthdays with pancit! As for salad, my husband loves to eat salads. Get ready, this post is picture heavy! For the classic Cobb salad, I just followed Saveur’s recipe, but couldn’t find watercress that day so I let radicchio join the party! I highly recommend making your own Cobb salad and using ingredients that you like, such as organic ingredients (even the chicken!), which I like to use. I also enjoyed the dressing which is a vinaigrette–simple and really went well with all of the chopped ingredients. It makes the salad bright and light, but hearty enough as Cobbs characteristically are. I like making my own dressing rather than commercial ones because of all the additives. The low-fat or non-fat salad dressings tend to have other additives or more carbs. Doesn’t make sense to me.
The rainbow of Cobb ingredients! Chopping all of the ingredients is a labor of love.
Another labor of love is smoking some salmon. Now this ain’t lox. It is a type of smoked salmon, but cooked on a stovetop smoker using alder wood chips. I love this Coleman smoker. I’ve been using it once a week. You don’t need to add any oil, the fat naturally in the meat results in moist and tender food packed with flavor! The smoker makes some good veggies too!
For traditional pancit palabok, the flavor base of the gravy has a smoky tone from tinapa, which is smoked fish. I used the smoked salmon that I made which isn’t as salty and fishy as the tinapa. Plus, my husband really likes salmon. I flaked the smoked salmon and sautéed it with garlic and shallot.
After sautéing the fish, shrimp stock is added and the orange color comes from annatto powder, which I’ve featured in other blog posts. The gravy is thickened with potato starch slurry (or corn starch mixed with some water or stock). If you don’t want to use shrimp stock, feel free to use veggie stock or anything else you like! It’s your kitchen, play with it!
I just boiled the udon noodles for about 2-3 minutes until al dente. What exactly is pancit palabok you might ask? It’s another type of Filipino noodle dish usually with bihon (the thin rice noodles) and a smoky shrimp-flavored and annatto-colored gravy. It’s also topped with a variety of garnishes, most commonly shrimp, tinapa (the smoked fish), crushed tsitsaron (or chicharron, pork rinds), green onion, and toasted garlic. Pancit palabok is also called “pancit lug-lug.” From what I hear, it is named “lug-lug” because that’s the sound the noodles make when sloshing around the steamer. Or maybe the sound made by your mouth when you eat it! With the udon noodles, there’s even more of a lug-lug sound!
Here’s a step-by-step rundown on how to assemble the dish. First, place the cooked udon noodles on a plate or bowl. Top with a ladle or two of gravy.
Sprinkle some of the smoked fish.
Then some hard-boiled egg. Sliced or chopped.
Some bacon too. I added this because it is a nice addition to the smoky tone of the dish, plus salmon and bacon go well together.
No doubt, Filipinos love garlic. Be generous with the toasted garlic. I think my husband is used to my liberal use of garlic.
Just a bit more porky goodness with some chicharones sprinkles. Crush it yourself or buy it crushed.
12 shrimps for June 12th, my husbands birthday!
Then some pretty green onion.
But don’t forget the lemon (or calamansi)!
Pancit Palabok (Pancit Lug-lug) with Udon
- 2 pounds shrimp, deveined, peels and heads reserved
- 2.5 cups water
- 2-3 tablespoons annatto powder
- salt & pepper, to taste
- Dash of cooking oil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 large shallot, sliced
- 1/2 cup smoked fish, flaked
- 4 tablespoons corn starch (or potato starch)
- 21 ounces fresh udon noodles, cooked according to package directions
Garnish/toppings – use as much as you want!
- Smoked fish, flaked
- Hard-boiled eggs, sliced or chopped
- Crumbled cooked bacon
- Toasted garlic
- Chicharrón, crushed
- Cooked shrimp
- Green onion, sliced
- Lemon wedges (or better yet, calamansi)
- Make shrimp stock: Boil the deveined shrimp, heads, and peels in 2.5 cups water. After 2-3 minutes, remove the shrimp which should be cooked, and set aside. Let stock simmer for another 15 minutes. Place stock with heads and peels in a food processor and blend until relatively smooth. Strain over cheesecloth. Mix annatto powder, salt & pepper to taste, to stock and set aside, keeping warm in a saucepan on medium-low heat.
- Make the sauce: Heat a skillet on medium and saute garlic & shallot in oil for 4 minutes or until softened. Add smoked fish and satue for another 3 minutes. In a small bowl, whisk the cornstarch in about 4 tablespoons of the shrimp stock. Pour the shrimp stock and corn starch mixture into the skillet (with the smoked fish, garlic, and shallot). Let come to a boil and simmer until thickened. Can add more water or stock to adjust thickness. Season with salt & pepper, to taste.
- Assemble the dish: In a plate or bowl, place some of the cooked udon noodles then top with the palabok sauce. Layer with smoked fish, hard-boiled egg, bacon, garlic, chicharron, shrimp, and green onion. Enjoy with a squeeze of lemon or calamansi!
Great meal! What did we have for dessert? Check back for the dessert!
This is a scrapbook picture that my mom made! I think my husband had a very happy birthday!