Archive for thai

Larb, wonderful larb

Posted in Main Course, salads, Sides with tags , , , , on August 1, 2009 by Rosalini

Larb, a sour and spicy Thai- or Laotian-style salad, is my new favorite summer dinner. There is no one way to make larb, which makes it versatile and easily suited to one’s personal tastes, preferences, and food taboos. I’ve seen recipes for larb made with chicken, fish, duck, beef, tofu and pork, raw and cooked, served cold or hot, with various combination of herbs, spices, and vegetables. This recipe which calls for lean ground turkey breast and lots of chili paste is adapted from one I found on Epicurious.com and adjusted quite a bit. I was very satisfied with it, and will definitely make it again. I think next time I’ll try it with extra firm tofu. It is wonderful cold or hot.

THE SAUCE (whisk the following together in a bowl and set aside)

  • 1 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/3 cup fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 generous tablespoons sambal oelek (ground fresh chili paste)

THE BODY (instructions follow)

  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1.5 pounds lean ground turkey breast
  • 1 bunch of green onions, thinly sliced (about 1.5 cups)
  • 4 shallots, peeled, halved and thinly sliced into half-rings
  • 3 tablespoons very finely minced lemongrass
  • 2 tablespoons fresh serrano chilis, sliced into paper-thin rings
  • 1/2 cup each of roughly chopped fresh cilantro and mint
  • 3 tablespoons of toasted white rice, roughly ground

In a heavy skillet or wok, bring broth to a simmer, then crumble ground turkey into the pan. When the turkey is cooked and well crumbled, add toasted rice, green onions, shallots, lemongrass, and serrano chilis. Cook until veggies are just tender, then remove from heat and let rest about 10 minutes, then add sauce, cilantro and mint. Taste when herbs have wilted, and adjust chili sauce to your preference.

Larb can be eaten with a spoon right out of the pan, served on a bed of fresh greens, or wrapped in lettuce leaves, but my favorite way to have it is wrapped in green cabbage and radicchio leaves. Vegetarians should substitute tofu for the turkey, and a good vegetable stock for the chicken stock, and I think it will be just as nice.

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