La Paz Batchoy

My cravings for Filipino comfort food begins with this iconic dish from my hometown- Iloilo: LA PAZ Batchoy! This dish is an original Ilonggo comfort food – made of pancit (noodles made of flour, egg, and water)  pork liver, pork shoulder, belly or feet, topped with pork rind (chicharon), green onions, and fried garlic, with the broth as the star ingredient of the dish.  You can easily tell the original La Paz batchoy from another province’s version by its broth. This dish is my number one comfort food. I only get to eat it whenever I visit the Philippines, which is not very often – every three to four years.

The scarcity  of Filipino restaurants that serve delicious authentic Pinoy dishes where I live and not knowing how to cook until recently, made me crave for this dish often. Thus, when something serious happened several months ago, which left me with more time on my hands, I decided to try a new hobby: cooking. And to satisfy my craving, the first recipe I attempted to cook was batchoy.  My journey in the world of food and cooking has begun!

Thank you very much for joining me today! My first featured Filipino dish is La Paz Batchoy. Let’s get cooking!

Below are the ingredients and instructions:

INGREDIENTS:

BROTH/ SOUP

1 lb pork shoulder

1 lb pig’s feet

1 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

2 teaspoons brown sugar

1 1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon shrimp paste

1 beef bouillon ( or beef broth)

1 shrimp bouillon ( or shrimp heads)

salt or soy sauce to taste

6 cups water

NOODLES

3 packs pancit(yellow egg noodles) or yakisoba noodles ( available in Asian and International stores)

TOPPINGS and GARNISHES

1/2 lb pork liver ( boiled separately)

1/2!lb pork stomach ( boiled separately)

5 long green onions ( cut 1 inch long)

10 cloves of garlic chopped and fried

pork rind (chicharon)

soy sauce and black pepper(to adjust taste)

INSTRUCTIONS:

Broth/ Soup

1. In a deep skillet, brown the pig’s feet to add flavor to the broth.

2. Then add 6 cups of water, black pepper, shrimp paste, beef bouillon/ broth, shrimp bouillon or cooked shrimp heads, brown sugar, onion powder and salt.

3. Boil the pig’s feet for at least 2 hours until the flavor comes out and the meat softens.

5. Add the pork shoulder and boil for another 30 minutes or until cooked.

7.  Remove the pork shoulder and some slices of pig’s feet and cut them into smaller pieces. Set aside.

Toppings and Garnishes

1.While preparing the soup, wash and clean the pork stomach and liver thoroughly.

2. Boil the  stomach in water twice and discard the water.

3. Then salt the pork stomach inside and out and boil it again with bay leaves and sliced onions to remove the gamy taste and smell.

4. When the pork stomach is cooked( 30-45 min) remove it from the skillet and cut it into smaller pieces.

5. Then boil the liver in the same skillet used for cooking the pork stomach(20- 25 min). Remove, cut into cubes and set aside.

6. Cut the green onions one- inch long and set aside.

7. Chopped ten cloves of garlic and fry it in a pan until brown. Be careful not to overcooked it because it will affect the taste of the broth. Set aside.

Noodles

1. Put enough noodles in a serving bowl.

2 . Add the toppings: pork stomach, liver shoulder, and pig’s feet

3. Pour  enough broth to cover the noodles and the toppings.

4. Garnish with fried garlic, green onions and pork rind(chicharron) .

“ It’s never to late to be what you might have been.” – George Elliott 

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