Larb, also known sometimes as Laab, is a true Thai Classic. It has many analogues in other Asian cuisines and it’s a great vehicle for recipe embellishment. If you aren’t a fan of hot-hot-hot food, you can easily amend the Thai Chili Pepper content without ruining its unique flavour…
Larb is an under-rated Pork classic with unmistakable Thai roots. You can serve it as a Warm Salad or in Lettuce or Napa Cabbage wraps, or even on a Bread Roll or in a Wrap.
What you need…
1 lb. / 450-500 g Ground Pork
3-4 cloves Fresh Garlic, minced or pressed
1-2 Thai Chili, minced, without seeds
1 tsp. / 5 ml ground Nutmeg
1 tsp. / 5 ml Chinese Five-Spice Powder
One Good Pinch Ground Coriander
One Good Pinch Ground Cumin
One Good Pinch Salt
One Good Pinch Black Pepper
2 tsp. / 10 ml Fish Sauce
3 tbsp Canola, Corn or other high-temperature Oil
2 tbsp. / 60 ml Fresh Mint, chopped
2 tbsp. / 60 ml Green Onion, chopped
What you do…
First: In a large Frying Pan or Wok over Medium heat, bring Oil up to temperature, then add Garlic and Thai Chilis. Toast for a moment, until fragrant.
Next: Add Pork, Spices, Salt and Pepper and stir vigourously to break up the Pork into a fine, uniform scramble. Cook about 2 minutes.
Then: Add the Fish Sauce plus half the Green Onions and half the Mint and stir to distribute evenly throughout the Pork. Cook for another 2-4 minutes to ensure the Pork is cooked through and gets a little crispy around the edges.
Serve in a large bowl or on a wide, deep plate and garnish with the remaining Green Onions and Mint.
Don’t wait any longer…
As I said earlier, you can serve Larb in any number of ways. I’ve even seen it used as a filling in Dim Sum Dumplings. Wow! That was good… And don’t overlook the option of using Chicken or Shrimp in place of Pork. Once you’ve tried it, Larb will become a versatile staple on your menu repertoire!
~ Maggie J.