Laswa is a native Ilonggo recipe made entirely of vegetables with a medium-sized dish as its “sahog.” It is similar to that of the Dinengdeng of the Ilocanos and the Bulanglang of the Batangueños. However, Laswa recipe differentiates itself from the dinengdeng as the former uses salt as its seasoning whereas Dinengdeng uses Bagoong Isda. Laswa is also different from Bulanglang in that the Laswa uses plain water for its broth while bulanglang uses rice wash. It could be said though that these three are essentially the same dish of vegetable stew, but only with regional variations.
Zooming into Laswa recipe, it boasts a variety of vegetables in its list which includes Squash, Saluyot, Okra, Eggplant, String Beans and Patola. However, whichever green produce is available at the moment would be perfect for Laswa. The main taste of this recipe centers around how these vegetables mix their flavors to have a unified, earthy and humble taste. Another main ingredient, which is Shrimp, are supposed to be left as it is: neither deveined nor shelled so as to also give its sea fresh flavor to the entire dish and also to retain its individual taste.
Laswa Recipe Preparation Tips
Laswa recipe is very easy to follow since in cooking it, you can just either put all of the sliced ingredients (except for the shrimps) in the pot and pour the water or you can do it in reverse. Also, as you are using plain water for the broth of this laswa recipe, putting in more okra or more Saluyot will add more body and texture into the dish.
Serve this dish while still hot so you can fully enjoy the warm broth and also with rice. If you choose to have a condiment to up the flavor, however, you can have fish paste or fish sauce.
- 250 g. fresh shrimp, cleaned with head and shell intact
- 250 g. squash, diced
- 2 pcs eggplant, cut into wedges
- 10 pcs okra, cut into wedges
- 5 pcs string beans, cut into 2 inches
- 1/2 medium sized patola, sliced
- 1 bunch saluyot
- 8-10 cups water
- Salt to taste
- Bring water to a boil
- Add fresh shrimps
- When shrimps turn pinkish, add squash and okra and simmer for 2-5 minutes or until squash is slightly tender
- Add string beans and eggplant and simmer for 2 minutes
- Add patola and simmer for 1 minute
- Season with salt to taste
- Turn off heat and add the saluyot so it won’t get overcooked.
- Serve immediately while hot
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