Pancit Molo

Southern California weather is beginning to temper down and I couldn’t be happier! I love soups and I’ve been anticipating cooler days so I could indulge in piping-hot broths. This summer has been the longest and hottest I can remember, having the stove on for an extended period of time to tenderize meats for nilaga or sinigang was a true ordeal. But I despair no more! Chill is definitely in the air, soup season is finally here.

Said to have originated from the town of Molo in the province of Iloilo and influenced by the wonton soups brought in by the large community of Chinese settlers in the area, pancit molo is a soup dish made of meat-filled dumplings, shredded chicken, and a robust broth. The piping-hot soup is ladled into serving bowls and garnished with green onions and fried garlic bits for another layer of flavor.

For the dumplings, I used my tried and true meat filling recipe. (update: 10/22/2015) It takes a bit of practice to wrap the wontons but quite fun once you get the hang of it. If you are pressed for time and/or would rather not hassle with making the wontons from scratch, you can certainly use prepared dumplings available at most Asian supermarkets. But please, please! Use homemade broth! Guys, I can’t emphasize it enough: the glory of this soup dish relies on the deep-flavored, well-tended stock. Make sure to use bone-in chicken parts (think wings, thighs, neck, and breast bones) to ensure a full-bodied broth. A few pieces of roasted pork bones thrown in the pot will do wonders as well! Try this pancit molo tonight and keep warm, my friends!

Pancit Molo

Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 2 hrs
Total Time: 2 hrs 20 mins
Author: Lalaine Manalo


  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 onion peeled and sliced thinly
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled and minced
  • 10 cups homemade broth
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 30 pieces wontons
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • green onions ends trimmed and chopped
  • fried garlic bits
  • For the Homemade Broth

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 onion peeled and chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic peeled and minced
  • 3 pounds bone-in chicken parts wings, thighs
  • 12 cups boiling water
  • 1 teaspoon pepper corns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • For the Wontons

  • 2 pounds ground pork
  • 1/2 cup green onions finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup water chestnuts finely chopped
  • 1 small carrot peeled and shredded
  • 3 cloves garlic peeled and minced
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 package 30 pieces Molo or wonton wrappers
  • Instructions

  • In a pot over medium heat, heat oil. Add onions and garlic and cook until aromatic. Add broth and bring to a simmer. Add fish sauce and cook for about 1 to 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add wontons and cook for about 8 to 10 minutes or until cooked through. Add chicken and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes or until heated through.
  • Divide wontons, shredded chicken and broth into serving bowls. Top with green onions and fried garlic bits. Serve hot.
  • For the Homemade Broth

  • In a deep pot over medium heat, heat oil. Add onions and garlic and cook until limp and aromatic. Add chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 to 7 minutes or until chicken changes color. Lower heat, cover, and cook for about 15 to 20 minutes or until chicken releases its juices.
  • Raise heat to high and add boiling water. Add bay leaves and peppercorns. Season with salt. Skim scum that accumulates on top. Lower heat and return to simmer for another 10 to 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
  • With a slotted spoon, remove chicken pieces from broth. Allow to cool to touch. Remove meat from bones and shred. Set aside chicken meat and keep warm. Break bones to expose marrow and return to pot.
  • Continue to cook at barely a simmer, uncovered, for about 1-1/2 to 2 hours or until liquid is reduced and concentrated. Using a cheesecloth, strain stock to remove bones and aromatics.
  • For the Wontons

  • In a bowl, combine ground pork, green onions, water chestnuts, carrots, garlic, soy sauce, salt and pepper. Gently stir until well-distributed.
  • Separate wrappers into individual sheets. Spoon a heaping tablespoonful of meat mixture on middle of wrapper and then gather sides to form a “cup” around mixture.
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