Among our favorite Filipino vegetable dish is Laing. This dish originated in the Bicol Region and it is very delicious and spicy. As a Bicolana, I grew up eating and enjoying this food. My Mom used to cooked Laing with crabs, soetimes with shrimps, dried fishs, pork, and sardines. My favorite was, Laing with susu or bangungon (a kind of seashell).
Preparing the gabi leaves takes extra care, Mama used to put oil first or gata (coconut milk) on her hands before she cut the leaves to avoid the itchiness and coloration on her hands. There also a saying or funny superstitions that while cutting the leaves you are not allowed to scratch because the outcome for the Laing will have itchiness taste. hehehe! Although now, i realized they just don’t want me to itch my entire body.
25 taro (gabi) leaves; shredded
1/2 kilo pork; diced or thinly sliced
small portion of dried dilis or tinapa
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. Add the dried dilis.
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!
1. Not all taro is edible and it should not be eaten raw. Undercooked taro root and taro leaves can cause extremely unpleasant itching in your mouth. Even handling the corms can cause itchy skin for some people.
2. 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.