Go Back

Lola’s Authentic Laing (Taro Leaves in Coconut Milk)

This savory and slightly spicy dish is quintessential in the Bicol region and is made of taro leaves cooked in rich coconut gravy.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Filipino
Author: Pam from PinoyBites


  • 1 pack 4oz dried taro leaves
  • 3 400 ml cans coconut milk I used Aroy-D**
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 3-4 tablespoons ginger cut in very thin strips (use 4T for more ginger flavor)
  • 5 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • ½ lb pork belly or pork shoulder cut into small cubes*
  • cup Bagoong alamang sauteed shrimp paste (regular)***
  • 5 or more red thai chilies chop some, if desired
  • Patis Fish sauce or salt, to season

Here's How:

  • In a large pot, put pork cubes, 2 tablespoons water and a pinch of salt. Cook until fat is rendered and meat is starting to brown.
  • Using medium heat, add the ginger, onion and garlic. Stir to mix then pour in the coconut milk and the shrimp paste. Bring to a boil on medium heat then switch to low heat (once boiling). Simmer for 3 minutes to let the flavors blend.
  • Add taro leaves (do not stir) and cover for 2 minutes to wilt the leaves a bit. Then, gently push down taro until all the leaves are submerged and coated with the liquid. Increase heat to medium-low, partially cover the pot and cook for 5 minutes. Taste and add patis or salt, if needed. Check the bottom occasionally to prevent it from burning/sticking to the pot. Lower heat, if necessary.
  • Then drop the chilies (cut a couple for a little spice) and mix a bit by pushing the tip of a wooden spoon from the sides of the pot to the middle part. Lower the heat and cook (partially covered) for another 5-10 minutes or until leaves are tender and glistening with oil.
  • Serve with rice and crispy fried fish, if desired.


*You can use Daing (dried fish) instead of meat. If so, proceed to Step 2 and just add daing to the coconut milk. Or, omit (meat and daing) to make it vegetarian.
**Not all canned coconut milks are the same. Use a good brand like Aroy-D or Chaokoh otherwise, your Laing will turn out watery and lacking in flavor.
***Bottled sauteed shrimp pastes also differ in their salt content. Make sure to taste and adjust salt accordingly.