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 would need to do is simply combine the initial ingredients and allow it 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?
What is the translation of Ginataang Gabi mean?
Ginataang Gabi means Taro leaves, stalks and the roots cooked in coconut milk then seasoned with salt, pepper, spices and herbs. This dish is soupy and of course, tastes rich and milky because of the pure coconut milk added to it. Filipinos do not use water in cooking this vegetarian dish. Coconut milk is preferred because it makes the soup creamy and almost all Filipino dish tastes better with coconut milk 🙂
What does it mean when the gabi is itchy?
In simmering this dish, it is not advised to mix it. This should just 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. Thus, when cooking it, it is advised not to mix it. By letting it simmer and unmixed for some time, it will destroy the toxins, thus, prevents the itchiness when eating it.
Tips and Tricks for Making This Vegetarian Ginataang Gabi Recipe:
- 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. It will give that delicious spice to the Ginataan soup.
- Adding malunggay leaves is another vegetable option and gives additional health benefits (1 cup)
How to Make this Vegetarian Ginataang Gabi Recipe:
Gather the ingredients for this Vegetarian Ginataang Gabi and once the ingredients are all ready, let’s begin!
- 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 timmer for 15 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 1 minute:
After adding the vinegar, wait for it to simmer again then taste again if the seasoning and taste are perfect for your tastebuds. This dish is perfect eaten with steamed brown or red rice or even by itself.
Frequently Asked Questions for the Vegetarian Ginataang Gabi Recipe:
Q: Can I use coconut cream in boxes that are bought in grocery stores?
A: Yes, you can use that if you do not have the freshly squeezed coconut milk or cream.
Q: How long can this dish be kept in the freezer?
A: It can last for up to a week. Just thaw and reheat when you are ready to eat it.
Q: Is Gabi or Taro poisonous?
A: 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.
Q: What can I use to substitute coconut milk or cream?
A: You can use unsweetened evaporated milk instead of coconut cream or coconut milk. It kind of tastes the same. Just season it well so it will not taste like dessert 🙂
Q: Where did Laing come from?
A: Laing is an original recipe from the Bicolanos. They are Filipino locals who are residents of the Bicol region in the Philippines. Coconut and Taro or Gabi are common crops in the Bicol region, hence the creation of this delicious dish.
Q: How is coconut cream made?
A: 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
- 3 big size batwan or calamansi optional
- 2 tablespoon coconut vinegar
- 1 cup coconut cream
- 1 tablespoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- In a deep pot, add the taro (gabi) stalks and 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 timmer for 15 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 1
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