Laab- Laab, also known as Larb and
Laap, is a northeastern food. It usually
eaten as a part of a set. (Laab, papaya
salad and sticky rice.) The set is
accompanied by string beans, sliver of
cabbage, water spinach and Thai basil.
It can be served as an appetizer. It can
also be served as a main course along
with other non-northeastern food. There
are variations of laab, duck laab,
chicken laab. Some people love to
include a few pieces of liver in laab.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 min
1/4 tablespoon ground dried chili pepper
1/2 lbs ground pork
1/4 thinly sliced shallot
5 sprigs sliced cilantro
3 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon toasted rice
1 sliced green onion Optional
3 sprigs spearmint Optional
Tips and Techniques: Substitute any ground meat for
ground pork. Substitute red onion or just onion for shallot
if you like. The spearmint adds zing to the laab.
Squeeze juice from 1/3 of the lime on to the ground
pork. Mix well and let it marinate for just a couple of
minutes until you are ready to cook it.
Heat up a pan on high until it is very hot. Add two
tablespoons of water and then immediately add your
marinated pork and stir. The pork will stick to the pan
at first, but then the juice will come out and the meat
will loosen from the bottom. Keep stirring until the
pork is well done. Traditionally, the pork is
undercooked, but I do not recommend undercooking pork
for health reasons.
Put the pork in a bowl a large mixing bowl that
will hold all the ingredients. Add fish sauce, green
onion, shallot, cilantro, the rest of the lime juice,
ground chili pepper and almost all of toasted rice into
the bowl. Save some toasted rice to sprinkle on top for
garnish. Mix well and taste. It should be a little bit
hot. You should be able to taste tartness from the lime
juice and the fish sauce. If you need to add more fish
sauce or lime juice, don't be afraid. Getting the
flavor balance right is a trial and error process.
Put the mixed ingredients in a serving bowl,
garnish with spearmint and sprinkle the rest of toasted
rice on top. Serve with vegetables like cabbage, green
beans, lettuce and Thai basil.