This Version Of Batchoy Tagalog Has Pig's Blood

One ingredient makes this different from the La Paz batchoy.

IMAGE Mario Roco San Pedro III

Batchoy is one of those noodle dishes that scream comfort food. This hearty noodle soup is a pork soup recipe with egg noodles. It's loaded with strips of pork intestine, pork liver, fried crispy garlic, fried crispy onions, crushed chicharon, and if desired, a whole egg. The egg is actually added raw right before serving. The hot soup is usually ripping hot so that the raw egg cooks as it poaches in the hot broth.

There are any number of recipes for batchoy that you can find but there is a unique one that seemingly marries two delicious dishes into one comforting bowl. This is the batchoy Tagalog. 

What is batchoy Tagalog? 

This noodle soup dish from the main island is nothing like its southern counterpart, the La Paz batchoy. This is because it's got a few differences, including the noodles. Instead of thick egg noodles, the Tagalog version uses the more delicate misua, a very thin wheat noodle that seemingly wants to melt into the soupy dish when cooked. The strands break that easily and willingly, especially when simmered again when you're having it as part of a leftover meal. 

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That's not all. This version also traditionally includes pig's blood or dugong baboy. The pig's blood added is a minimal amount, so it's not a dinuguan. What is added is just enough that the blood solidifies when cooked and forms part of the hearty chunks that swim in the soup. Think of an egg drop soup where the strands of eggs are added so there are strands of egg in the soup rather than being part of the soup. 

According to Chef Jam Melchor, founder of the Philippine Culinary Heritage Movement and a Kapampangan, "Batchoy Tagalog is a variation of the original batchoy. There are two batchoy Tagalogs that I know: the one in Bulacan (using lomo and innards without blood) and in the Calabarzon region (using innards with blood.)

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In Bulacan sometimes, they add blood pero yun buo buo lang. They love to add blood kasi (to dishes such as) for example to their sinampalukan," shares Chef Jam. 

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This is the Bulacan version of the batchoy Tagalog which doesn't use laman loob or dugong baboy in the recipe.
Photo by Bianca Laxamana

The noodles and the dugo make this version taste and look different from the Iloilo version. However, those who prefer not preparing the pork innards sometimes also omit the pig's blood, making a more tame version. This is where the pork liver comes in, where it can mimic the iron flavor that blood usually gives a dish. 

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Care to try making batchoy Tagalog at home but with the pig's blood? Here is how to do it: 

  1. 1 Start making a La Paz-style batchoy recipe using misua instead of the egg noodles or this batchoy Tagalog recipe. 
  2. 2 When ready to add the dugo, add about 1/2 cup fresh pig's blood to the simmering broth then do not stir. Let the blood cook and solidify first. Once firm, stir to loosen the small chunks. You can also add more and stir the mixture immediately after adding the blood so the broth resembles a dinuguan. 
  3. 4 Simmer the broth well so you can skim off any scum that rises to the top of the soup. 

Another way of cooking the dugo is to do it separately in another pot before adding it to the pot. If you want larger chunks such as in the Bulacan version, you can let the blood congeal in a clean container overnight before cutting into small chunks, similar to the street food betamax if desired. Simmer in some broth, remembering to skim off any scum that rises to the top, to add flavor and cook the blood before adding to the batchoy. 

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Thinking about what to cook next? Join our Facebook group, Yummy Pinoy Cooking Club, to get more recipe ideas, share your own dishes, and find out what the rest of the community are making and eating!

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