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Saturday, July 1

Tuguegarao Breakfast: Dodie’s Pansit Batil Patung

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Taste the complex noodle dish--pansit batil patung in Cagayan
The curiosity of my mind drove me to this far end province in the Philippines. Unlike the other places that I have already visited such as the golden beach in Pangasinan or the quietness of Camotes Island in Cebu where the tourist destinations pushed me through, it was the food—that famous noodle dish, pansit batil patung that made me crave for it and visit Cagayan and its capital city of Tuguegarao.

Part 3 of The Northeast Diaries

Typical Filipino style sauce--limes, soy, vinegar and onions
Pansit batil patung (sometimes spelled as pancit batil patong), is a noodle dish composed of a wonderful mixture of meat-based (beef) toppings, bean sprouts, poached egg and the locally made pansit miki (miki noodles). The dish goes also with a cup of egg drop soup. And an addition of that typical Pinoy-style condiments of either vinegar, soy sauce, chopped fresh onions or a combination of two or more of the said ingredients. In other words, pansit batil patung is a wild burst of authentic Cagayan flavors.

To say that the people of Cagayan love noodles, they cannot live without it and every street has its own version of pansit batil patung served in a people-friendly pansiteria (noodle restaurant) is an underestimation. The love of Cagay-anons with pansit batil patung is a cult! When I was there, people go to pansiteria to get their early morning serving of the said noodle dish (Special price at Php 80 only). Some even eat it for lunch and some for dinner. But what makes people go over and over again with this noodle dish—can I call it, Pinoy ramen?

In preparing the toppings of the noodle dish pansit batil patung

Complimentary egg drop soup

Cooks of Dodies Panciteria in Tuguegarao, Cagayan

The way my friend described pansit batil patung when we were still in Manila, it really sounded so interesting that I think my saliva was already oozing. He described it in a way a pansit, or Pinoy ramen, was flavorfully powerful than the pansit I used to eat. The usual Philippine noodle dish I eat is pansit bihon (guisado), and if I’m lucky enough, pansit palabok, pansit malabon, pansit sotanghon and pansit canton also follow. Of course, the popular mami doesn’t shrug you off with its typical street flavor as well as the tasty pansit lomi with its thick noodle and soup.
Smoking hot pansit batil patung!
Before, I wasn’t really a fan of noodle dishes especially that most birthday parties serve that walang kamatayan pansit bihon dish. I find some pansit bihon to be bland, boring and simple. You will only get me to crave for more bowls of pansit bihon for 3 points—the noodle strands were cooked perfectly and not dry, it has a multitude of street food toppings and seafood and pansit bihon is mixed with pansit canton. Great! That’s how I grade Filipino noodle dishes before and I even typecasted all the other noodle dishes in other regions of the country. However, when I tasted pansit batil patung, it tasted so great that I think if I will live in Cagayan someday, I will eat it in a regular basis. No kidding—seriously, the second time I went to the province, it was the first food I ordered when we stopped by a restaurant (I think most eateries and restaurants serve pansit batil patung). I was affected with a last noodle syndrome.
Dodies Pansit Batil Patung recognitions

Pansit batil patung as one of the best noodle dishes in the Philippines

Sisig style--eggs are put on top of the noodle dish--thus pansit batil "patung"

The complexity of the dish made me crave for it and remember its flavor in my mind. From a person who disregards the noodle dish, I became a noodle dish lover. After my noodle episode with pansit batil patung, I was up to discover more noodle flavors in the Philippines. In fact, I brought pansit batil patung and the less popular pansit cabagan (both were cooked with miki) when I left Cagayan. Pansit batil patung is an experience—the time I mixed the egg with the multitude of toppings plus the side dish egg soup and condiments—I almost told myself that this is so comparable with the Japanese ramen. As a matter of fact, I even like it more than the typical Japanese noodle dish served in some Manila restaurants (where I find many of them as salty).

It was a breakfast meal, but when I finished the pansit batil patung in Dodie’s Pansiteria, I was so full I think I can last the day all along. The meal was great in preparation for our next adventure.
Dodies pansit batil patung are served in this small eatery in Tuguegarao
The reason why people from the North have a lot of noodle dishes is because of its proximity to China. History tells us that Filipino and Chinese people used to trade goods and food and from there, the locals learned how to make and cook noodle based dishes. While I’m writing this, I’m craving for an Ilocano miki noodle soup and pansit batil patung. My love for noodles was ignited by pansit batil patung. When I visited a friend in Quezon province a year after, one of my top lists to do was to eat pansit habhab, however I was unlucky because I haven’t have enough time to do so.

I wonder if there are also flavorful noodle dish in areas of Visayas and Mindanao? If there are please comment down below. I guess I need to try then the Iloilo La Paz Batchoy.
Pansit batil patung prices

Enough has been said and I’m now starving. After noodle breakfast at Dodie’s Pansiteria in Tugegarao, Cagayan, we headed to Penablanca, a nearby town for the popular Callao Cave.

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