Laing (Dried Taro Leaves with Coconut)

2:02 PM

Here is another great Filipino dish called “Laing” that is composed of dried Taro leaves and coconut milk. It is originally from the province of Bicol. I’m hoping that this dish will get an international credit in the future.



Laing is a popular dish in the Philippines mainly served during lunch or dinner with steamed white rice. It was first introduced in the Bicol Province where my Mom was born. I miss my Mom’s version of Laing. She actually cooks it the way my grandmother did, but I found an easy way and that’s what I’m going to share with you today.

I remember how we bought fresh taro leaves in the wet market and cut those leaves by hand. First, take the leaves out of the spines and cut them into smaller pieces. Some take the leaves out to dry as in “desert dry” otherwise it may cause your tongue and throat to itch. Is laing best cooked with fresh or dried taro leaves? The answer is yes, laing is best cooked with dried taro leaves.

Here in New Zealand, I buy dried taro leaves in a pack, which is already cut into small pieces (no stalks included). I do remember eating laing with stalks on. Some people don’t include them in their cooking just like my Mom, but others have stalks in their dish which is also good.

10 Top Benefits of Taro Leaves:

1. Acts as an antioxidant to prevent cancer.

2. Boosts the immune system.

3. Keeps your eyes healthy.

4. Reduces your cholesterol level.

5. Aids in weight loss.

6. Controls blood pressure.

7. Helps the development of the fetal brain and nervous system.

8. Helps prevent anaemia.

9. Reduces wrinkly skin.

10. Increases sperm production.

Recipe:

Ingredients:

1 pack 3.5 oz or 100g dried taro leaves
6 cups or 3 cans coconut milk
2 cups or 1 can coconut cream
1/2 cup shrimp paste (bagoong)
1/2 lb. pork shoulder thinly sliced
5 to 7 pieces red chillies
1 medium yellow onion sliced
1/2 cup sliced ginger
8 cloves garlic crushed

Instructions:

1.    In a cooking pot, combine 6 cups or 3 cans of coconut milk, ½ lb pork, ½ cup shrimp paste, ½ cup sliced ginger, 1 medium yellow onion, and 8 cloves crushed garlic in a cooking pot. Heat the pot and let boil.
2.    Once it starts to boil, gently stir to mix the ingredients. Cover the pot and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Stir once in a while to prevent the ingredients from sticking and burning on the bottom of the cooking pot.
3.    Add the dried taro leaves on top. Low the heat. Do not stir. Let it stay until the leaves absorb the coconut milk. This takes about 20 to 30 minutes. Gently push the leaves down so that it can absorb more coconut milk.
4.    Once the leaves absorb the coconut milk, gently stir the leaves and then continue to cook for another 10 minutes.
5.    Pour the coconut cream into the cooking pot. Add the red chillies and stir. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes until it boils.
6.    Transfer to a serving dish together with steamed white rice.

7.    Share and enjoy this Laing with family and friends!

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