Philippine meals generally revolve around rice, but pansit, or noodle dishes, figure prominently in the country’s snack repertoire. Pancit luglug, round rice noodles smothered with a smooth shrimp-flavored sauce tinted orange from annatto seeds, is often eaten for merienda, the late afternoon mini-meal meant to tide one over between lunch and dinner. Luglug, a Tagalog word, means to immerse anything in boiling water, and the snack’s name presumably refers to the way the rice noodles are heated and softened before they’re drained and doused with sauce.
The pansit luglug served at Milky Way Café, a cheerful incarnation of a popular 1950’s Manila dairy bar, features a briny sauce and is garnished with slices of hard-boiled egg, chopped scallion greens and crunchy bits of chicharron (deep-fried pork rinds) that contrast wonderfully with the texture of the thick, chewy noodles.
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