ALSO KNOWN AS
Gikway, Likway, Sweet Hibiscus Leaves
Intimidating, but lovely deep down
This plant is still rather unknown throughout most parts of The Philippines, with only Quezon Province, Bicol Region and some places in Mindanao that recognize and utilize it. It’s an upward growing perennial bush with five-finger leaves that resemble those of okra and gumamela. In fact, it is related to both and has the same slime-like quality of okra and saluyot. Before you go running away, that just means it has the same cholesterol-binding benefits that old folks in the province attribute to their long lives!
Lagikway leaves are what’s wrapped around the delicious Bicolano dish Pinangat. Pinagat is a dish of minced fish and shrimp cooked in coconut milk and chili, then wrapped in lagikway and steamed. This five-fingered friend can also be made into a Tempura, coat in a batter of egg and breadcrumbs and lightly fry.