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[Photos] Pancit Molo - An Ilonggo comfort food for rainy weather

Rainy weather always makes me crave for warm hearty soups and soupy dishes. Pancit molo is one of those dishes that comes to mind. Growing up in an Ilonggo household, there's invariably a unique family recipe but I can say that this one has evolved from how my brother and mother made it and is one I can say is uniquely I can call my own. For this, I have to admit I am not that good at wrapping the "molo heads" but given how time-consuming the whole process is, I don't actually mind that they are not as properly wrapped compared to some techniques. What usually works for me (mostly from trial and error) is to drop the molo dumplings/wanton into the pot while the broth is on a rolling boil. This might be counter-intuitive as I always thought that simmering it gently lessens the chances of the wrapper coming loose (especially since I do not seal the wrapper with a beaten egg like others do). Having the broth in a rolling boil will ensure good circulation of the broth and the temperature not to drop significantly when you add in other ingredients. I think having it at a high temperature cooks the meat faster and binds the wrapper to the meat.

A bowl of Pancit Molo
The ratio I use for the meat mix is 1 part ground chicken and 2 parts ground pork. Having too much chicken makes the molo heads too dry since the fat in the ground pork keeps the meat mixture nice and juicy. I also like to incorporate grated carrots in the meat mixture to add a little bit of color. Using spring onion is oftentimes more preferable than leeks for a better tasting broth. Use the finely chopped spring onions both on the meat mixture and the broth (as garnish). I also like to use a little bit of paprika in the meat mixture not so much to impart any overtly distinct flavor to the dumplings but more on it adding a light reddish color to the broth (the color mostly binding to the fat). I got the technique of getting toasted garlic flavor infused into the oil from my brother by frying a few crushed garlic first before making the soup base by boiling the chicken. Top off the dish with the toasted garlic as additional garnish.

Ran out of wrappers? No problem! Using a spoon, ball out the remaining meat mixture and drop it into the boiling broth. You will just get additional meatballs in your pancit molo aside from the dumplings. You ran out of the meat mixture? Again no problem! Just shred the remaining wrappers into the broth. This will help further thicken the soup (the wrappers doesn't really have a long shelf life once opened). Alternatively, wrap a few sticks of quick melt type of cheese and fry it in oil. Crunchy cheese sticks!

Check out the recipe here.

Pancit Molo - serve piping hot! Perfect on a cold rainy day.
Bonus: Here's a video tutorial on how to make it.


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