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.