Laing Thai Style (Taro Leaves in Red Curry Sauce)


Very seldom do I cook Filipino dishes.  My husband is not a fan, unless the dish is spicy.  And there are only a handful of Filipino dishes I know that are spicy enough for my husband to approve.  One of them is Laing.  Laing is a dish from the Bicol region and is made up of dried taro leaves cooked in ginger and coconut milk and generously sprinkled with hot chili peppers.  Typically, this dish also includes shrimp or pork and shrimp paste (bagoong).

Now, Thai food is something we almost always have for lunch or dinner (and even breakfast). It is my husband’s favorite.  So I thought I’d tweak the laing a little bit and create a Thai Style dish using red curry sauce.  The result was fantastic it got a “two thumbs up” from my husband!


  • 500 grams dried taro leaves (available at oriental stores)
  • 3 cups red curry sauce (recipe follows)
  • 1/2 lbs  ground turkey
  • fresh ginger about 2 inches, sliced thinly
  • 4 or 5 thai chili peppers (bird chilis or siling labuyo), sliced in half
  • 2 tbs shrimp paste (optional)


  1. In a sauce pan, heat 2 cups red curry sauce, ginger, shrimp paste (if using)  and ground turkey meat until boiling. Turn heat to low.
  2. Add taro leaves and fish sauce. Stir and cook for 5 minutes.  Add the rest of the curry sauce and chili peppers,   cover and simmer on low  for 20 minutes or until liquid is almost gone.
  3. Serve warm with steamed rice.

Red Curry Sauce

  • 4 tbs red curry paste (you can use store-bought or this recipe)
  • 3 cups coconut milk
  • fish sauce
  • 4 tbs sugar

In a sauce pan or wok, heat 4 tbs of coconut milk until oily.  Add red curry paste and cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.  Add the rest of the coconut milk and let boil.  Season with fish sauce and sugar. Let cool.


Notes:  This recipe is VERY SPICY.  You can opt to not use chili peppers since the red curry sauce is already spicy enough. You can also use ready-made red curry sauce. They sometimes go on sale at oriental stores (like 99 Ranch in California) for 59 cents a can.  Use 3 cans for 500 grams of taro leaves. If you want to make jus the regular LAING dish, use plain coconut milk (same measurements).

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» The Duo Dishes said: { Mar 12, 2009 - 06:03 }

Mmmm, sounds spicy!

» Elyse said: { Mar 12, 2009 - 10:03 }

This sounds absolutely divine. And if your husband gave it the two thumbs up, it must not only be delicious but also perfectly spicy! I can’t wait to try this recipe; I love spicy food.

» fitri said: { Mar 13, 2009 - 09:03 }

wooow… i love taro leaves, almost similar with Indonesian’s dish .. and sometime we put small fish into it. TFS

» Jude said: { Mar 13, 2009 - 11:03 }

Totally in love with laing. My aunts used to bring this from the provinces and I always skipped the sweets in favor of this. It was always made extra spicy.

» Sapuche said: { Mar 14, 2009 - 05:03 }

This looks incredible! I appreciate the spiciness warning; I love spicy food, but I haven’t developed a tolerance for the pain yet…This reminds me a lot of Hawaiian luau, which uses stewed taro leaves and, in my favorite version, squid. Thanks for this! I’m definitely going to try it!

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