WHB – I love Larb!

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This week, for weekend herb blogging, I decided to post one of my favorite thai foods – larb. Larb is so simple and yet so incredibly flavorful. According to Wikipedia – larb is a type of Lao meat salad. It is made with chicken, beef, duck, turkey, pork or even fish. The minced meat can either be raw or cooked, flavored with fish sauce and lime, and mixed with cilli and mint.

I googled larb and found several recipes, here and here are just a couple. All of the recipes are pretty similar. The main difference is that some seem to call toasted rice and some don’t. I have never tried that, but I’m going to the next time I try it. My recipe is adapted from a cooking light recipe.

Serves 4

4 teaspoons grated lime rind
2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons fish sauce
4 teaspoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon finely chopped serrano chile
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

2 teaspoons vegetable oil (I use peanut oil)
2 lbs ground turkey breast
2 tablespoons chopped shallots
1 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint
1/2 to 1 head of cabbage, cored, quartered, and seperated into leaves

Remember to grate you lemon rind before squeezing out the fresh juice (it’s much easier that way). Combine the first 8 ingredients, and whisk until the sugar has disolved.

Heat oil in a large skillet (non-stick makes for easier clean up) over medium-high heat. Add turkey and shallots and saute until the turkey is cooked through. Break apart the turkey and crumble it as it cooks (a wooden spoon works great for this). Drizzle with the juice mixture, stirring to get all of the turkey coated. Sprinkle with the mint. Serve with the cabbage leaves and eat by scooping a little of the turkey into the leaf and rolling up and eating like a wrap.

If you have never made larb, you have to try this. It is hard to believe something so simple can be so good.

This weeks weekend herb blogging is being hosted by Susan at The Well Seasoned Cook, so be sure and stop by on Monday to see the recap. If you’d like to enter your blog entry the rules and information can be found at Kalyn’s Kitchen.

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  1. says

    Not only have I never eaten it – I’ve never heard of it…But now that I have…
    I love the idea of cabbage leaves for wraps – much better than lettuce!

  2. says

    Pam, thanks for your fantastically novel WHB entry! Good to meet another voracious book-a-holic, too. “The Reader” is one of my all-time favorites. I’ve read it four times now, and it never fails to haunt and horrify.

  3. Pam says

    Katiez, you have to try it! It is really good, and super simple.

    Susan, I love meeting a fellow reader. And I also loved “The Reader”, it was one of my favorites that I’ve read this year.

    Anh, Thanks for commenting on my larb. I checked out your blog and your rice pudding with papaya looks so good!

  4. says

    This is a really tasty sounding dish! Bookmarked to try! Finding out about new dishes like this is one of the reasons that food blogging is so fun.

  5. says

    I have heard about this dish, but never tasted it, and I love the sounds of the ingredients. All those wonderful flavors. I must make this! Bookmarking the recipe right now!

  6. says

    That´s a great dish, I´ll bookmark it. Here we know cabbage rolls filled with stew and cooked slightly to brown. They are called Kohlrouladen (cabbage rolls), and we love them. Thanks for your variety.

  7. says

    I read somewhere that some larb cooks boil the ground meat. The meat just sort of floats to the top and then it’s done.

    You must try the toasted rice. We toasted some rice for our waterfall beef salad before and there’s a world of flavour difference between the taste with and without the toasted rice. The toasted rice just adds a whole new dimension to the dish.

  8. Pam says

    JS – I agree. I really do need to try some toasted rice. After I put some toasted sesame seeds on something the other day, I realized what a difference even a small ingredient can make!

  9. Anonymous says

    We had Larb for the 1st time this weekend in Gresham, Oregon. The smell before the first bite was overwhelmingly like raw sewage, and only intensified in nastiness as the warm chicken was stirred to release “aroma”. We asked the Thai owner what spices he used, but he didn’t have enough English to reply. Really way nasty smell! WHy?

  10. says

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