This week brings the Pancit King to a new destination – the province of Cavite. This province has a very strategic geographical and historical importance. During the Spanish era, it played a huge role in the Acapulco-Manila galleon trade. The Spaniards built what is now Cavite City into a port adjacent to Manila. As it has an essential role in trade, Chinese merchants also settled around the areas of the present day Bacoor and Kawit. As we all know in our history books, Emilio Aguinaldo led the revolution in Cavite then culminated with our declaration of independence from Spain at his house in Kawit, Cavite on June 12, 1898. (source: Wikipedia)
Focusing this trip on Cavite city; it is interesting to note the influence of its history on the present day city. Chavacano is a dialect that developed from basic Spanish spoken by the locals. Today it is still exclusively used by some residents of Cavite city. Aside from the language, food also exhibits the mixed Chinese, Spanish, Mexican and local influences that developed over time. Pansate is one of these dishes. Although it is basically a guisado (a Spanish way of cooking) of fresh miki noodles – pancit (Chinese origin), what sets it apart from other noodle dishes is the infusion of their own version of “satay sauce” or mixed spices (spices being one of the commodities traded during the Spanish era). These spices give this dish its unexpected peppery taste to go along with a thickener starch and sesame oil. Pork slices and the trio of chopped bagiuo beans, carrots and cabbage completes the recipe of this Caviteno dish.
Asao, one of the famous panciteria in Cavite city, is serving this dish for only Php.130, already good for sharing of 3 to 5 persons. They do not have single servings of this dish but may be ordered in bigger bilao for take-out. From appearance it may seem like it would just be your plain ordinary guisado noodles. It is not too saucy as I would have expected it to be and does not have garnishing such as fried garlic or green onions. Although chili and black pepper may not be visible in its mixture, this pancit is indeed spicy with a hint of sweetness. My research told me that satay sauce is being used in Pansate‘s recipe. However in this dish I believe they created their own concoction as the usual satay sauce, more popular in our neighbor Malaysia and Indonesia, contains peanuts – something that is not in the Pansate.
Here in Manila, get to try Pansate along with other regional pancit dishes at Pancit Center located at Pioneer St., Kapitolyo, Pasig City. The ingredients used are almost exactly the same with the actual Cavite version but the fresh miki noodles used is rounded compared to Asao’s flat noodles. For more details, please visit their website – http://www.pancitcenter.com.