Batangas Goto is Not The Same Goto We Have in Manila

It's a soup, rather than a porridge.

IMAGE Mark Jesalva

Goto, as most Metro Manila residents know, is a popular meal. Known under the umbrella term of "lugaw" which is most basic of the rice porridges found in the country, goto is variant of lugaw (congee) seasoned with a little ginger and patis but also has tender pieces of pork intestines and tripe.

 

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But there's another goto from Batangas, Laguna, that, while it's also called goto, it's not a lugaw. Only Batanguenos know for sure it's not the same as lugaw.

 

That's because Batangas goto isn't a rice porridge at all. In fact, it's another dish altogether. It's a soup made with the innards of beef and pork, plus beef shanks as the main flavorings. It's the beef shanks that make it seem more like the bulalo of the Tagaytay-Batangas area than the lugaw Metro Manila residents are more familiar with.

 

While it shares the ginger and contains the same types of innards as the lugaw, that's all it shares with the rice porridge. There is no rice in the Batangas goto unless it's served on the side, vinegar is souring ingredient, and its unique color is taken from the annatto seeds (atsuete) as well as the liver that's cooked in the broth. It's even got chunks of kidney added in for even more texture as you eat each spoonful. 

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It's a unique flavor that's quite unlike any other lugaw variant that you may come across. So, the next time you're in the Batangas area and find a menu that has it, know that it's not your usual goto and that you're in for an earthy-flavored bowl that's best served with rice on the side.

 

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