Central Philippines Pork Noodle Soup (La Paz Batchoy)

La Paz Batchoy: Central Philippines' Pork Noodle Soup

Connie Veneracion

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 20 mins
Servings: 2 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
944 Calories
39g Fat
60g Carbs
86g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2
Amount per serving
Calories 944
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 39g 50%
Saturated Fat 12g 59%
Cholesterol 1151mg 384%
Sodium 1333mg 58%
Total Carbohydrate 60g 22%
Dietary Fiber 4g 14%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 86g
Vitamin C 72mg 358%
Calcium 119mg 9%
Iron 41mg 227%
Potassium 736mg 16%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

The term batchoy itself has two definitions in Filipino cuisine. It is the collective term for pork tenderloin, spleen, and kidneys and it also means the noodle soup from La Paz, Iloilo City. 

Long before the Spaniards colonized the Philippines, the natives had been trading with the Chinese for a long time. This regular interaction introduced the locals to many Chinese dishes including the ubiquitous noodle soup which came to be known as mami. Because the meat varies, mami is often preceded by a descriptive word like pork mami, chicken mami, wonton mami, and so on.

Regional variations of the Chinese-style noodle soup developed. Arguably the most well-known and well-loved version originated from the Central Philippines. In La Paz, Iloilo City, the pork noodle soup is prepared with offal and topped with crushed chicharron, pork cracklings that found its way into the local cuisine via Spain. This China-meets-Spain noodle soup came to be known as La Paz batchoy.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked egg noodles

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic, minced

  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated

  • 1/2 to 2/3 cups cooked pork offal, or combination of sliced tenderloin, spleen, and kidney, or pork meat

  • 1/4 cup uncooked pork liver, thinly sliced

  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce, or to taste

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 cup broth

  • 1 ounce crushed chicharron, or to taste

  • 1 medium (4-1/8" long) scallions, for garnish

  • 2 limes halved, for serving

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Divide the egg noodles between two large bowls.

  3. Heat the cooking oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and ginger and saute just until fragrant.

  4. Add the pork tenderloin and offal (or pork meat slices). Season with fish sauce to taste. Cook just until the meat has absorbed the fish sauce and the liver is cooked through but not overdone.

  5. Divide the sauteed meat between the two bowls.

  6. Crack an egg over the noodles and meat.

  7. Pour in simmering broth.

  8. Sprinkle generously with crushed chicharron.

  9. Garnish with sliced scallions. Serve immediately with kalamansi halves (or lime) and more fish sauce on the side.

More About Batchoy

To make a good batchoy, start with a rich homemade broth. And, if offal is not a taste you've acquired, you can substitute it with sliced cooked pork meat.

  • What makes La Paz batchoy richer than other pork mami versions is the broth. Spices and aromatics (usually shallots, garlic cloves, peppercorns, and bay leaves), beef bones (with the marrow), pork bones, and shrimp heads and shells are simmered together for hours until the chunks of beef marrow fall off the bones, partially liquefy, and get mixed into the broth.
  • Because of the addition of shrimp heads and shells, the broth does not taste too much of meat fat and neither does the shrimp taste overwhelm. It is, put simply, a perfect balance.
  • Have this rich broth simmering while you prepare the rest of the ingredients for La Paz batchoy. That way, the noodle soup is at the perfect steaming-hot temperature when it is served.

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