La La Laing Beside You: A Marriage of the Plains and the Sea with Laing and Sikad Sikad Sea Shell

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While Bicol takes credit as the origin of Laing, I must express that Marinduque has truly perfected this coconutty stew. Growing up on the island, I have such fond memories of feasting on the best laing under the sun.

Where Bicol adds heat alone, Marinduque takes laing to another level with the sweet saltiness of sikad sikad shells. This slightly salty and sweet seashell meat provides an irresistible twist, further awakening the senses with each savory bite. The briny ocean essence transported me straight back to my childhood beach days each time I tasted laing paired with local seafood catches.

At its core, Laing is a humble creation, combining the most common ingredients of the land -the gabi (taro) leaves literally growing under the coconut groves. The dish is a perfect marriage of textures and tastes, with the velvety smoothness of coconut milk complementing the slightly fibrous taro leaves.

The fiery kick of siling labuyo, or bird’s eye chili, adds heat to the composition, awakening the palate with each mouthful. This heat, tempered by the soothing creaminess of coconut milk, creates a delightful contrast.

Next is the sweet saltiness of the sikad sikad sea shells which elevates the regular Laing to an addicting combination. Since I was young, laing has always been paired with any available seafood and it always brings home that briny ocean taste.

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