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Batchoy is a popular noodle soup dish that originated in the Philippines, particularly in the Western Visayas region, with Iloilo City being considered the birthplace of this flavorful soup. It is a hearty and comforting dish made with a flavorful broth, egg noodles, and various meat ingredients.
The traditional Batchoy typically consists of the following key components:
- Broth: The base of the soup is a rich and savory pork or beef broth that is simmered with various aromatics and seasonings. The broth is the soul of Batchoy, providing the dish with its distinctive taste.
- Egg Noodles: The soup is served with egg noodles, which are typically cooked in the broth until they are tender and absorb the flavors of the soup.
- Meat: Batchoy usually includes thinly sliced or shredded pieces of pork or beef. The meat is often simmered in the broth to infuse it with flavor and tenderness.
- Offal: One of the distinguishing features of Batchoy is the inclusion of pork offal, such as liver, intestines, and sometimes kidney or heart. These offal parts add depth and richness to the soup.
- Shrimp or Crabs: Some versions of Batchoy include shrimp or crab meat, which further enhance the taste and add a seafood element to the dish.
- Chicharrón (Pork Cracklings): Batchoy is topped with crispy chicharrón or pork cracklings, which add a delightful crunch and texture to the soup.
- Vegetables: Common vegetable toppings include garlic bits, sliced green onions, and sometimes chopped onions or garlic.
- Seasonings: Batchoy is seasoned with soy sauce, fish sauce, or salt to enhance the flavors of the broth and ingredients.
There are different regional variations of Batchoy throughout the Philippines, and each version may have slight differences in ingredients and preparation. Nevertheless, the soup is always hearty, flavorful, and a favorite comfort food for many Filipinos. It is typically enjoyed with a squeeze of calamansi (Philippine lime) and often served with a side of puto (steamed rice cake) or pandesal (Filipino bread roll).
Batchoy Recipe: How to Cook La Paz Batchoy
La Paz Batchoy is a famous regional variation of the traditional Filipino Batchoy that originates from the La Paz district in Iloilo City, Philippines. It is known for its rich and flavorful broth, tender meat, and delightful toppings. Here’s a simple recipe for making La Paz Batchoy:
For the broth:
- 1 kg pork bones or pork hock
- 1 kg pork belly or pork shoulder, sliced thinly
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil
- 8 cups water
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce (patis)
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the noodles and toppings:
- 400 grams miki (fresh egg noodles) or bihon (rice noodles)
- 200 grams pork liver, sliced thinly
- 200 grams pork intestines, cleaned and sliced into bite-sized pieces
- 4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and halved
- Chicharrón (pork cracklings), crushed
- Chopped green onions
- Fried garlic bits
- Calamansi (Philippine lime) wedges
- In a large pot, heat the cooking oil over medium heat. Saute the chopped onion and minced garlic until aromatic.
- Add the sliced pork belly or pork shoulder to the pot and cook until the meat turns slightly brown.
- Pour in the water and bring it to a boil. Skim off any scum that rises to the surface.
- Add the pork bones or pork hock to the pot and let it simmer for about 1 to 1.5 hours until the pork becomes tender.
- Once the pork is tender, remove the bones or hock from the broth and discard them. Season the broth with fish sauce, salt, and pepper according to your taste preference.
- Meanwhile, in a separate pot, blanch the pork liver and pork intestines in boiling water for a few minutes until cooked. Drain and set aside.
- Cook the egg noodles according to the package instructions until they are tender. Drain and set aside.
- To serve, place a portion of the cooked egg noodles in a bowl. Top with sliced pork belly, pork liver, and pork intestines.
- Ladle the hot broth over the noodles and meats.
- Garnish with crushed chicharrón, chopped green onions, fried garlic bits, and halved hard-boiled eggs.
- Serve the La Paz Batchoy hot with calamansi wedges on the side for squeezing over the soup.
Enjoy the comforting and flavorful La Paz Batchoy as a satisfying meal on its own or with a side of steamed rice cake or bread roll!