Laing is not the most visually appealing dish out there but trust me this is a good dish, it’s so good every Filipino gathering I attended this is one of the most sought after dishes. This dish is made out of taro leaves, coconut milk and chillies, it is very popular in the Bicol Region a Southern part of the Luzon Island where the ingredients mentioned is very common.
When I was a child I always remember we have this dish always on our dinner table as my mom is from that region and this is her specialty, I never ate it as it does not really appeal my visual senses until I had my 12th birthday where my High School friends were invited. Apparently my mom gave them the challenge to eat this really hot dish and being boys they accepted the challenge just to boost that man ego, and to my surprise they liked it so I gave it a try as well and indeed it is certainly hot but it was really good. Since then I enjoyed it and I liked it so much I even came to a point in asking my mom to bring me lots of it when I was working in Malaysia which she did by cooking it in Manila (there are no Taro leaves for sale in Kuala Lumpur, as far as I know) and freezing it in containers ready to be flown to Malaysia (it’s still frozen when she arrived and it lasted me for 1 and a half months, just reheating what I ate).
So if you are also up for the challenge you should also try this dish and make sure it’s super-hot as that what makes this dish. If you can’t take how it looks just imagine it’s just like a very hot spinach curry
4 packed cups shredded sun dried taro leaves (it should be crunchy dry)
200g pork belly, sliced into small pieces
1 small taro, sliced thinly
2 tbsp Shrimp paste (bagoong)
6 pcs birds eye chillies, chopped and seeds included
5 cups coconut milk
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 thumb sized ginger, minced
1 large onion, chopped
freshly ground black pepper
1. Marinate pork pieces in salt and pepper, set aside
2. In a wok heat oil and sauté the garlic, ginger, onion and chillies.
3. Add and brown marinated pork pieces.
4. Now add 2 cups of coconut milk and shrimp paste. Bring to a boil simmer for 3 minutes.
5. Add taro leaves and taro, do not mix. Simmer in medium heat until almost dry, at this point the coconut milk becomes oily.
6. Add the remaining coconut milk slowly until it retains the moisture back, simmer again for 5 minutes.
7. Turn heat off then serve.