Galay Recipes: Batchoy

My mother’s family, the Galays, are one of Kidapawan’s Tagalog families, so we are among the families which give the city the Tagalog component of its diverse domestic culture. But I think what makes us stand apart from the other Tagalog families is our large array of home recipes.

My grandmother, who hails from Pasay, grew up in a house that was constantly cooking, and so her children and grandchildren too have a more than average fascination for food (it is a wonder, really, that none of us are obese). Most of us know how to cook (I’m not included, but I eat a lot so I still count). Galays are gourmands if not gourmets.

This means that a substantial part of what makes us Tagalog is our food. Authentic Tagalog home cooking recipes, most of them unique in Mindanao, and some divergent from the current common recipes in Luzon, fill our daily tables.

I have started gathering all the Galay Recipes before they are lost to oblivion (as is usually the case with anything to do with culture in our country), and my grandmother and mother are both cooperating to even revive some long lost dishes.

And I have decided to share some of them here as I gather them over the years!

For this post, Batchoy!

To most Filipinos, ‘Batchoy’ is a noodle dish, swimming in clear broth, topped with pork shreds, offal, and chicharon pork cracklings, and garnished with leeks and a raw egg. This type of Batchoy is more correctly termed ‘La Paz Batchoy,’ and is originally an Ilonggo recipe.

Batchoy for the Galays, however, is an almost completely different species. It has the comfort of steaming hot soup, yes, but it has no noodles. Instead, what makes it distinct is that it has pig’s blood, coagulated during the cooking process. While La Paz Batchoy can be found in any merienda joint, our Batchoy is served for lunch or dinner and can only be found in homes. The smell of this Batchoy filling the noon air in our ancestral house in baranggay Lanao evokes so much nostalgia for us.

Here is the recipe:

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Ingredients

Minced garlic
Chopped onion
Julienned ginger
Cooking oil
Patis
Diced pork belly (fatty)
Dahon sili (chili pepper leaves)
Kulikot chili peppers
Water
Fresh pig’s blood
(Quantities are estimated)

Recipe
1. Sautee garlic, onion, and ginger in oil.
2. Add patis.
3. Add diced pork. Allow to simmer until juices come out.
4. Add a bit of water. Simmer further until meat is tender.
5. Add pig’s blood, at a ratio in which it will be less than the water.
6. Add salt, MSG, and/or Magic Sarap to taste.
7. When the blood has curdled in the soup, add kulikot and dahon sili. Kulikot can be added earlier to make the dish spicier/give it more fragrance.
8. Turn off fire shortly after to keep the dahon sili fresh.
9. Serve with rice.

A distinct characteristic of our home cooking is how we rarely eat anything alone or with just rice. Almost every dish has its traditional partner on the table, whether it be a simple sawsawan (dip) or another dish. Without this partner(s), the dish feels incomplete. Actual partners may vary among different branches in our family, but some are more established than others.

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Batchoy, with patis and kulikot sawsawan on the side

Recommended sawsawan and partners for Batchoy:

Patis and kulikot (using the kulikot in the dish)
Traditionally served with Dinuguan (another Galay recipe!)
Sinugbang Haluan (grilled mudfish)
Any fried fish

 

 

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