So I had spectacular furled taro (gabi) leaves on hand. And I had the highest of expectations. And while I would say I got an 8/10 dish, I did somewhat screw up the rare opportunity. In the photo above, a phenomenally good trio of dishes… a slow-cooked pork belly adobo, some bicol express and some laing all in one fork/spoon full. Incredibly delicious.
For the laing, we carefully stripped the leaves and shredded them to smaller pieces (a mistake according to some folks in comments on my previous post). I gather these are so tender they would have been good left whole. I sautéed some aromatics, pork and freshly squeezed coconut cream, but I made the error of NOT letting the cream thicken up enough. Obviously, I was in a bit of a hurry. And when I added the leaves, they exuded more water than I had counted on, so the final dish was a tad watery/soupy. But never mind, it tasted terrific.
I will know better the next time around. Cooking in the three pots above are the laing, bicol express and adobo. Can you smell the aromas wafting out of our kitchen?!?
So from a furled gabi leaf novice like myself, my best tips are that you should make your coconut cream as thick as possible before you add the leaves, and don’t cook the leaves for too long, or they will get mushy.
For the adobo, I followed my recipe for the three hour palayok adobo with no soy sauce, but did it in a Staub enameled pot on a gas burner for two hours. To add a touch of color, I added two tablespoons of soy sauce. The results were delicious. Melt-in-your-mouth pork belly and enough sauce to drown your rice in.
Those whole small baby garlic bulbs are a house favorite. More on them in the next post.
The bicol express turned out watery as well, I should have reduced the coconut cream for another 10-12 minutes perhaps. These three large pots of lunchtime goodies were enjoyed by just Mrs. MM and myself and all of the crew at home. Mrs. MM sent a photo to our daughter who was halfway around the world in bitter winter weather conditions and she typed back… “mom, you are killing me.” :)