Filipino Catholics observe Cuaresma or Lent, most observants believe that the personal reflection demanded by Lenten practices are more fruitful if the individual refrains from heavy food indulgence and makes promise to abstain from other common habits such as eating meat.
Every family makes a different version of this meatless dish. I am sharing this recipe for my new culinary group, KULINARYA . Make it once and then tweak the recipe to your preference – but please do use with traditional ingredients!
Laing Tagalog (Dried Taro leaves in Coconut Cream)
500 g Gabi or Taro Leaves (dried)
4-5 c Coconut Cream
3 cloves Garlic,crushed
1 onion, chopped
1 stalk Lemon grass, crushed and tied
1 tbsp Ginger,grated
3-4 Siling labuyo (chili)
150 g Shrimps, medium size
Salt and Pepper
In a casserole, sauté onions, garlic and ginger until aromatic. Add Lemon grass,Gabi leaves and pour coconut cream.
Simmer until cream is reduced in half. Add Siling Labuyo and Shrimps. Stir from bottom to top delicately and season with salt and pepper. Simmer for another 15-20 mins on low fire or until you smell the coconut oil.
Laing is a popular dish from the Bicol Region.
My Grandma’s grandma said that to avoid scratching any part of your body while preparing this dish if you don’t want your laing to be itchy in your mouth.
If you cannot find fresh coconut you can replace it with one pack of coconut milk and one pack of coconut cream)
You may use crab or other seafood—or Tuyo (dried fish)
Add more chillies for a spicier version.
Laing gets better as day passed by—eat them the next day !