This vegan vegetarian Ginataang Gabi also known as Laing is mainly made of taro leaves and coconut milk. It’s easy to make and a classic Bicolano dish that is delicious, creamy, and best served with steamed rice!
Preparing Ginataang Gabi is going to be the easiest Filipino food you will make. All you need to do is simply combine the initial ingredients and allow them to cook without mixing the ingredients for at least 15 to 20 minutes. Basically, the longer you allow it to sit without mixing it- the better.
Every time we eat Ginataang Gabi, my husband never fails to tell me he prefers eating this dish when his dad cooks it. His dad will let it sit on the stove for a very long time (I think he forgets, lol).
My husband’s mom tends to mix it or check on it, so the Gabi is a little itchy when he eats it.
Also, this is one of those recipes where it tastes even better after a day or two in the fridge!
What is Ginataang Gabi?
Ginataang Gabi or Laing is a Filipino dish made of taro leaves, coconut milk, chili and other spices that originates from the Bicol Region.
The original laing from the Bicol uses a whole taro leaf (natong in Bicolano) rather than the shredded ones. This version is the one most commonly referred to as pinangat, also known as ginataang laing, pinangat na laing, pinangat na gabi. It is usually served with steamed white rice, bread or as a side dish to meat.
What is the translation of Ginataang Gabi mean?
Ginataang Gabi means Taro leaves, stalks and roots cooked in coconut milk then seasoned with salt, pepper, spices, and herbs.
What does it mean when the gabi is itchy?
In simmering this dish, it is not advised to mix it. It should be seasoned without mixing it because if you do so, you will feel an itch in your tongue when you eat it. In science, the itchiness in Taro is explained as a natural pesticide of the plant itself. Chewing a raw Taro gives an itchy feeling to the throat. So when cooking it, it is advised not to mix it. By letting it simmer and unmixed for some time, it will destroy the toxins which prevents the itchiness when eating it.
Tips & Procedures:
- Do not mix or touch the mixture because it will make the taro itchy.
- If you love a bit of spice, you can slice one pepper in half and add it to the dish. It will give that delicious spice!
- Adding malunggay leaves is another vegetable option and gives additional health benefits (1 cup).
- If you can’t get fresh taro leaves you can also use dried taro leaves and stalks.
- Storage: Can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days in an airtight container. Coconut milk tends to spoil fast, so smell it before eating. To reheat, simply warm in the microwave for 1-2 minutes.
How to Make Ginataang Gabi Recipe:
The ingredients you will need:
- fresh taro (gabi) stalks
- coconut milk
- red shallots
- green chili peppers
- batwan or calamansi
- coconut vinegar
- coconut cream
In a deep pot, add the taro (gabi) stalks:
Add the coconut milk:
Then add ginger, garlic, onion, chili peppers, and salt in the pot:
Place the pot on the stove, cover it with a lid, and turn on the fire on medium heat. Set the timer for 15 minutes. IMPORTANT: Do not mix or touch the mixture because it will make the taro itchy.
Next, add the batwan fruit to the ingredients in the pot:
Then, add in the vinegar and allow it to boil for about 2 minutes:
Add coconut cream, pepper, and allow it to simmer again until the oil comes out of the cream, about 10 minutes.
Check if the seasoning and taste are perfect for your taste buds and serve with steamed brown or white rice!
Frequently Asked Questions:
No, it is not poisonous. It contains a natural pesticide that is designed to ward off animals who want to eat or destroy it. Once Taro or Gabi is cooked properly, the calcium oxalate or the natural pesticide that it contains will be gone.
Absolutely! It’s best to use freshly squeezed coconut milk or cream, but the one in boxes or can works.
Coconut cream or coconut milk is made by grating or grinding the coconut flesh and squeezing the liquid, which we call the coconut milk.
Looking for more vegan vegetarian dishes?
My favorite Filipino Desserts:
Vegetarian Ginataang Gabi
- 350 grams of fresh taro gabi stalks, leaves and root must be 2 inches in length and cut horizontally
- 1 ½ cup coconut milk
- 1 thumb-sized ginger chopped and mashed
- 8-10 cloves of garlic peeled and pressed
- 1-2 med size red shallots chopped quarter size
- 3 green chili peppers
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 3 big size batwan or calamansi optional
- 2 tablespoon coconut vinegar
- 1 cup coconut cream
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- In a deep pot, add the taro (gabi) stalks, coconut milk, ginger, garlic, shallots, chili peppers, and salt in the pot.
- Place the pot on the stove, cover it with a lid, and turn on the fire on medium heat. Set the timer for 15 minutes! IMPORTANT: Do not mix or touch the mixture because it will make the taro itchy.
- Next add batwan, vinegar and allow it to boil for about 2 minutes.
- Add coconut cream, pepper, and allow it to simmer again until the oil comes out of the cream, about 10 minutes.
- Check if the seasoning and taste are perfect for your taste buds and serve with steamed brown or white rice!