Have you ever been to the Bicol region? If you have, I’m sure the picturesque Mayon Volcano is one of the places you visited and enjoyed while you were on your Bicolandia trip! I saw the majestic Mayon myself on a holiday trip many years ago and all I can say is it’s as breathtaking as it looks like on postcards.
The Bicol region is not only known for the perfect cone-shaped Mayon, it is also popular for their appetizing cuisine. Spicy ginataan dishes are very popular in Bicol because chilies and coconut is very common here.
Some of the famous fiery Bicol dishes are Bicol Express, Kinunot, and Laing. One of my favorite Bicol dishes is the Laing because apart from it being delicious, it’s very easy and affordable to make. Laing’s main ingredients are gabi or taro leaves, coconut milk, and of course, chilies!
Photo source: angsarap.net
The sight of this dish might not look too appetizing but don’t let it stop you from trying out Laing out! It’s actually very delicious. Although the taro plant only grows on the weather of Spain and Greece in Europe, you don’t have to worry that you won’t be able to get a hold of Laing’s main ingredient because there’s a good chance Asian stores sell dried taro leaves!
Pre-packed dried taro leaves.
- 600 grams dried taro leaves
- 300 grams pork belly, chopped into half-inch cubes
- 4 cups of coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons of peeled ginger, sliced thinly
- 5 crushed garlic cloves
- 1 whole onion, sliced thinly
- 4 wild chilies, chopped
- 2 tablespoons of dried shrimp
- 2 tablespoons of cooking oil
- Fish sauce for seasoning
Photo source: pinoychow.com
Heat pan over the stove and put in the oil and pork. Sauté the pork until it changes color. After that, you can now add the garlic and continue sautéing for three minutes.
The onion and ginger will come next. Continue to stir until the pork turns golden brown on the edges and the onion caramelizes.
You can now add the chilies and the dried shrimps. Stir for another three minutes before finally adding the taro leaves in the pan. A little reminder friends! No need to wash the dried taro leaves. Put it in the pan straight from the package or it might cause itchiness if you washed the leaves with water first.
Photo source: feastasia.com
The coconut milk goes into the pan next. Cover the pan with the lid until the whole thing starts boiling. Once it starts to boil, start stirring and season it with the fish sauce.
Turn the heat to low and simmer the stew for half an hour with the lid of the pan on. You can simmer longer if you want your Laing to be dryer.
That’s it! You now have a favorite Bicol dish Laing. Serve it with rice and enjoy eating!
Photo source: ekusinero.com
Tita Kathy’s tip:
You can always add more chilies if you want a more spicy Laing, it all depends on your preference! You can also substitute the pork belly with other meat if you want to experiment. How spicy do you like your Laing? Share it on the comment box below!