Friday, July 25, 2008

La Paz Batchoy (in 3 Forms)

If there's one traditional noodle dish that's been popularized and made phenomenal in the Philippines, that would be no other than Iloilo's La Paz Batchoy. It's a noodle dish made with round egg noodles or miki , pork meat and organs, crushed pork crackling, egg and vegetables in a meaty soup stock . Ted's La Paz Batchoy claims to have the original taste of this noodle soup. In fact, it brought a significant number of branches in the Metro to carry its mission of giving Filipinos "the opportunity to savor the exotic and exquisite taste of the original La Paz Batchoy". I remember heading to one of its branches sometime ago to sample all the different types of batchoy it offers. Basically, what I found is one type of broth that can be served with different kinds of noodles. Depending on your own preference you can have misua, sotanghon, bihon or miki. Among all these, I liked best the Extra Super Batchoy that uses miki as noodles. The least however, is the Extra Miswa. The miswa absorbs the soup quickly that consuming it is synonymous to a marathon eating. Otherwise, you'll end up with a soggy noodle dish. Also, the strong taste of miswa masks the other flavors that only the umami taste is left lingering through your palate. But to prove that this noodle soup continues to conquer the noodle market, it's consumption has evolved in many forms. Very recently, a leading fast food chain introduced its own take of La Paz Batchoy at an affordable price of Php 25 per serving.


La Paz Batchoy Fast Food Version

Served in a small bowl, the fast food version comes with thin-round noodles, a slice of egg and few meat pieces, garnished with chopped spring onions, strips of napa cabbage, fried garlic and a heaping spoon of chicharon (pork crackling). Taste wise, it's generally acceptable albeit salt peaks are perceivable and short in meaty after taste. It's overpowering with a chicharon top note. For the price, who would't be intrigued to try it out? There might be some limitations with the serving size though. It's really too small.

The next form of La Paz Batchoy that's been available in the market for more than a decade already is Lucky Me! Supreme's instant version. It comes in three sizes now; the regular bowl (good for 1 -2 servings), mini bowl and pouch. These are sold at a price range of Php 11 - Php 25. This consumer good was given a product innovation award by Philippine Association of Food Technologists (PAFT) back in the 90's. Lucky Me!'s version promises its consumers of "savouring the flavor of hearty southern Filipino noodle soup with enjoyable spoonfuls conveniently possible". To put it simply, it's for the people on the go who wishes to experience the richness of La Paz Batchoy but doesn't have the time to prepare it. Evidently, it's making you have it whenever, wherever you want it.

Instant La Paz Batchoy in Cup / Bowl


Instant La Paz Batchoy in Pouch
When I tried the fast food version with it's very small serving size, I was left craving for more. Hence, upon reaching home, I was prompted to cook my own variation. The beauty of making your own food comes with no limitation on anything at all. Cook it just the way you like and consume it like no other can. Ha ha! So with much gusto, this is how I prepared mine.
Home Cooked La Paz Batchoy
What you need:
250 - 300 g miki noodles (washed in cold water), 6 cups soup stock (broth), 250 g pork strips, 125 g liver (chopped in bite size pieces), 4 hard boiled eggs, pork cracklings, fried garlic, napa cabbage (chopped in strips), spring onions (finely chopped), 1 small onion (chopped), 5 cloves garlic (minced), 2 tbsp canola oil, salt and pepper to taste
How to make:
Prepare the broth by boiling the meat and liver with salt and pepper. Take them out and set aside the stock. Sauté onion and garlic in a heated oil until fragrant. Add the pork and liver. Season with salt and pepper and sauté for a minute. Put a handful of noodles in a small bowl. Add slices of hard boiled egg and sautéd pork and liver. Spoon over enough amount of stock (just the right amount to cover the noodles, make sure it's still hot) and garnish with garlic, cabbage, spring onions and pork cracklings. Serve immediately.
This La Paz Batchoy tale enlightens us with the many food choices available to us. Whatever or whichever drives us to purchase and choose what we’re having at any given time, be it our mood, the type of meal occasion, or our own liking, it is certain that our preference varies and so must be the choices. Thus far, sensorial liking is in fact, personal. And the challenge to create a competitive repertoire? It's a knotty thing to do.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is quite of a help. I really love batchoy. I hope I can make do with this recipe since I also love cooking. I hope I can still find some more interesting recipes here. Nice spot and more power!

Anonymous said...

I am proud to say that I come from the town that gave the world La Paz Batchoy. The recipe is nowhere close to what I have eaten for the last 40 years of my life. First of all the batchoy is not sauted, nor do you add any kind of vegetables or egg to it. I am fortunate to know one of the original cooks that created La Paz Batchoy along with Deco's and Ted's. She has never given away the secret. So whatever is out there is just a copy of the one and truly only original La Paz Batchoy.

jay said...

its not even close from the original but not bad.