Monday, September 12, 2016


 Laing is a stewed taro leaves in coconut milk, season with shrimp paste or fish bagoong and spiced with red hot chilies or siling laboyo. It is a regional Filipino recipe from Bicol region.

Bicol region is located in Southern part of the Luzon where most of the dish's ingredients are very common. This dish is "indigenous" to the natives of the region - meaning to say, that it was cook up or invented by the natives of Bicol using the region's most available ingredients without the intervention or influence of other country's cuisine or colonizer. In other words, it is regarded as one of the original or authentic Filipino recipes that not only Bicolanos (people from Bicol region) but Filipinos (people born in the Philippines) and pinoys (people born in Filipino ancestry either in abroad or in the Philippines) would be proud of.

Variations of this dish comes in many ways depending on the way you want to cook it, whether you want to use dried or fresh taro leaves, and what other ingredients you want to add to your laing. On one hand, one person wants to cook their laing by sautéing first the meat with garlic and onion before adding the taro leaves, which reasonably, not the original way of cooking laing because sautéing technique was not yet introduced during the pre-colonial period. On the other hand, another person wants to arrange the tarro leaves first in the pot and on top of it are the other ingredients before stewing. From one restaurant to another and from one chef to another, laing can be dried, oily, creamy, meaty, meatless, itchy, spicy, hot, salty, or sweet. However, nothing is more authentic and indigenous than the dish prepared by a graceful and genuine Bicolana.


Laing Ingredients

  • 25 taro (gabi) leaves; shredded
  • 1/2 kilo pork; diced or thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic; minced
  • 1 tablespoon onion; minced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger; chopped
  • 2 tablespoons shrimp paste
  • 3 green chili pepper (siling haba)
  • 1 can coconut milk

Laing Cooking Instructions

  1. Arrange the taro leaves in a casserole.
  2. Spread on top the pork, ginger, garlic, and onion.
  3. Add coconut milk but do not stir.
  4. Cover, bring to a boil, then simmer until pork is tender. Add more coconut milk when mixture gets too dry or if necessary.
  5. Add shrimp paste and chilli pepper.
  6. Simmer, then remove from fire when little sauce is left.
  7. Serve hot!

Cooking Tip

  • Do not stir the ingredients while cooking so that itchiness of the taro will not spread on the dish, otherwise it will cause an itching sensation in your tongue when eating this cuisine.

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