Laswa: How to Cook, Serve, and Store This Healthy Filipino Dish

We may earn a commission on qualified purchases made through one of our links. Learn more

Laswa is a Filipino warm broth or vegetable soup and is an Ilonggo favorite. It’s a healthy, hearty, and filling dish that’s perfect for any occasion.

The best thing about laswa is that it’s very easy to make, as you can use leftover vegetables. You can keep things simple and keep it vegetarian and vegan, or add shrimp to make it more substantial.

Laswa is a comfort food that’s great for rainy days or when you’re feeling under the weather.

The benefit of this recipe is that it’s simple to make, in addition to its flavor and nutritional benefits.

It can be rather simple to prepare in the kitchen because it largely employs items we already frequently use in other Filipino cuisines. Along with that, most of the ingredients needed are quite reasonably priced, except for the shrimp maybe.

What is laswa

Check out our new cookbook

Bitemybun's family recipes with complete meal planner and recipe guide.

Try it out for free with Kindle Unlimited:

Read for free


This Filipino food was actually created in Iloilo, and dinengdeng, another vegetable-based soup dish, is frequently used as a comparison. To finish the dish, both employ a ton of vegetables.

Additionally, bagoong is used in some variations of laswa.

However, dinengdeng is actually from Ilocos and has fewer vegetables. While this is the case, the flavor and texture of the ingredients in laswa are primarily derived from the veggies themselves.

The origin of laswa vegetable soup can be accredited to the Ilonggos. However, the dish has been so deeply entrenched in Filipino culture that it’s already become a national favorite.

Cooking Laswa: Tips and Tricks

Laswa (full recipe here) is a Filipino vegetable soup that is perfect for vegetarians and meat-lovers alike. To ensure that your laswa delivers the best flavor and texture, here are some tips on preparing the vegetables:

  • Use fresh vegetables that are available in different sizes to add variety to your dish.
  • Cut the vegetables into uniform sizes to ensure that they cook evenly.
  • For tougher vegetables like calabasa and okra, slice them thinly to make sure they cook through.
  • If you’re using saluyot, wait until the end to add it to the pot as it cooks quickly.

Cooking the Soup

Once you’ve prepared your vegetables, it’s time to cook the laswa. Here are some tips to make sure that your soup turns out great:

  • Start by sautéing ginger and garlic in hot oil to add flavor to the soup.
  • Add the vegetables and pour in enough water or broth to cover them completely.
  • For a protein boost, you can add pork, fish, shrimp, or grilled meat to the soup.
  • To make it vegetarian, skip the meat and use a vegetable broth instead.
  • Let the soup simmer for a long time to ensure that the vegetables are fully cooked and the flavors have melded together.
  • Add salt and your preferred seasoning to taste.
  • Serve the laswa hot with steamed white rice or fried fish on the side.

How to Serve and Store Laswa: Tips and Tricks

Laswa is a Filipino vegetable soup that is best served hot with steamed rice for lunch or dinner. Here are some tips to make sure that you serve the perfect Laswa dish:

  • Let the Laswa cool down a bit before serving to avoid burning your tongue.
  • Serve the Laswa in a large bowl as it is a main dish.
  • Add a small amount of sauce to the Laswa to enhance its taste.
  • Laswa is excellent with shrimp or fish, but it can also be served with meat or fried food.

Storing Laswa for Later

Laswa is a dish that needs proper storage to keep it fresh and tasty. Here are some tips to keep your Laswa fresh for a few days:

  • Store the Laswa in an airtight container to keep it from drying out.
  • Keep the Laswa in the refrigerator to prevent bacteria growth.
  • Laswa can be stored for up to three days, but it is best to consume it within two days.
  • If you prefer to save the Laswa for later, do not overcook the vegetables as they will become mushy and lose their taste.

Unique Laswa Dishes

Laswa is a versatile dish that can be changed according to your taste and needs. Here are some unique Laswa dishes that you can try:

  • Chinese Laswa: Add sliced garlic and ginger to the recipe and slightly fry them before adding the vegetables.
  • Shrimp Laswa: Add peeled shrimp to the recipe and cook them together with the vegetables.
  • Spinach Laswa: Replace some of the vegetables with spinach leaves to make it more nutritious.
  • Saluyot Laswa: Add saluyot leaves to the recipe to make it more flavorful.
  • Fish Laswa: Replace the meat with fish to make it healthier.

Laswa is a famous Filipino dish that is healthy and easy to make. By following these tips and tricks, you can make sure that your Laswa is always fresh, tasty, and perfect.

Laswa’s Similar Dishes: A Variety of Easy-to-Cook and Delicious Meals

If you’re a meat lover, you’ll be happy to know that there are many similar dishes to Laswa that you can try. Here are some of the most popular ones:

  • Adobo: This Filipino dish is made with pork or chicken, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, and bay leaves. It’s easy to make and has a tangy and savory flavor that’s perfect with rice.
  • Sinigang: Another Filipino favorite, this soup is made with pork, shrimp, or fish, and tamarind broth. It’s sour and savory, and you can add vegetables like tomatoes, onions, and spinach to make it more nutritious.
  • Grilled or Fried Meat: If you’re in the mood for something more substantial, you can always grill or fry some pork, beef, or chicken. You can marinate the meat in soy sauce, vinegar, and spices to add flavor, and serve it with rice and vegetables.

Seafood Dishes

If you prefer seafood over meat, here are some similar dishes to Laswa that you can try:

  • Bangus (Milkfish) Paksiw: This Filipino dish is made with milkfish, vinegar, garlic, ginger, and vegetables like eggplant and okra. It’s sour and savory, and you can serve it with rice and a side of vegetables.
  • Shrimp or Fish Sinigang: As mentioned earlier, sinigang is a popular Filipino soup that can be made with shrimp or fish. It’s a healthy and delicious way to enjoy seafood, and you can add any vegetables you like to make it more nutritious.
  • Japanese-style Grilled Fish: If you want to try something new, you can grill some fish Japanese-style. You can marinate the fish in soy sauce, sake, and mirin, and grill it until it’s crispy and golden brown. Serve it with rice and vegetables for a complete meal.

Vegan and Vegetarian Dishes

If you’re a vegan or vegetarian, don’t worry, there are plenty of similar dishes to Laswa that you can enjoy:

  • Stir-fried Vegetables: You can stir-fry any vegetables you like, such as broccoli, carrots, bell peppers, and mushrooms, and add some tofu or tempeh for protein. Serve it with rice or noodles for a filling and healthy meal.
  • Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burrito: This Mexican-inspired dish is easy to make and delicious. You can wrap sweet potatoes, black beans, rice, and vegetables in a tortilla and add some salsa or guacamole for extra flavor.
  • Papaya Salad: This Thai salad is made with shredded green papaya, tomatoes, peanuts, and a spicy dressing. It’s refreshing and healthy, and you can add some grilled tofu or tempeh for protein.

Laswa is a versatile dish that can be customized to your liking, but if you want to try something new, these similar dishes are a great way to add variety to your meals. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different ingredients and cooking styles to create your own unique dishes. Check out some recipes online and have fun creating your own delicious meals!

Is Laswa Really a Nutritious and Healthy Dish?

Laswa is a popular Filipino vegetable soup that originated in the Western Visayas region. It is a simple dish made from a mix of fresh, cut, and string vegetables, seafood, meat, or simply eaten as a vegan or vegetarian dish. Laswa is a stew-like dish that is rich in fiber and other essential nutrients, making it a healthy and nutritious meal.

The Key Ingredients and Their Benefits

Laswa’s ingredients include a mix of vegetables such as saluyot leaves, patola, calabasa, SVG beans, and okra. These vegetables are rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals that are important for our body’s needs. Here are some of the benefits of the key ingredients in Laswa:

  • Saluyot leaves: contain high levels of antioxidants, vitamins A, C, and E, and minerals such as calcium and iron.
  • Patola: rich in vitamin C, potassium, and fiber.
  • Calabasa: a good source of vitamin A, potassium, and fiber.
  • SVG beans: contain protein, fiber, and essential vitamins and minerals.
  • Okra: rich in fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidants.

The Nutritional Value of Laswa

Laswa is a nutritious and healthy dish that is low in calories and high in fiber. Here are some of the nutritional benefits of Laswa:

  • Low in calories: Laswa is a low-calorie dish that is perfect for people who are watching their weight.
  • High in fiber: The vegetables in Laswa are rich in fiber, which helps in digestion and promotes a healthy gut.
  • Rich in vitamins and minerals: Laswa is a good source of essential vitamins and minerals that are important for our body’s needs.


So there you have it- everything you need to know about Laswa. It’s a Filipino dish made with vegetables and meat, and it’s delicious. 

You can’t go wrong with Laswa, especially if you follow my tips and tricks. So give it a try and enjoy a delicious Filipino dish!

Check out our new cookbook

Bitemybun's family recipes with complete meal planner and recipe guide.

Try it out for free with Kindle Unlimited:

Read for free

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.