24 Feb2014

Laing with Lechon…

by Marketman


I had a strong hankering for laing, and purchased some dried gabi leaves at the grocery, but when I got home realized we had neither dried fish or shrimp to add to the dish… So the default protein in the freezer was some leftover lechon that I promptly defrosted and added to this laing dish. It tasted pretty good, but not close to the best laings I have ever tasted. First of all, the leaves were a bit too dry, I think, and bordering on bitter. Second, the lechon added richness and flavor, but lacked the pungent saltiness of the dried fish, or the subtle flavor of shrimp juice. Maybe if I added a tablespoon of bagoong, that would have helped things along.


But overall, it met the craving, and I keep forgetting how much I like the combination of gabi leaves and coconut cream. I have had laing from fresh leaves (just lightly dried in the sun) and that seems to make a really nice version of the dish, but some versions from dried leaves also seem to yield very delicious results. The dried leaves tend to mop up a lot of liquid, so maybe a touch of broth to hydrate them in addition to coconut milk and coconut cream will do the trick. At any rate, visit my previous post on laing here, for a recipe, and get creative to achieve your own personal version. If you have any tricks or suggestions for me to improve on this dish, please leave me a comment below. Thanks.



  1. Anna Banana says:

    Yum! Laing, along with pinakbet, is my favorite veggie ulam. I remember eating a laing dish toppped with chopped up bagnet. delicious!

    Feb 24, 2014 | 11:42 am


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  3. Lee says:

    The best laing I had was made from dried leaves cut up in strips. The leaves were air dried inside the kitchen and had a hint of wood fired kitchen smoke.

    Feb 24, 2014 | 12:07 pm

  4. robin castagna says:

    My mom who’s from Bicol makes her laing from the freshest, youngest leaves or ubud of gabi. We’ve never liked the dried gabi leaves (they smell like tabako!) which unfortunately are the only ones that can be had here in Laguna. Suffice it to say that we have not cooked laing since we moved here almost a year ago. :(

    Feb 24, 2014 | 1:12 pm

  5. besYS says:

    Hi MM!
    When we cook laing, we add fried pork, ginger ( julienned) and a little bit of alamang.

    If I want to add some more ginger flavor esply. to my arroz caldo, I use this grater by extracting the juice.
    Thanks! ;-)

    Feb 24, 2014 | 9:34 pm

  6. Eva Mondragon says:

    Hi MM – Dry leaves should be soaked in water (tepid) for at least thirty minutes before cooking. To prevent the bitterness – although not completely because dry leaves tend to be bitter sometimes – avoid stirring the pot once all your ingredients are in. It is the coconut milk or cream that needs stirring to avoid curdling. Once it starts boiling, put the leaves and the rest of the ingredients. Cover the pot and lower the stove to medium until your laing is cooked. You laing can have dry fish, squid (without the ink), and shrimp combination. Another good combination is pork and large prawns. And I agree with Bes, your laing should have ginger and a little bit of alamang. There will be a remarkable difference in taste.

    Feb 25, 2014 | 12:06 am

  7. florisa says:

    Lola is Bikolana. The way she cooks her laing or any ginataan na ulam for that matter is almost nagmamantika na pero not dried out. And of course kelangan maanghang.

    Feb 25, 2014 | 12:45 am

  8. betty q. says:

    When I make Laing, MM, I make sure we have leftovers as well as Binagoongan with a touch of gata. Then I turn it into Laing lasagna. This is Laing lasagna a la bq.

    Components…lasagna noodles, Laing, binaggongan, mushrooms sautéed with a touch leftover Laing sauce then blitzed in food pocessor like duxelle with a touch of ricotta. So…lasagna noodles on the bottom of casserole, thin layer of Laing, noodles topped with shredded binaggongan in random places so it is nakakasawa, then noodles topped with the pinoy mushroom duxelle with Laing sauce…noodles then Laing topped with local cheese.

    I have always been asked how to make it everytime I bring it to pot lucks!

    Feb 25, 2014 | 4:00 am

  9. kristin says:

    MM, This recipe brings back a lot of memories of my dad, it has been his favorite ulam, when he passed away it took us a while to have it again on the table because we always associate ‘laing’ with him. And since I have been away, I always make a request to my mom to prepare it everytime I am home for vacation..she uses fresh young gabi leaves,left dry for a while underneath the sun on the ‘nigo’,when pliant she loops/tie each leaf roll into a knot…..now, im getting hungry :)

    Feb 25, 2014 | 5:59 am

  10. Akeeno says:

    Hi MM, Eva is right, dried gabi leaves should be soaked in water, I use luke warm water to help remove the bitter taste.

    Here are my ingredients:

    Vegetable oil
    Garlic (crushed)
    White onion (chopped)
    Ginger (sliced)
    Optional – Shrimp paste or chinese bbq sauce (also made of shrimp but with added flavor)
    Coconut milk
    water (as needed)
    Long green chilli
    Red chilli
    Dried fish, pork or shrimp or both
    Fish sauce
    Sugar (optional)
    Ground pepper

    I cook this over low fire. I suggest that you use your palayok for best result.

    Feb 26, 2014 | 11:33 am

  11. Florisse Scouten says:

    I make my laing from fresh gabi leaves which I buy either from West Indies or Jamaican stores here in NY. The dried ones taste old and musty to me. The Jamaicans call the leaves Dashen bush (spelling?) and the Indians (Kocho Shak). I either put in succulent shrimp or dried fish. I will have to try making this with “lechon” …now I have to look for a Spanish Deli that sells pernil. Pernil is the closest thing I can get to lechon :-) LOVE YOUR BLOG!

    Feb 27, 2014 | 1:17 am

  12. MP says:

    Thanks @bettyq! I will ask my Mom to make laing lasagna, as you described. She makes the best laing in the entire universe!!! but I would like to try a new variant of the laing and I think a lasagna would do the trick…

    Mar 4, 2014 | 9:21 pm

  13. chit says:

    Hi…the last time I cooked laing I got the “itch” when I was just tasting it while cooking. I panicked and ran to my computer and google what to do! Viola! I found out that the itchiness does not come from “stirring” the dish while cooking it…it’s a myth! It shocked me to know that gabi leaves actually have toxins which causes the “itch”. And the key is to cook it for very well…I think it suggested at least from 40 minutes up. In fact it is said that the dried leaves are less toxic.

    Sep 3, 2014 | 6:57 pm


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