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Low Carb Side: Coconut Kale (Laing)

Updated: Apr 13, 2019

When you live a low carb lifestyle you can fall into the routine of eating the same sides. Riced cauliflower, fried brussels sprouts, cauliflower "mac" and cheese, repeat. One recipe Josh and I often turn to when we want to mix up our dinners is coconut kale (also known as "lying laing").

We first discovered this recipe in the Adobo Road Cookbook. I highly recommend it. It is full of amazing Filipino recipes. The author—Marvin Gapultos—calls it "lying laing" because traditionally this side is made with taro leaves, but he swapped it out for kale in this recipe. Which was fine by us, Josh had actually never had laing (he was a picky eater as a kid), and we were not sure where to get taro leaves. So, we were open to to try this version.

This is a hearty side, and any low carb vegetarian could easily find it filling on it's own. However, if you want to serve it as a low carb side dish, it pairs great with fish and other lean meats. Of course, who am I to tell you what to do, if you want to eat this hearty side with a heartier meat, you do you.

How to make coconut kale (laing)

Like a lot of Filipino food, you are basically making a sauce and then adding the protein to it. When we came across this recipe in the book we were excited to see that it was already pretty low carb, so the only substitution we made was for an ingredient we didn't have. The original recipe calls for shrimp stock, but we don't use shrimp stock very often, so we used chicken stock. We've found you can really sub for any kind of stock and it still tastes just as delicious.


  • 2 tablespoons oil (we used olive oil)

  • 1 onion, diced

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1-inch (2.5-cm) piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced

  • 1–2 Thai chili peppers, split in half lengthwise with stems intact

  • 1 tablespoon fermented shrimp paste

  • 1 pound (500 g) kale, washed, center ribs and stems removed, leaves roughly chopped

  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) Stock (we use chicken stock, you can also use any stock of your choice or plain water)

  • 1 1/2 cups (375 ml) coconut milk

  • Salt and pepper, to taste


You can find the full instructions in this Serious Eats post. They excerpted the recipe with permission from The Adobo Road Cookbook: A Filipino Food Journey--From Food Blog, to Food Truck, and Beyond.


The above recipe makes roughly 6 servings. **NOTE** I got these numbers after putting all the ingredients we used into my calorie tracker. Be sure to add this recipe to what you use to track your macros with the brand of ingredients you use for the most accurate count.

  • Calories: 215.1

  • Fat: 18.8

  • Net Carbs: 5.6

  • Carbs: 9.7

  • Fiber: 4.1

  • Protein: 5.5

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