I recently come across two posts about larb which looked really interesting ( here and here ). Larb , also called laab, laap, or larp, is a Lao meat salad that is made with ground meat and flavoured with chilies and mint and often served at room temperature. What I found most interesting about this dish was all of the fresh herbs; mint, cilantro, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves and lime. It sounded really amazing. This weekend I once again went looking for kaffir lime leaves and this time I found them. They were at the same place that I found the lemon grass and the Thai basil. I did not expect some of the herbs to be in a refrigerated unit. The kaffir lime leaves taste pretty interesting. They were a bit tough and I will have to make sure to chop them finely in the future. I decided to add some palm sugar to the salad to balance out the heat, sour and saltiness that were already present. I really liked the idea of topping the larb with crushed peanuts so I went with that. The salad turned out to be really good. It tasted super fresh and the dressing was nicely balanced. I added the herbs right after taking the meat off of the heat and they wilted. The next time I make this I think I will let the meat cool to room temperature before adding the herbs so that they will stay fresher.
- 1 teaspoon peanut oil
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 2 shallots (chopped)
- 1 stalk lemon grass (chopped)
- 1 lime (juice and zest)
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon palm sugar (grated)
- 2 kaffir lime leaves (chopped)
- 2 tablespoons chili sauce
- 1/4 cup mint (chopped)
- 1/4 cup cilantro (chopped)
- 1/2 cup peanuts (crushed)
- Heat the oil in a pan.
- Add the turkey and brown.
- Add the shallots and lemongrass and saute until tender.
- Remove from heat and pour into a bowl.
- Let the meat cool a bit and mix in everything else except the peanuts.
- Serve with a peanut garnish on top.
Kevin, I was also intrigued by this dish when I heard about it. Your version sounds delicious! Great entry!
Jen Yu says
Dude, that looks awesome! I’m glad you like it too. The first time I had this dish I was like, “where have you been all my life?!” I also like to serve it with fresh basil (wrapped in the basil – just like the cabbage), another wonderful herb to add to the flavor pot.
Kevin! It looks so good. It makes me want to make some more. Did you serve it with cabbage or lettuce wraps?
I completely forgot about the wraps and just had it with rice. I think that wrapping it in Thai basil leaves would be really nice.
i agree with you kevin.that wrapping this meat salad with basil leaves would really be nice, it reminds me of that thai food they eat by wrapping with betel leaves..i never tried making meat salad though but i guess your recipe looks wonderful love the blend of herbs and meat
Laurie Constantino says
Kevin, that looks really really good. So many fresh herbs in one dish guarantees it will taste wonderful! If you have extra lime leaves, turns out you can easily freeze them for future use.
Gay Carrillo says
I’ve tried this dish in a Thai restaurant here and it is really good. My friend and I have been trying to copy that dish and we haven’t gotten it right yet! Thanks!
This looks delicious! Did you try it at room temperature? (I’m not sure about that part, but then you have to try these things!)
I’ve made something similar in the past with minced beef and chilli/thai flavours served in lettuce wraps but I had no idea it was called Larb.
I think I tried once at a Laotian restaurant here. It was soo good
Tasty Thai Cooking says
Way to go Kevin. I’ve been grown up with this dish almost once or twice a week at home through out my entirel life. Glad to know others like them too!
My husband is Lao, and I absolutely love this dish. Unfortunately, his mom does not cook it all that often (only when there is a baci ceremony). I will have to try making your recipe some time.