Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Filipino Food: How To Make Laswa, a Famous Ilonggo Vegetarian Treat

Laswa is a famous Ilonggo vegetarian treat. This Filipino food can be a side dish or the main dish.

While laswa means lewd in the Filipino main language, laswa in Ilonggo or Hiligaynon simply is the name for this sweet salty clear broth vegetable soup. Laswa in this dialect also means "to pour boiling water over".

In the old days, it is possible that the process of cooking laswa may have been pouring boiling water over the cut up vegetables (any choice of squash, eggplant, string beans, okra, alugbati, tugabang, etc.) seasoned with salt.

Nowadays, the procedure of making laswa is to bring a considerable amount of water with your desired quantity of chopped onions and tomatoes to a brisk boil. Simmer until the vegetables are soft, then add the rest of your choice vegetables (some or all of the above, depending on your taste and availability of the vegetables in your chiller) according to firmness. While there is really no hard-and-fast rule in cooking laswa and a lot of kitchen common sense will do the trick, just don't overcook your laswa!

For a more flavorful laswa, shrimp is added but any other seafood flavoring will do from baby shrimp paste to shellfish to dried fish or any substitute like tofu for the strictly vegetarian. Add salt to taste.

Laswa is a great diet food as it is absolutely fat-free and provides for your fiber needs.

Laswa ingredients are best if bought fresh from the market, or picked right out of your back garden. It is best to consume laswa while hot. The broth should have a slippery-watery consistency, depending on the kind and amount of herbs used. So, go ahead and make your own delicous and nutritious laswa.

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