Good evening, Raffies!
Today we are going to Thailand! I have to be honest, there were a lot of different recipes I wanted to make for Thailand, but in the end I settled for an unusual salad: Larb.
Larb is one of the traditional foods in Laos and in the Isan region of Thailand, where you can find a lot of Laotians. It is a salad with minced pork, shallots, culantro (a sibling of cilantro), lime juice and chilies. Usually it is ate with sticky rice and green papaya salad.
It is essential that you add some toasted rice to the meat to give it a certain crunchiness. The traditional way of making Larb is to use minced pork, Larb moo, but you can also find duck or chicken mince, which I think would be also fantastic.
Before we begin cooking, Thai cuisine is usually a taste test cuisine, which means there are not exact amounts to follow. You have to use your own judgement and adjust the taste to your liking. Isn’t that fascinating?
Larb is a pretty simple recipe, that you can make in little time and the result is amazing:
5 tbsp uncooked sticky rice
300 g minced pork
1 1/2 tbsp chili flakes
1 pinch sugar
1 tbsp fish sauce
2 limes, juice
4 shallots, sliced
5 spring onions, sliced
1 c culantro, leaves
20 leaves of mint
Start by toasting the rice (khao kua) in a pan. Stir it well to prevent it from burning and remove it from heat, once it is golden-light brown. It will smell slightly like pop corn. Now either turn it into powder in a food processor or do it by hand in a mortar. You will need a nice powder. Set it aside.
In a frying pan, heat some oil and cook the meat thoroughly until well done. Remove from heat and add a good heap of the rice powder. Mix well and add the chili flakes.
After mixing again, add the sugar, fish sauce, lime juice and stir well. Now it is time to add the shallots, spring onions, mint leaves and the culantro. Mix it well one more time and adjust the taste to your personal preference. Serve and garnish with some mint, Thai basil leaves, culantro and lime. Enjoy with sticky rice!
It was the first time in my life that I toasted rice and made rice powder out of it. The dish was great, as the recipe suggested, I squeezed in two limes, because I like it sour and it also made the dish juicier. It was great!