PANCIT MOLO SOUP
Pancit Molo is a popular wonton dumpling soup that originated from Molo, Iloilo City with very definite Chinese influences.
Long before the Spanish colonization of the Philippines, Iloilo was already having a flourishing trade with the Chinese through Molo. Some of the Chinese traders eventually decided to settle down in the place and just like in the central plains of Luzon particularly Pampangga, took local women as their wives. Thus, upon the arrival of the Spaniards, they found Molo already having a considerable number of Chinese inhabitants who were engaged in the buy-and-sell business.
Although the town of Molo, which is now one of the districts of the city of Iloilo, is small in size when compared to other towns, it played a giant role in the history of the Philippines. Its area is only 4,205,600 square meters (Angayen 1970) but it served in various periods as Iloilo’s trade center, as “Athens of the Philippines” and as the birthplace of prominent leaders in the country’s history.
Clearly, it was a local version of the Chinese wonton soup or what they call Wantan Mee, a Cantonese noodle dish popular in Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Singapore. The concept is the same apart from the noodles, which was replaced by using the Wonton Wrappers as its noodle.
The Pansit Molo soup is usually made with chicken broth and the dumplings are made with ground pork, chicken and shrimp. The dumpling is considered the noodle here, or pancit, though, some people add Sotanghon noodles to make it a more hearty meal.
The usage of wonton noodles is a sign of Filipino’s ingenuity in their cuisine where extending is a common thing as well as the rule “nothing gets discarded”, it may be that when this was invented they were making Wonton soup but there are left over wrappers and the inventor might have thought why not put the leftover wrappers on the dish.