I have learned this laing version to our Bicolano neighbor. I assure you this is the real thing.
half a kilo of Gabi leaves (if they are too fresh you need to dry them up after tearing them)
half a kilo of gabi stems (take off the skin with the aid of knife)
* Saying goes to avoid scratching any part of your body while preparing this dish if you don’t want your laing to be itchy in your mouth.
milk from 2 coconut (if you cannot find fresh coconut you can replace it with one pack of coconut milk and one pack of coconut cream)
2 dried fish (you can use bisugo or labahita) you can also use dilis if you want
1/4 kilo pork belly cut in cube
3 cloves of garlic crushed
1 onion sliced
1 tbsp of grated ginger
salt & pepper
2 siling haba (jalapeno)
3-4 siling labuyo (chili)
*this Laing version is more for a day to day meal. You can add seafood like crab or prawns if its for a special gathering.
I assure cooking this dish is very easy and simple. You will spend more time preparing the ingredients. Start by removing the skin of your gabi stems then cut them about 2 to three inches in length. Next get the gabi leaves. NEVER wash them. Use a clean sponge instead to clean the leaves of any dirt or insect that might be attached to it. Next tear them as you would tear a paper. Not too big nor too small. Put all the leaves together with the cut stem and dry them outside. Be sure you don’t cook laing during rainy season
As soon as your gabi leaves have dried up and wilted we can start cooking them now. Get a big casserole, it needs to be thick enough because this is a slow cooking dish. Out of fire assemble the ingredients on the casserole; starting with the pork belly, then put the garlic, onion and ginger. Then cover this with the gabi stem, then the gabi leaves. Pour the coconut milk and cream (if you are using freshly squeezed coconut milk put everything). Lastly put the dried fish on the top and cover the casserole. Put the casserole on fire and cook slowly for about an hour over low fire. Once you smelled that coconut milk has dried up and the scent of coconut oil is strong. Turn off the fire. Get the dried fish which is now soft and cooked, and start mincing them with your hand. Put back the fish meat (just the meat you can throw the head and fish bones) and add the siling haba and cut siling labuyo. Stir your laing from bottom to top delicately. Stir them well until all the ingredients are well distributed. Cover it again. Laing gets better as day passed by. So better to eat them the next day. That is if you have a fridge you can keep it. Or else invite your neighbor to eat it with you.