Laing or dried taro leaves cooked in coconut milk is a popular dish in the Philippines. I have been trying to cook this dish for a while now using different recipes, but nothing compares to the Spicy Laing Recipe that I recently learned from a Bicolano friend.This is one of the dishes wherein availability of ingredients can be an issue to some. Fortunately, there are packaged dried taro leaves nowadays, and I can easily grab them from Filipino stores. It is nice to have some dried taro stalks in the pack though. As for the “gata”, I used canned coconut milk and cream.
This is the simplest of all the recipes that I have tried; it also tastes really good. Instead of using “bagoong” or shrimp paste to add flavor, I got some salted dried fish (daing). You may use any kind of salted dried fish, but I will recommend dried “labahita” because it has more meat compared to the others. I also used a ton of Thai chili to spice-up this dish. It is all up to you if you prefer a Spicy Laing as indicated in this recipe.
There are some important things that I learned while searching for the best laing recipe. The first important advice that I got was about the procedure in cooking the taro. You should not stir the taro leaves until it is fully cooked to avoid the itchy sensation in the mouth while eating. I also learned that Laing tastes better with time. No, we will not preserve this dish for a long time. What I am trying to say is it tastes better if you refrigerate it and wait for a day or two before eating. Adding a teaspoon of vinegar might also help to preserve it a little longer. Last and the most important, a cup of rice is not enough for this dish.
- 1 pack (4 ounces) dried taro leaves
- 1/2 lb pork belly, thinly sliced
- 3/4 cup salted dried fish (daing), shredded
- 2 cups coconut milk
- 4 cups coconut cream
- 15 pieces Thai chili
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 5 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 tablespoons ginger, sliced into strips
- 2 pieces long green chili
- salt and pepper to taste
- Combine pork, dried fish, garlic, onion, ginger, coconut milk, and coconut cream in a cooking pot.
- Apply heat and let boil.
- Add the dried taro leaves and Thai chili (do not stir). Simmer until the liquid almost dries out. Note: This will take about 40 to 50 minutes. When you notice a strong scent of coconut, this can be a sign that its ready.
- Put-in the long green chili, salt, and pepper. Gently stir the ingredients and cook for another 3 minutes.
- Transfer to a serving plate.