Recipe: Slow-cooked Tangway (Taro Stalks) in Spicy Coconut Milk

My love affair with laing started with the Star Cinema movie Kailangan Kita.  I was so in love with the movie that laing became my favorite food in the world, Bicol became my dream residence, and I considered myself an uragon (slang for feisty).  In college, we had this activity for a course called “Suroy-suroy, Lalolalorar, at Vochok” where we showcased the culture of the sixteen regions of the Philippines, and I swear I was a fixture of Region V, eating their dried taro leaves stewed in coconut milk.  When I became vegan and first stumbled upon Astig Vegan, her version of laing was the first (and I think the only) recipe I’ve tried.

Now, I’m not really good at copying recipes.  I’m just a regular visual learner.  That may be the reason for my five years’ worth of unsuccessful laing cookery.

Luckily, I saw a segment on a livelihood program that featured Bicol.  In it, they demo-ed how to cook pinangat – another taro dish that is apparently the same as laing except that the leaves used are fresh.  And when I made it, voila!  It’s like I was transported back to my Kailangan Kita-watching childhood.

I swear: it’s the best thing I’ve ever made.  (Pa-humble naman ng konti, siyempre.)

Being a sweet tooth, I love how the chili perfectly complements the natural sweetness of the coconut milk.  The taro stalks – which I just recently learned is called tangway – are so succulent.  My brother, who I’ve already featured in an earlier post, said it’s napakasarap (so delicious).  You’d definitely need LOTS of brown rice.  And a longer workout the next day.

Here it is.  I hope you’d love it as much as I do.

Slow-cooked Tangway in Spicy Coconut Milk (Serves 4-6)

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 kg fresh tangway, cut into two-inch pieces
  • 1 cup fresh kakang gata (coconut milk, first press) + 1 cup gata, second press
  • 1 head Taiwan garlic, peeled
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh ginger, chopped
  • 4 red chilies (or depending on your tolerance and preference)
  • 2 tbsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp ground black pepper

Procedures:

  1. In a blender, blitz together the coconut milk (first press), garlic, onion, ginger, two chilies, sea salt and ground black pepper until smooth.
  2. Pour the mixture into a deep pot.
  3. Toss in the tangway and the remaining chiliand pour in the remaining coconut milk.
  4. Cook uncovered over medium heat until it simmers, then turn the heat to the lowest setting and cover.  DO NOT STIR.  Not even once.
  5. Let cook for 1-1/2 hours.
  6. Enjoy hot with rice.

Delicious.  I’m so excited for everybody to try it.

Tell me if you do and how you like it, okay?

XOXO

Patti

P.S. I think the same should work for dried taro leaves to make laing.  I could also use the same mixture for ginataang gulay.  I’d try one of these days and I’d tell you when I’m successful.

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