Lauya Beef Broth Dish of Ilocos Philippines
In Ilocos province in Luzon island in the Philippines, there is a tasty beef broth dish called Lauya (La-oo-ya). It’s kind of a cross between two local dishes, beef nilaga and tinola.
There’s a Filipino priest who tells this story about the Lauya dish that’s popular in Ilocos. He claims he grew fat on the dish after he was assigned as a guest priest in a church in the province. He swears the dish is so good and tasty he just can’t help but to eat a lot of it! He says the secret is in the garlic. Simply put, there has to be plenty of garlic in the dish for it to taste fabulous! But what is this Lauya dish anyway? What does it look like? What does it taste like? How do you prepare Lauya?
The truth is that many Filipinos are not familiar with the Lauya recipe. If they happen to be lucky enough to get a taste of it, they will often mistake it for nilaga, another popular beef broth dish in the Philippines; otherwise, they will think it is tinola (with beef instead of chicken). For those of you who are curious about Lauya, then here is your chance to get a taste of this delectable beef soup! Are you ready? Let’s cook!
Beef (half kilo; diced)
2 Chayote (chopped into elongated diamonds) or sweet potato (kamote)
1 garlic bulb (skinned and crushed)
Whole black pepper corns
Salt (to taste)
What to do
First of all, you have to tenderize the beef. How? Boil it of course! Use 3 to 4 cups of water. Add a bit of salt to taste. If you wish, you can even use umami seasoning. What is umami seasoning? Well, it’s simply monosodium glutamate. But don’t worry, it’s been proven safe (unless you’re allergic to it of course). You can buy umami seasoning from the grocery store. It’s manufactured by different companies and commonly called vetsin in the Philippines. A popular brand is Ajinomoto, which is from Japan. Now back to the beef! Boil it until it’s soft. Add water as you boil if it reduces too much. You will know if the beef is tender if the surface gives in when pricked with a fork.
Ok, so is the beef ready already? Yes? Then you can add the other ingredients! Add the garlic and pepper corns first. Simmer the mixture for 5 minutes. After that, add the chayote. If you’ve ever wondered, chayote is called sayote in the Philippines. I you don’t have chayote, you can use sweet potato (kamote). Cook until the sayote or kamote is soft. Season more with salt if necessary. You can use chili if you want to! Serve Lauya while hot! Lauya is always good in the rainy season, but you can eat it any time of the year. It’s also good with steaming rice!