The La Paz Batchoy
When someone comes to Iloilo, almost everyone says that they want to eat batchoy.
Batchoy is a noodle soup which originated in the district of La Paz, Iloilo City. The dish includes pork innards (liver, kidneys and heart) crushed pork cracklings (chicharon), vegetables, shrimp, chicken breast or beef loin, shrimp broth, chicken stock and round noodles or miki. The noodles are similar to spaghetti, but are generally a bit finer.
Oil is heated in a stock-pot. Innards, shrimp, chicken and beef are stir-fried for about a minute. Soy sauce is then added. The shrimp and chicken stock is then added and left to simmer for a few minutes. This broth is then added to a bowl of noodles and topped with leeks, pork cracklings and sometimes raw egg is cracked on top as well.
Ted’s Lapaz Batchoy pioneered in first serving the dish. Ten Pesos in 1945 and a lot of hard work was what took Teodorico “Ted” Lepura to start a business concept that outlived him and became the pride of Iloilo – the famous TED’S OLDTIMER LA PAZ BATCHOY. This humble beginning of the business was not deterrent to its growth but became its cutting edge.
The only product served by TED’S OLDTIMER LA PAZ BATCHOY at the time was the “original” La Paz Batchoy. It was sold for Php 0.20 centavos in 1945. The food was served in bowls exactly one would have in its present branches. The only difference is that they now come with various sizes. To meet customer’s demand for variety, they developed other batchoy products. In the late 60’s new products were added such as miswa batchoy, bihon batchoy and sotanghon batchoy. Innovation brought forth by TED’S OLDTIMER LA PAZ BATCHOY have set the standards in the distinct La Paz Batchoy.
Today, there a number of other restaurants that also serve La Paz Batchoy. Any batchoy that’s being served in Iloilo has that distinct salty-sweet-spicy flavor. Other restaurants in other places in the Philippines have tried to copy the taste and flavor but almost always fails. I tried batchoy dishes from Manila but it really doesn’t have the same flavor.
Once you taste the original La Paz batchoy, you will always look for it’s distinct taste that is only unique here in Iloilo.