Laswa is a vegetable stew that is a simple, relatively inexpensive, and pretty flexible dish. It’s delicious and heartwarming and what’s neat about this recipe is, you can add virtually whatever fresh produce you have on hand.
What is Laswa?
Laswa is vegetable stew that is very rich in fiber because of all the vegetables! The key ingredients of any Laswa recipe is calabasa, okra, and string beans, but if you don’t have them feel free to omit them.
Also, this dish is made with shrimp or some kind of seafood meat. Growing up, my grandma usually added fried fish as the meat for the dish, but nowadays there are so many vegan vegetarian meat options.
This dish is popular among Ilonggos in Negros and Panay and I believe the dish originated there, but don’t hold it against me if it’s not. 😀 It’s eaten in most Filipino homes because this recipe is a clean out your fridge, use all the fresh Filipino produce that are close to rotting kind of recipe.
Just kidding, it’s also very nutritious and easy.
Health benefits for Saluyot leaves (Jute in English)
- vitamin A, C, and E
Health benefits for Patola (Luffa in English)
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B5
- Vitamin B6
These are some of the health benefits from the vegetables that I haven’t mentioned in previous posts, but eating this stew will make you feel healthy and happy.
Tips on How to Make Laswa:
- When cooking the vegetables, especially with the malunggay leaves, saluyot and okra, timing is everything! Overcooking them will not result in a good Laswa dish.
- Boil the hardest vegetable first. In this laswa recipe, the hardest vegetable is the calabasa so it is important to remember to place it first in the pot.
- When choosing patola, make sure to buy the tender ones. Usually, those are the smallest ones. You can also tell by the smell. Young, tender patola is more fragrant than the bigger ones.
How to Make Laswa:
Here are the ingredients you will need:
- calabasa (Filipno squash)
- small onion
- string beans
- patola (luffa)
- saluyot leaves (jute leaves)
- mulunggay leaves (moringa leaves)
- ampalaya (bitter melon)
In a pot over medium heat, add water and bring it to a boil.
Add calabasa and cover with a lid until it’s softened, about 4-5 minutes:
Add lemongrass, onion, string beans and cover with a lid for about 2 minutes:
Add okra and cover with a lid for 30 seconds:
Next, add patola and salt and cook for 2 more minutes:
Add the saluyot and malunggay leaves and then turn off the fire. It’s important not to overcook the saluyot and malunggay:
Season to taste and best served hot:
I hope you guys enjoy this recipe!
Frequently Asked Questions for the Laswa Recipe:
Q: Instead of saluyot or jute, can I use spinach or alugbati instead?
A: Yes, in the Philippines, they use alugbati in making laswa also. I have not tried using spinach but I think it would be a great replacement. Just make sure to not overcook it.
Q: How many days does Laswa last at room temperature?
A: I prefer to eat Laswa after it has been cooked. If you have left-overs, you can put it in the chiller and just heat it up but I don’t recommend keeping it for days.
Q: Can I add tomatoes to Laswa?
A: Yes you can add fresh tomato wedges to Laswa. It would give a bit of sourness to it but definitely it is a healthy addition to the Laswa ingredients.
Q: Can I add fresh garlic to Laswa?
A: Definitely you can add fresh, crushed garlic cloves to Laswa. The garlic flavor will just bring a stronger taste to the Laswa soup but I think it would still be delicious!
More delicious soup recipes:
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 3-4 people 1x
- Cuisine: Filipino
- 3 cups of water
- 300 grams calabasa (Filipno squash), peeled and cut into 2-inch cubes
- 1 stalk lemongrass, knotted and tied
- 1 small onion, sliced
- 5 string beans, ends trimmed and cut into 3-inch lengths
- 5–7 okras, ends trimmed and cut into 3 parts
- 1 small patola (luffa), peeled and cut into ½-inch rounds
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 bunch of saluyot leaves (jute leaves)*
- 1 bunch of mulunggay leaves (moringa leaves)*
- eggplant, stems trimmed and cut into 1- inch, optional
- ampalaya (bitter melon), seeded and cut into ½ inch thick, optional
- In a pot over medium heat, add water and bring it to a boil.
- Add calabasa and cover with a lid until it’s softened, about 4-5 minutes.
- Add lemongrass, onion, string beans and cover with lid for about 2 minutes.
- Add okra and cover with lid for 30 seconds, then add patola and salt.
- Add the saluyot and mulunggay leaves then turn off the fire. It’s important not to overcook the vegetables.
- Season to taste and best served hot.
*depends on preference you can add as many or less leaves
Keywords: Laswa, vegetable stew
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