Laswais a famous Filipino vegetarian treat particularly with the Ilonggos, its inventor. This Filipino food can be a side dish or the main dish.
While laswameans lewd in Tagalog which is the Filipino mother 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” something, in this case, freshly picked vegetables usually coming from one’s own backyard or friendly neighborhood wet market.
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 primarily with salt to taste.
Nowadays, the procedure of making laswais 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, but not overcooked, 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, the real deal is to 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. Some sprinke in monosodium glutamate or other seasoning wonders.
Laswais a great diet food as it is absolutely fat-free and provides for your fiber needs. As the latest trend nowadays is going organic, organically grown laswa is it.
Laswaingredients are best if bought fresh from the market, or picked right out of your back garden. It is best to consume laswawhile 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.