La Paz Batchoy


I think there is none more quintessential an Ilonggo dish than a steamy , delicious bowl of La Paz batchoy. When you are in Iloilo stop by the town of Lapaz and head out to the Local market and look for the old school Batchoyan’s there.

Batchoy is a noodle soup made with pork organs, crushed pork cracklings, shrimp, vegetables, chicken stock, chicken breast, beef loin and round noodles.[1] Its origins can be traced to the district of La Paz, Iloilo City in the Philippines, hence it is oftentimes referred to as La Paz Batchoy.  – Wikipedia


This is the most essential part of the Batchoy, preparing the right broth, I’m including the traditional way of doing it, it’s up to you to make some of the ingredients optional.

– Beef Shank (With bone in and Marrow)
– Pork neck bones
– Pork Shoulder
– Chicken bones for stock
– Pork Liver (optional but traditional)
– Pork small intestines (optional but traditional)
– fish bagoong (optional but traditional) or crushed shrimp heads
– Garlic minced
– Scallions
– Shallots
– Chicharon
– Miki (Round Egg noodles)
– AJINOMOTO (I would like to say this as optional, but if you want the original taste you have to have it or some substitute sugar with it)


– In a pot brown some garlic and take out
– Sautee the bagoong and shallots
– Add the meat (beef, pork bones, chicken bones etc) and sautee for a bit
– Add water, boil and turn to simmer
– Once the pork shoulder, liver and intestines are done take out from the pot, drain and set aside
– Continue to boil the bones, add fresh garlic, sea salt and msg
* sachi twist: fry or grill the liver insted of boiling and top the noodles with it later

Noodles and toppings
– Cook egg noodles according to packaging, drain and transfer to bowl. In Iloilo the Miki is already cooked so you just rinse it.
– chop the pork shoulder, liver and intestines and top the noodles with it
– Chop some scallions, crush the chicharon and top noodles with it
– add the crunchy browned garlic and pour broth over it. If desired add the bone marrow to your bowl.

Serve piping hot and Enjoy!


KBL (Kadyos, Baboy, Langka)


This is another quintessential Ilonggo favorite, which happens to be mine as well. It’s traditionally made with a triumvirate  of pigs feet, young green jackfruit and Kadyos (A bean which has a distinctly purple color when cooked) and of course as with most filipino cooking a souring agent. You have a pick of two depending on what part of the island you come from in Roxas we use Libas , a leaf that has a nice delicate sour and floral taste or Batwan a sour fruit we use for broth.

Panakot (Ingredients):

  • 2 lb Pig’s Feet cut in pieces
  • Langka (green jackfruit sliced)
  • Kadyos about a cup
  • Libas
  • Tanglad (Lemongrass)
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Water
  • Sili (hot peppers) (optional)

Paagi (Procedure):

  • In a pot of salted boiling water blanch pigs feet. I usually like to do this with certain meats to get the funky smell out.
  • Throw the water out, and add a new batch of water and pressure cook or slowly cook the pig feet.
  • A quarter of the way, add the Kadyos beans. They take a while too cook too and continue cooking
  • When pork is fork tender add the jackfruit and the rest of the ingredients. Continue to cook till the Jackfruit is done.
  • Season with salt and pepper and add the Sili to your liking.

Serve Piping hot. Namit!

Pansit Molo

I got some molo (Molo is a town in Iloilo famous for this dish) dumplings from my Ilongga cousin in Florida. I just made the broth with chicken stock, shredded chicken, garlic and onion. I added my own twist with sun dried tomato for a bit of twang and some saffron for color. Topped it with scallions and fried garlic.

Panakot (Ingredients):


– Wonton wrapper
– Ground Pork
– Garlic
– Scallion
– Salt and Peppah
– For a twist add chopped shrimp (this will move it  a bit more to the chinese wonton soup, but will add some sweetness to the dumpling. Also it was the chinese who brought this to Iloilo)
– For a sachi twist add shredded fresh coconut and cilantro

Paagi (Procedure) :

Molo Dumplings:

Mix ingredients together in a bowl. Scoop half a teaspoon of the mix and wrap it in the wonton wrapper. I don’t have patience for this types of dish that’s why I love it when someone gives it to me hehe

The Broth:

The broth is basically chicken soup with lots of crunchy fried garlic and shredded chicken. The secret is really good chicken and pork stock (Chicken bones and pork neck bones, ham hocks etc) I added some dried tomato for a high note but this is optional. Add some saffron for color.

Quick and easy …except for wrapping the wonton 🙂 Enjoy!

Inubaran nga Manok

If there was a dish that always bring me back home it’s Chicken Inubaran. Every time I go home to the Philippines I always have this prepared ahead of time, not just because I want to eat it as soon as I step into the country hehe but because one of the ingredients, the ubad, you have to cut down a whole banana tree to get it and the preparation is tedious.

The “Ubad” is the core of the banana tree, it’s white and like a tube it really looks like a fluorescent bulb. To prepare it, you have to slice it real thin then you have to take out a string like fiber that it produces.

My grandma always makes this everytime I go home, so it does hold a special meaning to me, because I know how laborious it is to prepare it (Although the last time I went home they sell sliced and cleaned ubad in the market already).

but only with love can you cook this dish.

Panakot (Ingredients):

  • 1 whole chicken chopped (preferably “native” free range chicken)
  • Ubad
  • Libas (a leaf that is used for a souring agent)
  • Tanglad (Lemongrass)
  • Coconut milk (It depends what school of thought are you from, this could be omitted. I personally like it creamy)
  • Ginger, Garlic and Onion
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Paagi (Procedure) :

  • Sautee the chicken in garlic, ginger and onion
  • Add chicken broth or water enough to cover the chicken until meat is soft
  • Halfway on the cooking process of the chicken add the ubad and the lemongrass
  • Three quarters of the way add the libas and half of the coconut milk
  • Once chicken is tender, add the remaining coconut milk
  • add salt and pepper to taste

Serve Hot and Enjoy with your favorite grilled food! Namit!


Ilonggo Spiced Vinegar

We Filipinos love to dip our food and no Ilonggo home would be complete without our favorite Sinamak on hand. This is a favorite dip for our Inasal, grilled or fried fish. This is easy to prepare you just need to have the ingredients on hand. You can mix fish sauce or soy sauce with it if you prefer, when serving.

Panakot (Ingredients)

  • Vinegar (Coconut vinegar is the best for this recipe, but you can substitute with your favorite vinegar)
  • Chili (We use the really tiny ones back home which are very fiery we call them Kutikot) put in a lot at least half of your container
  • Peeled garlic (four or five will do)
  • Whole Peppercorns
  • Bay Leaf
  • Wild ginger (Langkawas , or regular ginger will do sliced)

Paagi (Procedure)

  • Not much in a way of procedure just put in all the ingredients in your container, chilies first then arrange the rest as you see fit. Let it marinate for at least two weeks or when the ingredients drop down to the bottom of the container which means it has absorbed the vinegar.


Braised Vegetable Medley with Shrimp Paste

Although this dish is more “Ilo-kano” than “Ilo-nggo” Pinakbet is almost a national dish as Adobo. It is in most regions in the whole country with slight variations. We used to go to this resort in Iloilo that has this really great Pinakbet, oozing with bagoong, crisp vegetables and lovely melt in your mouth pork belly. It has always been part of our order.

I think the secret to Pinakbet is the high quality Bagoong (shrimp paste) that you choose and the freshness of the vegetables.

I have been to a lot of filipino homes, parties and restaurants, and I noticed that the veggies are usually overcooked (from pansit to chop-suey etc), partly to blame I think is our Turo-turo mentality where the food has been slowly cooking in their containers for hours. So you have vegetables that are mushy and lacks color. Turo-Turo is ok if you are in a rush, that’s how it was designed for…”Fast-food”. But definitely not at home. We have to cook with our heart that has been our Lola’s secret recipe and our Mom’s secret recipe and will continue to be, provided you put care and love in your cooking. I am a firm believer in the slow food movement.

Panakot (Ingredients):

  • Garlic, Tomato and Onions for Sauteing
  • Squash
  • Long Beans (Sitaw)
  • Okra
  • Eggplant
  • Bagoong (Shrimp paste, I personally like to use Barrio fiesta’s spicy adobo bagoong)
  • Pork Belly (sliced into cubes)
  • Patis (Fish Sauce)

* note: You can pick any robust vegetables that you want (Sigarilyas or Ampalaya are another good addition)

Paagi (procedure):

  • In a pot, boil a liter of water, and blanch the vegetables beforehand. Cool it off in a an ice bath if you wish to preserve the color (This is the best technique to cook the veggies uniformly)
  • In a wok put in the pork belly and let it fry in it’s own fat
  • Once the pork belly is brown and crispy, add your Bagoong (about 2 tbsp) and saute it in pork fat
  • Add garlic, then onions and tomato let it saute a bit for about 2 minutes
  • Put heat on high
  • Add all the vegetables and mix thoroughly
  • Add fish sauce or salt to taste
  • Turn down the heat to simmer, put a lid on it till slightly undercooked.
  • Turn off the heat and keep the lid on till serving time (about 5 minutes), the residual heat would slowly cook the vegetables to just the right amount of done-ness.

Serve hot with rice, Namit!

Ginat-an nga Pasayan kag Kalabasa

Shrimp in Coconut Milk and Butternut Squash

Shrimp or Prawns really goes well with coconut milk and a bit spiced up. Most southeast Asian cuisine has something similar, notably Thai food. This is my personal favorite with butternut squash, chili and lemongrass. I prefer the shrimp with head and shell on, adds more depth and flavor. If you want it without the shell then pound the head add some water, strain and add the juice to your sauce.

Panakot (Ingredients)

  • 1 lb large shrimp
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Ginger (Julienned)
  • Lemongrass
  • Gata ( Coconut Milk divided into two cups)
  • Kalabasa (I used butternut squash, sweet and creamy. Slice it by Cubes)
  • Sili (I use siling haba, you can use the more fiery ones if you prefer)
  • Fish sauce and salt and pepper to taste

Paagi (procedure)

  • Suatee Garlic, then onions and ginger
  • Add squash and sautee
  • Add first cup of Gata
  • Simmer and add lemongrass
  • Once squash is halfway cooked, add shrimp
  • Add salt and pepper to taste
  • Once shrimp is almost cooked add the remainder of the Gata
  • You can add Chili pepper leaves or use it for garnish

Serve Hot!

Litson nga Pugo

I’ve always loved the native Lechon Manok at Tatoy’s restaurant in Iloilo. The restaurant only use native free-range chicken called bisaya for their lechon manok. The taste is always succulent and delicious, basted with annato oil and stuffed with lemongrass or tamarind leaves. It’s also relatively healthy because it’s lean, and cooked the right way it is also tender.

Here in America and even in Manila free-range chicken is hard to come by, since a lot of breeders don’t sell it commercially because it takes a long time to mature unlike the forty five day chemically fed chicken that is in the grocery stores and it has to be at the right young age for it to be tender.

I’ve always wanted to recreate the lechon manok here but can’t find the right chicken for it. A couple of weeks ago I happen-chance to see some dressed Quails while I was shopping at an Asian grocery near me. I know that the flavor profile and the texture of native chicken is closer to the avian family than poultry, I thought I’ll give it a shot. Surprise surprise I found the protein that was really close to what I was aiming for.

Here is my version of Native Lechon Manok albeit in a smaller package.

Litson nga Pugo

Panakot (Ingredients):

Young Native Chicken, Quail or Cornish hen

– Soy Sauce
– Salt and Pepper
– Crushed Ginger
– Crushed Garlic
– Vinegar
– Sprite (optional)

– Lemongrass or Tamarind Leaves

Annato oil

Paagi (procedure) :

– Marinate the chicken for an hour or two (Do not marinate overnight if your using vinegar it will partially cook the meat)
– Stuff the inside of your Quail with lemongrass or tamarind leaves
– Sprinkle Salt and Pepper all over the Quail
– If you have a rotisserie then cook as you would a regular roast chicken and baste with annato oil
– If you have an oven, roast the Quail for 30-40 minutes at 250 degrees, baste with annato oil. Free range chicken or quail has lean meat so basting is necessary to retain moisture
– Once the meat is almost done, broil the quail to crisp up the skin
– Once done let it rest for a couple of minutes
– Serve with Sinamak (spiced vinegar) and toyo.

Kansi con Pata



Last weekend I was invited by a friend to their new house for a barbecue at a pool and of course “Inuman” (drinking session) is a given. I wanted to cook something that would be a great hangover cure and the weather was a bit on the cool side. So what would be perfect that a hot and spicy, steaming bowl of soup. This recipe is close in flavor to Mexican “menudo” than Bulalo. My Batangueno friends loved it, and they are the masters of Northern Bulalo. So that’s a good sign. Enjoy!

This is my version of the “Kansi” I added some beef pata to the usual shank.

Panakot (Ingredients)
– 2 lbs Beef Shank with bone marrow
– 2 lbs Beef Pata (Knee) or Maskara (face)
– Kamias or Batuan (This is the traditional souring agent for classic Ilonggo cuisine, but it is hard to find so I used Kamias)
– Green Jackfruit (Langka)
– Tanglad (lemon grass)
– 1 small head of Garlic minced
– Tomato
– Sea Salt and Pepper
– Sili
– 1 tbsp of Atsuete (Annato seeds)

Paagi (Procedure)

– In a pressure cooker, brown half of the minced garlic and set aside for garnish later
– Add the rest of the garlic until slightly brown and saute with the tomatoes.
– Add the beef shank and beef pata.
– Add water to cover the meat, close the lid of the pressure cooker and cook for maybe 30 minutes
– After 30 minutes open your pressure cooker and check the beef shank if its tender as it will cook first before the pata. If it’s tender take it out and put aside.
– Take out the scum that’s floating on the top
– Add the lemongrass and Kamias
– Prepare the Annato seeds by adding some of the hot broth to the seeds let it sit for awhile till the colors come out.
– Close the pressure cooker again and continue cooking until the pata is fall off the bone tender maybe another 30-40 minutes
– Add the Langka and continue cooking till it’s fork tender
– Add the extract from the Annato seeds
– Bring back the shank and season with salt and pepper to taste
– Garnish with the crunchy garlic you had set aside

Serve hot.

Pochero Ilonggo

Pochero Ilonggo

Pochero Ilonggo

Pochero Ilonggo

Pochero is one of those Filipino dishes that have been influenced by Spanish cuisine like Cocido. There are different styles of cooking this dish, in the northern part of the country they add tomato sauce with chorizo. The Ilonggo version of this dish has no tomato sauce but have sweet plantains in them which makes the broth both savory and sweet.

Panakot (Ingredients)

2 lbs Beef Shank (Traditionally this is done with pork or pork hocks)
1 red onion
1 Potato
1 Saba (Sweet Plantains)
1/2 head of Cabbage (I used red to add another dimension of color to the dish)
Corn (I used baby corns on mine)
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 Bay leaf

Paagi (Procedure)

– Put the Beef shank in the pot and add water to cover the meat, bring to a boil
– Scoop out any scum that might surface
– Add half of the red onion to add flavor to the dish, the other half you can add later to retain the color
– Reduce to simmer until meat is almost fall off the bones tender
– Add the potatoes and the bay leaf
– After a few minutes add the plantain
– Add salt and pepper
– Once the potatoes and plantains are nearly cooked, add the cabbage
– turn off the heat, and let the residual heat cook the cabbage

Serve hot and Enjoy

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