Monday, September 10, 2012

Pancit Bato of Camarines Sur

Pancit bato packaged in plastic.

Cooked pancit bato.
Pancit bato translates to "rock noodles," but the name has nothing to do with stones. Pancit bato is actually a type of noodles from the town of Bato in Camarines Sur, where the famous Lake Bato may be found. It is made of flour and heat-dried. It's been said that this is traditionally done under the sun over stones, but the commercial way of doing it is to use oven or furnace heat.

The dry noodles are shaped into blocks and packaged in plastic. It used to be that only the original pancit bato was available in stores, there are now several varieties or flavors offered for sale like Malunggay, Kalabasa (Squash), and Carrot. These make for tasty choices to satisfy different palates who want to taste something different from the usual pancit bihon and canton fare.

Cooking pancit bato is easy as it is also the same way pancit canton is prepared. It also uses the same ingredients and cooked pretty much with the same steps. The noodles are immersed in hot water until soft. They are then drained of water. After that, the vegetables (chopped carrot, cabbage, etc.), chicken liver, and seasonings are added. When cooked, pancit bato is best served and eaten while hot.

Pancit bato factory and store along the highway of Bato town.

Pancit bato can be bought in store-factories along the highway in the town of Bato. Just pull over when you see a store. They're near the turn to Iriga.

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