Sunday, November 4, 2012


An adaptation of Cantonese wonton soup that became popular in the town of Molo, Iloilo province. It is called 'pansit' but it has no noodles in it!...

As early as the Tang dynasty period (6th-8th century),our trade with Chinese merchants already existed. The Chinese came from south China (Yunnan-Canton region) and traveled to Sulu, southern Philippines in their ancient sea vessels. 

However, it was during the Song dynasty period (10-13th century) that the Chinese came more frequently, married Filipina women and settled.

When the Spaniards came in the 15th century, they herded the Chinese people together in a ghetto called 'parian' (today's Chinatown) for fear of a revolt. There were 3 major parians in the country - - in Intramuros, Cebu and Iloilo. 

Wherever they were herded, the Chinese set up little tea houses for the Chinese traders, serving noodles, dimsum (siopao,siomai) wonton soup, dumplings, congee, little cakes (hopia,buchi) and yum cha (tea). The native Filipinos liked their food. Even the Spaniards became regular customers!

When the Moro (Muslim) pirates from Mindanao raided the Chinese parian in Iloilo, as they were nearing the shore, the Chinese shouted, Molo! Molo! instead of Moro! Moro! because they could not pronounce the letter 'R'. Thus, the place became known as 'Molo' and the dumpling as 'pansit molo'.

Here is my vegetarian version of pansit molo. I make my own molo wrappers as the store-bought ones usually have eggs.


Molo Wrapper:

2 c flour
4 Tbsp butter, lard or oil
1/2-3/4 c water
Mix all ingredients to make a soft dough, roll out into 2 inch squares. Save trimmed dough strips. Set aside.

Pansit Molo:
1  1/2 c ground gluten or vegemeat (fried)
2 Tbsp carrots (chopped finely)
2 Tbsp kinchay, kutsay or celery (chopped finely)
2 Tbsp leeks or spring onions (chopped finely)
1 Tbsp cornstarch
salt, seasoning
(soup stock)
2 Tbsp leeks or spring onions
2 Tbsp cream of asparagus powder
soy patis, seasoning or veggie bouillion

1. Mix all pansit molo ingredients in a bowl. Scoop 1 Tbsp mixture     into molo wrapper. Fold and seal. Set aside.

2. Prepare soup stock. Saute leeks or spring onions. Add enough  water, soy patis or salt. Let boil, adding seasoning, asparagus powder or bouillion. 

3.Drop wrapped pansit molo and dough strips. Cook until dough is soft but not soggy. Serve as ulam (main dish) or as merienda (snacks) with biscocho (toasted bread) or galletas (thin round cookies).

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