Recently, I have been reading about laing as pizza topping in many Filipino blogs. Laing is a Filipino dish made with taro leaves stewed in coconut milk. I have never cooked it before and neither did my mother. She used to buy from an ambulant suki (a favorite purveyor of anything from food to house ware) who cooked her delicious laing wrapped in whole taro leaves. My mother preferred to buy rather than cook laing to help the hawker make money and because she did not want to do all the tedious work.
Occasionally, I would buy the canned laing but on my recent trip to the Filipino grocer I saw a package of dried taro leaves which has a recipe card attached to it, the laing served on a young coconut shell. What a great idea! I don't have a young coconut and put the laing in an empty mature coconut shell. It surely would have been better if you get bits of young coconut with every bite of the laing. I tweaked the recipe a bit by reducing the amount of dried leaves by half and came up with a tasty laing, not as delicious as those of my mother's suki but hey, it's good enough for me.:D
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
¼ cup minced prawns
¼ cup minced pork
2 tablespoons fish extract (patis)
1 14-oz can coconut milk
2 ounces dry taro leaves
¼ cup water, if needed
2 bird's eye chili, sliced
salt, to taste, if needed
- In a wok or large skillet, heat the oil and saute garlic, onion, and ginger for 3 minutes. Add the prawns and pork, stir fry for 2 minutes. Add the fish extract and stir fry for 1 minute.
- Pour the coconut milk, mix very well then mix in the leaves.
- Cover and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes, checking if it needs water.
- Add sliced chili, taste and adjust seasoning, and dish up. Serve with steamed rice or as a side dish.