If only every morning can be as good as batchoy: as amazing as the the thick, chicaron-laden broth and as smooth and velvety as slurping the noodles while making that peculiar sound.
But it was a relatively calm and peaceful morning today. No, I don’t live in a rough neighborhood. It’s calm and peaceful because everything just fell into place: I woke up in a good mood (and early to boot), and the first thing I did was to finish making the broth that’s been sitting on the stove overnight.
I don’t like eating innards, especially liver. I despise it. And batchoy usually has liver, spleen (and all that nasty stuff) mixed with the broth. So I took matters into my own hands and made a friendlier version of batchoy. I have a pretty good feeling what I made isn’t remotely ‘La Paz’ but nonetheless, it was a great, great start for me today.
Batchoy (serves 6 – 8)
500 grams fresh batchoy noodles (thinner than regular miki noodles)
- 1 whole garlic head, minced
- 2 large white onions, cubed
- One 1-inch piece ginger, minced
- ¼ kg/250 grams pork shoulder, cut into small, ½ inch cubes
- 2 pork broth cubes
- 1 shrimp broth cube
- 2 -3 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon cane vinegar
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 10 – 12 cups water
- Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
- Salt, to taste
- Optional: 1 cup crushed pork cracklings
- 5-6 pieces Napa cabbage/Chinese pechay, sliced thinly
- 5-6 stalks green onions/scallions, sliced thinly
- Pork crackling/chicharon, roughly crushed
- In a large stockpot, over medium heat heat oil enough to cover the bottom of the pot.
- Add the onions and cook until slightly translucent. Add the garlic and ginger and toast until fragrant.
- Add the pork and frequently stir to cook. Season with salt and pepper. Allow pork to toast, around 10 – 15 minutes.
- Add the rest of the ingredients for the broth. Adjust taste to your preference by adding more water or seasoning.
- Bring to a boil then reduce heat to the lowest point. Optional: add crushed pork cracklings to the broth and stir. Let it simmer for 1 hour (or more, if you like).
- Put noodles in a colander and run it through warm water to clean.
- When ready to serve, put noodles and Napa cabbage in individual bowls. Add the broth. Garnish with pork crackling and green onions. Serve immediately and enjoy!
And let me just put it out there: IT’S MORE FUN IN THE PHILIPPINES!
And why exactly we append the article ‘The’, well, maybe this can help.