Wednesday, February 29, 2012

La Paz Batchoy

La Paz Batchoy is a Filipino noodle soup that has its origins from La Paz, Iloilo City in the central area of the Philippines. I've never actually had La Paz Batchoy. The closest I've gotten to it was having the dehydrated version, where you add hot water. And it was pretty bad. So it doesn't count. But I knew that this dish would be good if I had the original version. So I decided to try to make it and see what it would actually taste like. After a quick search, I decided on this recipe from Filipino Recipes.

The original recipe required the use of pork chitlins and liver. Not a huge fan of either. So I omitted them and kept the chicken, pork meat, beef and shrimp. It also required a small amount of bagoong, which is a shrimp paste found in Asian markets and a staple in the Filipino kitchen. I don't know what a real La Paz Batchoy tastes like, but this one was pretty darn good. Its pretty time consuming because I had to boil beef and pork bones to make the broth. But once that's done, the preparation is pretty simple. And totally worth the wait.

1 lb. beef chuck
Pork bones
16 cups water
1 medium onion, quartered
1/2 head garlic, crushed (about 6-8 cloves)
1/2 tsp. shrimp paste (Bagoong)
1 Tbsp. peppercorns, crushed
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. soy sauce
salt to taste
1/4 lb. pork
1/4 lb shrimp
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
ground chicharon, for garnish
fried/toasted garlic, for garnish
chopped green onions, for garnish
fresh Chinese egg noodles

1) In a large stock pot, boil beef chuck and pork bones with 16 cups of water for 2 hours, or until the beef is tender. Occasionally skim off the sludge that forms on the surface of the water. Drain the broth. You should have about 12-14 cups of broth. Discard pork bones. Cut beef into thin slices and set aside.

2) Return broth on the stove over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, shrimp paste, peppercorns, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, soy sauce, and salt to taste. Bring to a boil. Blanch shrimp until pink. Remove from broth. Remove shell and head from shrimp. Set aside.

3) Add pork and chicken into broth and continue to simmer until pork is tender, about 25-30 minutes. Add more water if necessary. Remove meats and allow to cool. Slice thinly and set aside.

4) Continue simmering broth over low heat until ready to serve. Place noodles in bowls and top with strained broth. Garnish with the sliced meats, chicharon, fried garlic, and green onions.

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