Larb Gai: A Taste Of Thailand In Your Kitchen

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Larb is a vibrant and flavorful minced meat salad that’s a staple in Thai cuisine. Traditionally made with pork, larb can also be prepared with chicken, beef, turkey, or even vegetarian crumbles. The key to a fantastic larb lies in the bold combination of sour, salty, spicy, and funky flavors. This recipe will guide you through creating a delicious and authentic larb experience at home, complete with a breakdown of ingredients, directions, and nutritional information.


Thai Pork Laab (Larb) Recipe
Thai Pork Laab (Larb) Recipe

1 pound ground meat (pork, chicken, beef, turkey, or vegetarian crumbles)

  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, white part only, thinly sliced
  • 2-3 Thai chilies, thinly sliced (adjust to your spice preference)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon toasted rice powder (optional, but adds a nutty depth)
  • 1 tablespoon red palm sugar (or brown sugar)
  • Salt to taste
  • Sticky rice, for serving
  • Optional garnishes: chopped roasted peanuts, chopped green onions, lime wedges

  • Directions:

    1. Marinate the meat: In a large bowl, combine the ground meat with the shallots, garlic, lemongrass, chilies, cilantro, and mint. Add the fish sauce, lime juice, toasted rice powder (if using), red palm sugar, and a pinch of salt. Mix well and marinate for at least 30 minutes, or up to overnight for deeper flavor.
    2. Cook the meat: Heat a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add a drizzle of oil if needed. Scrape the marinated meat mixture into the pan and cook, breaking it up with a spoon, until browned throughout, about 5-7 minutes.
    3. Assemble the larb: Taste the cooked meat and adjust seasonings with additional fish sauce, lime juice, or salt as desired. Transfer the cooked meat to a serving platter.
    4. Serve: Serve the larb hot over a bed of sticky rice. Garnish with chopped roasted peanuts, chopped green onions, and lime wedges for a delightful presentation.

    Nutrition Facts:

    (Please note that nutritional information will vary depending on the specific ingredients you use. This is an estimate based on ground pork.)

    Serving size: 1 cup

  • Calories: 400
  • Fat: 20g
  • Saturated Fat: 6g
  • Cholesterol: 70mg
  • Sodium: 600mg
  • Carbohydrates: 20g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugar: 5g
  • Protein: 30g

  • Conclusion:

    Larb is a dynamic and satisfying dish that’s perfect for a quick and flavorful weeknight meal. With its customizable protein options and the ability to adjust the spice level to your preference, larb offers endless possibilities for exploration. So grab your ingredients, fire up the stove, and get ready to experience the vibrant flavors of Thailand with this delicious larb recipe!

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

    1. What can I substitute for the toasted rice powder?

    If you don’t have toasted rice powder, you can omit it altogether. However, for a similar nutty depth, you can crush some roasted peanuts or cashews and sprinkle them over the finished larb.

    2. Can I use pre-ground meat for this recipe?

    Yes, you can definitely use pre-ground meat for larb. However, for the best texture, it’s recommended to grind your own meat at home. This ensures a fresher flavor and a more even consistency.

    3. What vegetables can I add to larb?

    While larb is traditionally a meat salad, you can add chopped vegetables like green onions, red bell peppers, or shredded carrots for extra texture and nutrients.

    4. How long will leftover larb stay fresh?

    Leftover larb can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

    5. What other proteins can I use in larb?