Ruben is our family driver who has been with our family for many years now. He is also my constant companion and assistant when I do my Mesa Ni Misis talks, demos and when I go to the market. Ruben comes from Bicol, but didn’t reveal his talent for making the best laing I have ever tasted till about a year ago. Back then, I had hired a cook because I was working full time. She boasted that she could make laing and so I told her to give it a try. What came out was a horrible soppy mess. Ruben happened to be in the kitchen at the time and gave it a try and grimaced when he tasted it. He said that he could make laing as well.
I gave him some money for ingredients and the rest is history.Everyone who tries his laing is blown away.He made it his way with a bit of dried fish and pork. We asked him to remove the pork and it was even more delicious. When we became a plant based, I asked him to remove the dried fish and he stared at me like I was crazy. ” Parang hindi na yan masarap maam…” I told him I wanted to try it using black beans because I had just tried a delicious bagoong made of black bean. I finally watched him make it and with his approval, wrote down his recipe. The version with black bean turned out to be just as delicious as the original. It’s with pride that I share Ruben’s Vegan Baggoong.
- 4 cups gata, second press
- 1/2 red red onion
- 6 cloves garlic
- 1 thumb size piece ginger, sliced lengthwise
- 4 cups dried gabby ( taro) leaves
- 2 tbsp Chinese black beans
- 2 cups first press gata
- 3 green peppers
In a pan, place the second press coconut milk, ginger, garlic and onions and simmer. If using canned coconut milk , use all of it at this point.
Simmer for about 5 minutes.
Add the black beans.
Add the gabby leaves. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until the coconut milk lessens and the dried leaves soften.
Add in the first press coconut milk to thicken the mixture.
Add the green peppers and simmer for a couple more minutes.
Taste the laing and add salt to adjust to your liking.