More Christmas Recipes

More Christmas Recipes

Elizabeth Ann Quirino

Ensaladang Labong 

From “My Mother’s Philippine Recipes” Cookbook

Ensaladang Labong (Photo by Elizabeth Ann Quirino)

Ensaladang Labong (Photo by Elizabeth Ann Quirino)

To this day, whenever I return to our childhood home in Tarlac, my sister Isabel still prepares labong the way Mom did when we were kids. Labong are bamboo shoots and are abundant all over the Philippines. There are many ways bamboo shoots are used as an ingredient in different provinces, from sautéing in Ilocos to cooking in coconut milk in the Visayas. In our home, Mom often cooked labong with shrimps and saluyot, a leafy vegetable, for lunch. Perhaps my favorite dish was Mom’s Labong Salad—crunchy, slim strips with pork and shrimp in a tangy, sweet vinaigrette. Every time I make this warm salad in my own kitchen, I am immediately transported back to our home in Tarlac and Mom’s cooking. 

Serves 4


3 cups labong (fresh or canned), cut into thin 2-inch strips  

2 Tablespoons vegetable oil 

1 onion, chopped 

2 garlic cloves, minced 

½ pound pork shoulder, sliced into 2-inch long strips (or use ground pork) 

½ pound fresh shrimps, peeled, heads and tails removed 

2 Tablespoons soy sauce 

1 Tablespoon sugar 

4 Tablespoons cider vinegar 

1 teaspoon sea salt 

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper  

2 Tablespoons crushed peanuts


  • Place the bamboo shoots in a medium-sized stockpot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer until the bamboo shoots are tender, about 10 minutes. Drain the shoots and arrange on a serving platter. Set aside. 

  • Heat the vegetable oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté the onions, garlic and pork for 5 to 6 minutes until the meat is nearly cooked.  

  • Add the shrimps and stir to combine the ingredients. Continue cooking until the shrimps turn pink and are completely cooked. Spoon this mixture over the bamboo shoots on the serving platter. Set aside. 

  • In the same skillet, add the soy sauce and sugar. Cook for 5 minutes until the sugar is dissolved. Add the vinegar, salt, pepper and blend the ingredients well.  

  • Sprinkle the soy sauce mixture and peanuts over the Ensaladang Labong. Serve warm or chilled as an appetizer, side dish, or main dish. 

  • Cook’s comments: Fresh bamboo looks like a large, long slab and roundish in shape, and can be purchased in Asian markets. It should be blanched and cooked as soon as it is harvested to maintain its sweetness. When fresh bamboo is not available, I use the canned variety. 

Published on : 12/03/2018 by Puerto Parrot

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