Laing is defined as Taro Leaves cooked in Coconut Milk. A popular dish next from Bicol Express which originated from the southernmost tip of Region V, the Bicol Region of the Republic of the Philippines. This classic dish became widely spread throughout the country’s archipelago and has evolved in different ways. In the early years, the preparation took days in drying the leaves and stalks and time to shred it by hand. Nowadays, the leaves are dried, shred and packed in the public market or local grocery stores.
Read through the following tips before cooking:
- You can use any oil but would recommend coconut oil because it enhances the taste of coconut milk, it is healthier to use too.
- You can buy grated coconut milk and extract fresh coconut milk. Put in a deep bowl, add water and stir. Save 1 cup of the first extracted coconut milk, throw the rest and wash it again. Save 4 cups from the second batch of extracted milk. Or, you can buy packed or canned coconut milk.
- Laing is cooked by just simmering. Avoid often stirring especially when you add the taro leaves. Stirring often will make the dish itchy on the tongue when eaten.
The ingredients needed are:
- 120 grams taro leaves, dried and washed
- Extracted or 2 cans of 16oz. cans coconut milk
- 4 tablespoon coconut oil
- 6 cloves of minced garlic
- 2 tablespoonful of minced ginger
- Chopped medium-size onion
- 5-6 pieces of Thai chili, thinly sliced and remove seeds
- 3 tablespoon shrimp paste
- 2 tablespoon of fish sauce (taste for desired saltiness)
- Salt and ground pepper
If you want to add meat in it:
- A pound of pork cut into cubes
- A cup of roasted anchovies
- 15 medium size shrimps, sliced
- 1. In a large sauce pan over a medium heat, put coconut oil and start sauteing the garlic, onion and ginger all together until the onion turns translucent.
- 2. For laing with meat, add in the meat with the rest of the ingredients, add shrimp paste and stir. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add fish sauce or salt to add taste, add ground pepper.
- 3. Turn the heat low then boil the coconut milk, add the taro leaves. Using a basting spoon, press the leaves to submerge into the coconut milk. Put the chili, let it sit and simmer for 25-30 minutes. Do not stir.
Serve with fresh steamed rice. Succumb to your taste buds and enjoy the creamy and spicy taste of Laing.