Law-uy or getting over homesickness…


I’ve been here in Thailand for eight months already and the last time I was home was in August last year. The bane of living far from family is the bouts of homesickness I occasionally endure. While Thailand and the Philippines have almost the same vegetables such that I can cook most Filipino food I want, there are just some Filipino dishes that brings me closer to home. One that I might call comfort food. Law-uy or bas-uy (a Cebuano soup dish) takes me back to my childhood. It is a lemongrass-based soup with seafoods and leafy green vegetables. I have previously talked about law-uy.

There’s a street market near my house that is open in the afternoons. It is a family-run affair and they sell vegetables, meat and ready-to-eat viands. One day, I was so surprised to find they sell alugbati or Malabar night shade which is a very important component in the makings of a good law-uy. Just the sight of that bunch of alugbati made me drool!  To make the long story short, I bought a bunch of alugbati, several stalks of lemongrass and a piece of long eggplant. To make the soup more tasty, I first make a broth of fried fish and lemongrass before adding the rest of the vegetables. In this case, I kept the law-uy simple – just alugbati and eggplant. Oh, and plenty of rice, please.


1. In a pot, bring to the boil about 1 1/2 cups of water. When boiling, add the fish and lemongrass and simmer for a few minutes till broth becomes flavorful.

2. Add the eggplant and alugbati and simmer till vegetables are cooked.

3. Season to taste with fish sauce then serve while hot.


  1. says

    i love law-uy…comfort food ko din ito. every time uwi ako sa davao, our helper prepares this for me kasi alam nya fave ko. dami din nilalagay na alugbati…yum yum!

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