Laing Bicolanos love anything spicy, as well as cooking food with gata (coconut milk). This probably why a lot of dish in the Bicolano cuisine often starts with “ginataan.”
And because these Southern Luzon natives have a strong affinity with chili peppers and gata, they have invented Laing, which a popular spicy vegetable dish.
A lot of local restaurants in the Philippines have this delicious meal in their menu, even those that are not in the Bicol area. A tip that is advised by many cooks when making Laing is to only use dried taro leaves, and not the raw ones.
According to these experts, drying the gabi leaves will remove the calcium oxalate found in gabi, since it causes an itchy sensation in the mouth.
These days, dried gabi leaves can now be bought at any supermarkets or grocery stores, which is very convenient for those who don’t have the time to dry their gabi.
There are several versions of Laing in the Philippines, especially in places other than Bicol. Some prefer their spicy dish very dry, while some want theirs very creamy.
Pork is traditionally the main meat of this dish, but there are cooks who also use beef or dried fish, too.
There are even some recipes that doesn’t require any meat at all, which makes Laing more healthy and vegetarian-friendly.
- 500 g dried taro leaves
- 150 g pork
- 1 medium onion
- 1 small ginger
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 400 g coconut cream
- Sauté the pork, garlic, onion, ginger and pork
- Add in the fish sauce then stir
- Add water, then the coconut cream
- Add in the taro leaves then let it be cook for 30-45 mins
- add the rest of the coconut cream and stir
- Boil for another 2-3 minutes
- Add the red chilis