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Iloilo's Lapaz Batchoy

If there's one dish Iloilo is known for, it will all point to Lapaz Batchoy. Born in the market stalls in the district name it carries, this Ilonggo cuisine is a must try when in Iloilo. And despite the number of batchoyans around the city (and even outside Iloilo), there's no more authentic experience than having it where it started - in the market.
Don't worry Lapaz market is among the most organized and cleanest markets in Iloilo despite the chaos the market scene brings, you will still "fresh and clean" after your batchoy experience. The big 3 when it comes to Lapaz batchoy are Ted's Oldtimer, Deco's and Netong's - Ted's is the largest chain with branches in most parts of the country, Deco's is reputed to be the original and Netong's is the most trendy nowadays.

The ingredients that make a bowl of Lapaz batchoy are the following:
  • Noodles - original is meke (egg noodles) but innovations brought miswa, bihon and sotanghon
  • Pork - boiled and cut into strips
  • Liver - boiled and cut into strips
  • Pork Intestines - boiled and cut into strips
  • Chicharon - deep fried pork rinds
  • Garlic - chopped and fried
  • Chives - freshly cut
  • Caldo - this is where the taste differs and only authentic batchoyans (like these three) can give the real flavour since all of them have big kalderos or pots which boils the soup stock (with bones, and the meaty ingredients above - for a few minutes) throughout the day - even starting at 4am for some. Most home-made batchoys and those in most restos are just broth cubes most of the time.
Starting at top-right and clockwise: MEKE, BIHON, MISWA and SOTANGHON
 To enjoy batchoy, just assemble all the dry ingredients (noodles then topped with the meat) then sprinkled with  chicharon, garlic and chives then poured with caldo. Fresh or boiled egg is an extra treat. Condiments used are black pepper and soy sauce. While chili sauce is another innovation but still not  on the radar of most Ilonggos as they enjoy its original preparation more. And most often i is partnered with  rice puto and pan de sal.
And comes in these local batchoyans are bottomless caldo (they say genuine Ilonggos sip the caldo first then ask for an extra bowl to finish their batchoy) and extra garlic and chicharon. Now what more can you ask for? Namit gid

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