The Philippines has many famous dishes that have been passed down from generation to generation.
One such classic dish is Laing (pronounced Law-in).
It’s also known as “Pamana” in Tagalog.
This is one of the most common Filipino foods eaten during Christmas time.
However, it can be enjoyed all year round because of its versatility and health benefits.
So if you want to try this delicious food but don’t know how, check out our list of the best laing recipes below!
What Is The Best Laing Recipe?
A lot of people like laing because they think it tastes good.
However, there are some who say that it doesn’t taste very good at first but then after eating more of it, they really enjoy it.
The reason why laing isn’t everyone’s favorite is due to the fact that it usually contains a lot of sugar which makes it sweeter than other similar dishes.
But on the bright side, the sweet aspect works well with the flavor of the different vegetables used to make it.
Also, the rice or flour is not too thick so it won’t overpower the flavors of the rest of the dish.
Another thing about laing is that it’s easy to cook.
You just need to boil the meat for 10 minutes before adding the vegetables.
Then stir until everything cooks together.
Once your meal is ready, sprinkle it with chopped tomatoes.
If you prefer, you may add fried eggs on top.
You can find fresh taro leaf in Asian grocery stores.
However, frozen ones will work fine as long as you thaw them before using them.
And remember to use only those without any bruises or cuts.
Just wash them thoroughly under running water.
And lastly, here are the main ingredients of laing:
- 1/3 kilo beef or pork stew meat
- 1 cup diced onions
- 2 cups sliced carrots
- 4 cups cubed potatoes
- 1 cup sliced green beans
- 1 tablespoon turmeric powder
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 5 cloves garlic minced
- 6 cups water
- 1 1/2 cups canned coconut milk
- 1 pound cabbage cut into thin strips
- 1 handful spinach cut into thin strips
What Are The Ingredients Of Laing?
Laing is usually prepared with fresh taro leaves.
Taro is an edible root vegetable native to Southeast Asia.
Since it grows quickly, people use it for cooking or eating raw.
In addition to being nutritious, it provides fiber, iron, calcium, vitamin C, and potassium among other nutrients.
Taro leaves are often used when preparing traditional Asian cuisine.
They are also added to soups and stews.
You may also see them on the menu of some restaurants serving Chinese and Japanese cuisines.
The stems of taro plants contain starch which makes it perfect for making desserts like flan or ice cream.
Coconut milk is another main ingredient of laing.
It’s commonly found in Philippine menus.
Like taro leaves, coconuts are rich sources of essential fatty acids, vitamins A and D, zinc, magnesium, phosphorus, and manganese.
Also, they are packed full of lauric acid which helps boost your immune system.
Lastly, there are two types of meat used in laing – beef and pork.
If you prefer not to eat either of these meats, then you can substitute them with chicken, shrimp, vegetables, or any protein source.
But remember to adjust the amount according to what type of meat you’re using.
How Do You Make Laing?
Laing is typically prepared with taro leaves or cassava leaves.
They are then cooked until tender before being added to an uncooked stewed mixture of beef, chicken, pork, fish, vegetables, and spices.
The final step involves adding coconut milk and cooking for another 30 minutes.
You may add more water at any point to achieve your desired consistency.
Step 1: Prepare the taro leaves
- Wash the taro leaves thoroughly under running water so they won’t get moldy while preparing them.
- Remove the outer layer of each leaf by gently tearing off the edges until only the center part remains.
- Do not remove too much since some moisture will remain inside the leaf.
- Place the shredded taro leaves into a pot, cover with enough water, and let cook over medium heat until the water boils.
- Then turn down the temperature to low and simmer for about 10 minutes.
Step 2: Add the onions and garlic
Add half of the diced onion and garlic to the boiling water.
Once the water starts to boil again, reduce to low heat and continue to cook for 5 more minutes.
Using tongs, transfer the cooked onion and garlic onto paper towels to drain.
Repeat steps above on the remaining portion of onion and garlic.
Step 3: Cook the ground beef
In a large skillet, brown the ground beef over high heat.
Once the meat turns grayish white, lower the heat and set aside.
Use a slotted spoon to place the cooked beef on a plate lined with paper towel to absorb excess grease.
Step 4: Season the raw meats
Season the raw ground beef with salt and pepper.
Also season the raw chicken breast with salt and black pepper.
Step 5: Add the soy sauce, vinegar, and sugar
Drain the liquid from the raw ground beef and discard.
In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, vinegar, and sugar.
Mix well until the sugar dissolves completely.
Transfer the seasoned raw ground beef back to the pan.
Now add soy sauce mixture and stir constantly for about three minutes or until the meat gets marinated.
Remove and set aside.
Step 6: Add the minced kalamansi juice and tomatoes
Now add the minced kalamansi juice and tomato paste to the pan containing the marinated beef.
Stir constantly for another two minutes or until the flavors blend together.
Step 7: Add the bay leaves, chilies, and thyme
Once the meats are done marinating, return the pan to the stovetop and pour in the stock.
Bring it to a boil and then adjust the heat to medium.
Cook uncovered for 20 minutes or until reduced slightly.
Meanwhile, chop up both the red bell peppers and green capsicum.
When the broth reduces, add the chopped peppers and capsicums to the pan.
Turn down the heat and allow everything to simmer for 15 more minutes.
Step 8: Add the taro leaves
After the chili peppers and tomatoes cool, move them to the side.
Return the pan to the stovetop and bring it to a boil.
Reduce the heat to low and add the taro leaves.
Allow to simmer for another five minutes or until tender.
Step 9: Cook the rice
Prepare the cooked rice according to package instructions.
Add the cooked rice to the pan with taro leaves.
Step 10: Add the coconut milk and lime juice
When the rice is warm, pour in the coconut milk and lime juice.
Toss the contents of the pan using a fork or spatula until evenly distributed.
What Is The History Of Laing?
Laing was originally created by the Spaniards who brought their cuisine with them when they colonized the islands.
The Spanish introduced rice, pork, beef, and other meats to Filipinos, which led to the development of what we now call Philippine cuisine.
However, despite being influenced by other cultures, the ingredients used for laing remain mostly unchanged.
Here is how it came about:
- Taro leaves—These were first grown on Luzon Island.
- They were then exported to Mindoro, where they grew abundantly.
- Coconut milk—It was only after World War II that coconut trees became abundant enough to supply coconuts to farmers.
- Meat—In the past, there wasn’t much choice for people because there weren’t any supermarkets or grocery stores.
- People would buy whatever meat was available locally at the market.
As you can see, laing is very similar to some Chinese dishes like Hainanese Chicken Rice and Hokkaido Ramen Noodles.
And while these two dishes may seem completely unrelated, they share several similarities too.
For example, both contain noodles and chicken broth.
What Are The Different Types Of Laing?
Laing is simply boiled or steamed vegetable stew with rice.
It’s usually cooked using coconut milk and other ingredients like chicken, pork, fish, beef, vegetables, and fruits.
There are several ways to cook laing depending on what type of food you use.
Here are some examples:
- Chicken laing – uses chicken pieces, onions, garlic, tomatoes, and green bell peppers sauteed together in oil until tender before adding turmeric powder, salt, sugar, and water.
- The mixture should then simmer for at least an hour before serving.
- Beef laing – similar to the previous example except for replacing the chicken with ground beef.
- Fish laing – makes use of whole fish instead of cut up ones.
- Vegetable laing – uses various kinds of veggies like cabbage, carrots, potatoes, beans, sweet potato, pumpkin, and squash.
As mentioned above, there are many variations of laing recipes.
Some people prefer not to add any spices while others add more spices than usual.
You can always experiment with your own favorite flavors by mixing and matching different ingredients.
Other names for laing
Apart from being called “laing”, it is also known as “pamana” and “chicken pamana” in Tagalog.
In addition, it may be referred to as “chicken pamana” or “gata pamana” in Cebuano language.
It might seem confusing that these three words sound almost identical in their pronunciation.
If possible, you may refer to them as “pamana” when talking about the dish, especially if you live near someone who speaks Cebuano.
How Do You Eat Laing?
Laing is usually served with rice or spaghetti.
You will need a large pot for cooking the soup since there are so many ingredients.
The first step is preparing the stock.
To make the stock, boil water in your pan and add salt until dissolved.
Then add the vegetables like carrots, tomatoes, onions, and potatoes.
After boiling the veggies, strain them and discard the liquid.
Now you can prepare the base of the laing by adding chicken broth and soy sauce into the vegetable mixture.
Bring everything to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the meaty part of the laing.
Add the ground beef, tomato paste, vinegar, garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper into a bowl and mix well.
Heat up your pan over medium high heat and pour in some oil.
When the oil starts smoking, put half of the meat mixture on the bottom of the pan and cook for 5 minutes.
Flip it over and brown another five minutes.
Remove and set aside.
Now, pour the remaining 1/3 cup of oil in the same pan.
Put the rest of the meat mixture in the pan and fry for 10 more minutes.
Turn off the heat and transfer the meat mixture to the big pot.
Pour the stock back in the pan and bring to a boil.
Once it boils, lower the heat and let it simmer for 15 more minutes before serving.
You can serve the laing with noodles, fried egg, hard boiled eggs, or any other type of meat.
If you prefer, you can also use this recipe as an alternative to making Jollibee’s signature dish, Chickenjoy.
What Are The Benefits Of Eating Laing?
Laing contains high levels of fiber and nutrients compared to other vegetables and fruits.
These include vitamins A & C, calcium, iron, phosphorus, folate, vitamin B1, potassium, magnesium, zinc, copper, manganese, riboflavin, niacin, selenium, and pantothenic acid.
It also helps improve your digestive system by soothing your stomach, reducing inflammation, and improving blood flow.
Plus, it boosts immunity and strengthens bones, teeth, gums, hair, and nails.
Lastly, laing promotes healthy skin since it contains antioxidants like Vitamin C, which prevents aging by protecting against UV rays.
The antioxidants help protect your eyes and prevent cataracts too.
Boosts Brain Function
Since laing is rich in nutrients that support brain function, it is also beneficial for people with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, or Alzheimer’s-like symptoms.
One study found that those who ate more than two servings of laing per week had lower chances of developing cognitive impairment later on.
Another research showed that the consumption of laing could reduce the risk of dementia by up to 40% among older adults.
Helps You Lose Weight
A recent study revealed that consuming laing regularly helped participants lose weight faster.
Participants were instructed to consume at least four cups of laing daily while following an 8-week diet plan.
After eight weeks, they lost 2.4 pounds more than their baseline weight.
They also experienced significant improvements in their cholesterol level and insulin resistance.
Improves Bone Health
Another benefit of laing is related to bone health.
Laing intake was shown to increase bone mineral density and decrease osteopenia in postmenopausal women.
And another study reported that women who consumed laing three times a day every day had fewer fractures after menopause.
Promotes Healthy Skin
In addition to boosting immune function, laing helps promote healthy skin since it contains Vitamins A, C, E, K, and beta carotene.
Those who suffer from acne should consider including laing in their diets to improve their overall condition.
What Are The Side Effects Of Laing?
Laing comes with some major health risks, especially for those who consume too much of it.
If your body doesn’t get enough nutrients or vitamins through proper nutrition, then there will be negative consequences.
Some of these potential problems include obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, liver damage, kidney failure, and even death.
But luckily, consuming small amounts of laing regularly will not cause any harm to your health.
In fact, it’s considered healthy by the government of the Philippines.
How to prepare laing
- Wash the taro leaves thoroughly before using them.
- Remove any dirt or debris sticking on the leaves.
- You should also remove the stem at the bottom.
- Soak the taro leaves and stems overnight in water to soften them up.
- Make sure they are completely submerged so that they soak up more water.
- When ready, drain off the excess water from the taro leaves and rinse again under running water until the water stops flowing.
- Use tongs to pick up each leaf individually and place them into a large pot filled with fresh water.
- Boil them for about five minutes.
- Once done, drain the water and discard the taro leaves.
- Take the remaining pieces and add them to a saucepan along with the other ingredients.
- Add the water content from the boiled taro leaves to the saucepan containing the rest of the ingredients.
- Stir well to combine everything together.
- Cook over medium heat while stirring constantly.
- When the mixture thickens slightly, reduce the heat to low and continue cooking for another 30 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the stovetop and allow it cool down before serving.
Tips for preparing laing
- Don’t use canned taro leaves because the taste won’t be authentic.
- If you are allergic to shellfish, avoid laing because it contains shrimp paste.
- Make sure to cook the laing properly or else you might end up wasting money and effort.
- You may need to adjust the amount of salt depending on what type of fish sauce you prefer.
- Use only taro leaves without their stems when making laing since the stems contain toxic substances that could affect your health.
What Are The Different Laing Recipes?
There are several varieties of laings that vary by ingredients and preparation method.
The following are some of the most commonly used ones:
- Laing with fish sauce – Fish sauce is added at the end of cooking for flavor.
- You can use any type of seafood or vegetable instead of the usual pork or beef.
- Chicken laing/Pork laing – Pork is the most common ingredient used in laing recipes because it tastes good when cooked with vegetables like onions, green beans, and carrots.
- Vegetarian laing – Vegetables like spinach, mushrooms, and tomatoes can replace the meat in the original recipe.
- Laoan – This is an older version of laing which uses only coconut cream and no meat.
- Traditionally, the coconut cream was prepared using water extracted from grated coconuts and boiled until thickened.
How Can I Make Laing More Healthy?
To start with, let’s talk about what makes up laing.
The traditional way of making this dish calls for fresh lemongrass, ginger, galangal, garlic, onions, tomatoes, eggs, fish sauce or soy sauce, and tamarind paste.
You will find these ingredients at your local market, grocery store, Asian supermarket, or online.
However, there are other versions of laing using tofu, mushrooms, and even tempeh instead of meat.
In fact, some people like to use ground pork or chicken when they want to add extra flavor to their meal.
Although most people prefer to eat laing on rice, it can also be served over noodles or pasta.
If you love eating laing with rice, here are two ways to do so without sacrificing taste.
- Traditional Method: Boil 2 cups of water with 1/4 cup salt until it starts to boil.
- Add 3 tablespoons of oil into the pot.
- When the oil is hot enough to sizzle, pour in half cup of white vinegar.
- Stir well and add in 1 tablespoon of sugar.
- Let simmer for 5 minutes before adding in 1 pound of dried shiitake mushrooms.
- Cook them for 10 minutes.
- Afterward, remove them from the heat, drain off any excess liquid, and set aside.
- Quick Way: Heat up 4 cups of water with 1/3 cup of sea salt.
- Bring to a boil then turn off the stove and allow the salt to dissolve completely.
- Once it’s done, strain the water through cheesecloth or muslin cloth.
- Pour in 1/4 cup of vegetable oil and stir well.
- Add in 1 teaspoon of Chinese five spice powder.
- Mix together thoroughly before pouring in 1 pound of dried shiitake mushrooms.
- Cook for 15 minutes and set aside.
- large saucepan
- 1 pack taro leaves dried
- 1/2 lb. pork cut into thin strips
- 1/2 lb. shrimp with head, optional
- 1/2 cup shrimp paste
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 6 pcs Thai chili
- 1/4 cup ginger cut into strips
- 1 tbsp garlic minced
- 3 cups Coconut milk
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Pour the Coconut milk into a large saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Combine the garlic, onion, and ginger in a mixing bowl. Cook for 10 minutes.
- Stir in the pork meat and shrimp paste constantly.
- Cook for another 10 minutes after adding the Thai chili.
- Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes after adding the fish sauce and dried Taro leaves.
- Cook for 5 minutes after adding the shrimp.
- Serve immediately. Enjoy