The Origin of La Paz Batchoy

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Photo Credits: instagram.com/deniske_soliskuv

“La Paz Batchoy, is a noodle soup originated from the district of Iloilo City called La Paz. It contains round noodles, pork organs, pork cracklings (crushed), beef loin, deep fried garlic, sliced spring onions, and pork broth. It is so aromatic that when your olfactory gland catches its spiced whiff, you couldn’t help yourself but to drool and to helplessly devour the dish in no time.

The soup’s taste can be traced at the junction of salty and sweet. For me, gulping the liquid component is compared to drinking an affordable elixir. In contrast to chinese noodles, Ilonggo’s round noodle is more of about texture and fluffiness. The former is more refined and “al dente” than the latter. As observed, La Paz Batchoy has been hailed as one of the famous Filipino noodle soups ever created.

Some documented accounts for its history includes the following:

  1. In 1938, Federico Guillergan was known to invent Batchoy at La Paz market. His recipe was originally made up of noodles, mixture of broth, pork and beef. As time passes by, it keeps on evolving until it reaches its present form, which popularized Iloilo City’ s most famous dish. Federico Guillergan, Jr., which is the son of the inventor of Batchoy says that his father first called his dish “bats”. His father then added “choy”, which came from the vegetable dish chop suey.
  2. In 1945, Teodorico Lepura opened his very first Batchoy Shop located at the La Paz market. Managed by himself, his wife and his children, the soup shop was sold back then at the price of 20 centavos per order. Back then, before 1945, when Lepura was only a teenager, he worked in a Chinese merchant and there he learned the concoction of making the basic La Paz Batchoy. Because he loved the taste so much, he made his own version of the dish, which made his own business successful.
  3. Other version of its origin states that Batchoy came from a Chinese community in La Paz.
    Some Filipinos love eating Batchoy using fork and spoon. However, some would prefer eating it with a pair of chopsticks. The solid ingredients like meat and noodles are the first to consume; and the liquid or the broth will be the last one to be eaten.” 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb miki noodles; boiled and drained
  • 1 lb pork
  • 1 lb pig’s intestines; cleaned, boiled and chopped
  • ¼ lb pig liver; sliced
  • 1 ½ t salt
  • ½ t black pepper; ground
  • 2 t sugar
  • 1 t shrimp paste, bagoong, or guinamus (optional)
  • 1 t onion powder
  • 1 cup pork cracklings or chicharon; crushed
  • 3 T spring onion; chopped
  • ¼ cup garlic; toasted
  • 7 cups water
  • 1 boiled egg (optional toppings)
  • Spring onions (chopped; optional garnish)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Let the water boil in a cooking pot
  2. Add in salt, onion powder, sugar, pepper and shrimp paste. Cook for 1 minute.
  3. Add the pork and let it cook until it is tender
  4. Add the liver and intestines and let it cook for another 10 minutes
  5. Remove the pork, intestines and liver from the caldo or broth. Set it aside.
  6. Slice the pork into thin strips
  7. Arrange the miki noodle in a serving bowl.
  8. Add on top of the noodles the liver, pork and intestines.
  9. Pour some broth and then garnish with toasted garlic and spring onions nad sliced boiled eggs.

Serve it hot.

Credits to: rampadoro.wordpress.com/2012/09/20/iloilo-the-origin-of-la-paz-batchoy ; panlasangpinoy.com/2011/04/14/batchoy

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