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…
Traditional Larb, served in Romaine Lettuce Leaf Cups. You can dress it up
as much as you like with additional Veggies and Garnishes…
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.