LARB? What is that? Where does it come from? Is it even food?!
Larb is a traditional meat salad from Laos, it has made its way throughout Asia and has many different variations. When I first head of it I have to admit I was skeptical myself. My son and I were watching Spider Man- Homecoming, and there is te scene with Aunt May, where they go to their favorite Thai restaurant , Peter orders Larb, which delights May. As we ere watching this, I googled it to see what it was, then quickly forgot all about it. Till one day my husband and I were watching Binging with Babish, on youtube, and there it was again. I told my husband ” I would so eat that!” So while I was making the family meal plan for the first half of the new year I decided to add it to the list. Let me tell you, I am so glad I did! So here is my version of Larb for all of you to try and enjoy!
Larb, is a traditional meat salad from Laos. Though the name does not sound appealing, let me personally assure you, it is delicious! This was my first time creating this dish but I will say it won’t be my last! Aromatics galore! The flavor was mild and savory and with the touch of adding in romaine lettuce for the cups it had a satisfying crunch to it too.
1-2 Lettuce cups
1 hour, 45 minutes
This was a recipe I am pleased to say my whole family enjoyed! It is a combination of a traditional Laotian and That Larb that really had a lot of flavor and was filling. Need less food? Cut the recipe in half and it comes down to about 10 servings 😉
1 tablespoon uncooked brown rice
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 pound ground pork (450g)
¼ teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoon fish sauce
2 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoon wine vinegar [can be rice wine vinegar, white wine vinegar]
1 lime (juiced)
2 red chilies, dried or fresh (sliced or ground into small pieces)
3 shallots (peeled and thinly sliced)
3 scallions or fresh blooming chives (chopped)
¼ cup cilantro
½ cup mint [If desired]
Jalapenos for topping
Extra cilantro for topping
1-2 packages of Romaine Lettuce for serving
In a dry wok or pan over low heat, toast the rice grains, stirring continuously until they turn golden and fragrant––about 10 minutes.
Grind to a coarse powder in a mortar & pestle. Or if you have a spice grinder you can use that as well to grind the rice into a rice powder.
Set aside the rice powder for now.
Place your wok back over high heat until smoking.
Add the oil and the ground pork.
Stir-fry until the pork is browned.
Once the pork is browned add in the toasted rice powder, sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce and lime juice.
Stir-fry for another minute, and then add in the chili, shallots, scallions, cilantro, and mint.
Stir-fry for one more minute, and then taste for seasoning, adding more chili, sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce, and/or lime juice to your taste if needed.
Serve with sticky rice, steamed brown rice, and/or lettuce leaves. Top with added cilantro, jalapenos, and lime as desired.