Here’s a vegan version of Bicolanos’ classic Laing recipe – a creamy and spicy dish made of dried taro leaves cooked with coconut milk, Thai chilies, and black beans. Serve this with a bowl of steamed rice and enjoy a healthy family lunch or dinner!
Looking for more classic Filipino Recipes? Try Tinola (Vegan Chicken Soup), Ginataang Puso ng Saging (Banana Blossom in Coconut Milk), or Adobong Kangkong (Stir Fry Water Spinach)!
What is Laing?
It originated in the Bicol Region of the Philippines, where coconut is one of its major crops and coconut milk is a notable ingredient in the region’s cuisine. This vegan version of the classic Bicolano dish is super easy to make, creamy, spicy, and delicious as a main course or a side dish to grilled foods.
It can be served with steamed rice, puto, or bread for a family lunch or dinner. It is considered to be a staple dish in most Bicolano homes since it is tasty, healthy, and budget-friendly.
Give this easy Filipino vegetable recipe a try and make your own laing dish right in the comfort of your own kitchen. Enjoy!
Health Benefits of Taro Leaves:
- Aids in weight loss.
- Boosts your immune system.
- Keeps your eyes healthy.
- Reduces your cholesterol level.
- Helps reduce wrinkly skin.
- Can boost heart health.
- Helps prevent anemia.
Tips and Procedures:
- If using fresh leaves, make sure to wash thoroughly and properly cook the taro leaves as they are high in calcium oxalate, which can cause an “itchy” or burning sensation in the mouth.
- You may dry the leaves under the sun before cooking to lessen the amount of calcium oxalate.
- It is best not to stir the taro leaves during the first 15 to 20 minutes in the pot to prevent the itchy or irritating sensation. Just gently push the leaves down into the coconut milk to soften.
- Feel free to adjust the spiciness by scraping off the seeds and veins of the chilies before chopping or removing/adding some chili peppers.
- Discard any stray leaves inside the packet of taro leaves that might have gotten mixed in during the drying process.
- Take note that the dried leaves will absorb a lot of the liquid and will expand during cooking.
- It is best to cook this dish low and slow so that all the flavors can come together.
- Storage: Put laing in an airtight container then place in the fridge for up to 5 days. It can last for 1 month in the freezer. Just thaw it overnight in the fridge before reheating.
How to Make Laing:
Listed below are all the ingredients you will need:
- vegetable oil
- black beans
- black bean garlic sauce
- Thai chilies
- coconut milk
- vegetable broth or water
- ground black pepper
- dried taro leaves
In a large pan, add oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add onions, grated ginger, and saute for 2 minutes. Then, add in minced garlic and continue sauteing for another 30 seconds:
Season with salt and ground black pepper to taste. Then add the taro leaves and cover the pan:
Allow it to simmer on very low heat for 25 minutes or until the leaves have wilted. Adjust the seasoning then transfer to a serving bowl and serve with white rice:
Frequently Asked Questions:
You may use spinach as an alternative if taro leaves are not available to make Spinach Laing.
For non-vegans/vegetarians, you may add dried fish or meat of your choice to this recipe.
You may buy fresh taro leaves and dry them yourself or buy them in Asian stores in the market or online shops.
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- ½ cup onions thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon ginger grated
- 1 teaspoon garlic minced
- ¼ cup canned black bean drained
- 2 tablespoons black bean garlic sauce
- 2 teaspoons Thai chilies chopped
- 2 cups coconut milk
- ½ cup vegetable broth or water
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 cups packed dried taro leaves
- In a large pan, add oil and heat over medium high heat.
- Add onions, grated ginger and saute for 2 minutes.
- Add in minced garlic and continue sauteing for another 30 seconds.
- Add the black beans, black bean garlic sauce, and chopped chilies then stir until well combined.
- Next pour the coconut milk, vegetable broth and bring the mixture to a gentle simmer.
- Season with salt and ground black pepper to taste.
- Then add the taro leaves and cover the pan.
- Allow it to simmer on very low heat for 25 minutes or until the leaves have wilted.
- Adjust the seasoning then transfer to a serving bowl and serve with white rice.
- Serve immediately.