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

Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4 (as a side dish)
  • 4 packed cups shredded sun dried taro leaves (it should be crunchy dry)
  • 200 g pork belly, sliced into small pieces
  • 2 tbsp Shrimp paste (bagoong)
  • 6 pcs birds eye chillies, chopped and seeds included
  • 5 cups coconut milk
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • cooking oil
  1. Marinate pork pieces in salt and pepper, set aside
  2. In a wok heat oil then brown marinated pork pieces until crispy
  3. Add and sauté the garlic, onion and chillies.
  4. Now add 2 cups of coconut milk and shrimp paste. Bring to a boil simmer for 3 minutes.
  5. Add taro leaves, 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.


Laing Wide


22 Responses

  1. Guia Obsum says:

    Yummmm!!! Mouth watering right now!!

  2. Lily says:

    I’m from Bicol Region so I loved to eat Laing although I hardly cook it because my husband doesn’t like it much,

  3. I had this growing up every now and then because my father is from that region. Yum!

  4. elizz says:

    thank you for featuring laing.. i really want to cook laing but i’m afraid that it will turn out “makati kainin” if the procedure is not right.. Laing is one of my favorites.. any tips on how to prevent this? tks so much.

  5. i’ve try taro leves befor for substitude the lotus leaf formy beggar chicken…
    btw, this is really new for me, what kind on taro leaves that i can sun dried???
    the young or matured leaves?
    i’m tempting to make this,
    here in Indonesia, we used to cook cassava leaves this way…..

  6. What an interesting recipe Raymund.
    🙂 Mandy

  7. ed says:

    panu po yung bagoong kelan po ito best ihalo?

  8. That is one interesting and yum recipe!

  9. Charles says:

    Isn’t it funny how you can go through childhood hating a dish for such a silly reason and then you try it and suddenly it’s like “where have you been my whole life?”. I was the same with so many things :).

    I don’t know about the dish looking not so visually appealing – it has that kind of “homely, satisfying meal” vibe going on, though I guess I can see why it might not appeal to younger kids.

  10. jken013 says:

    I originally came from the Bicol province, and this sure was popular there. This is perfect paired with steaming hot rice, a nice salty meat dish and ice-cold cola. Yum. *_*

  11. Woody says:

    I’m a pure “rinconada-grown” Bikolano, In our district this cuisine is called “Inubasang Katnga”
    Ubas – pronounced Ub-bas like bukas (to open) not bukas (tomorrow) as compared to U-bas (Grapes)
    Katnga – Taro or Gabi

    We have different ways of cooking it depend on the available ingredients – except for the “balaw” shrimp fry which is indispensable.

    Lemon grass chopped and sauteed with ginger, onion and garlic if pork is on the fatty side to get its oil as additional flavor.

    If pork cubes are on the skinny side, you saute it with partial of the balaw to absorb its saltiness otherwise boil it with the gata and balaw, along with ginger, onion and garlic. But lemon grass stalk is just crushed and be put underneath as taro is being cooked.

    If you like the “katnga” to be on the lemony side – shred leaves of “libas” 1/8 to 1/4 ratio of the “katnga” . Libas is a lemony leaves of a tree of similar name. Use the blossoms to make its lemon taste a bit mild.

    You boil the gata first but don’t let it curdle by stirring slowly. You must smell the gata before putting in the taro. Let it boil until almost dry or most of the coco milk are absorbed before putting the “kaka” (first squeeze not diluted with water) to boil it until milkiness becomes sticky liquid.

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