This Thai salad is awesome because it’s not only spicy and tangy, it’s made of meat. This recipe is adapted from one of my old favorite restaurants. I miss you Plum Alley, will you come back to me?
1 lb of ground meat ( I use pork, but beef, chicken, or even mushrooms work too)
1 medium to large shallot sliced
1 TB fish sauce
1 tsp red chile flakes
2 TB jasmine rice, toasted and ground
1 TB sugar
3 limes- 2 cut in half- 1 cut into wedges
3 cloves of garlic chopped
1 sliced jalapeño- green or red
Mint,Thai basil, cilantro, green onion- measurements for these are not exact. I like to do about a handful of each julienned then tossed together
Serve with lettuce cups and cooked jasmine rice. Make sure to wash and dry lettuce cups and to cook rice in advance because the salad is best served immediately.
- With a small amount of oil in a pan, toast jasmine rice until fragrant and slightly browned. When rice is cooled, coarsely grind rice with mortar and pestle or rolling pin and cutting board. Set aside.
- Saute ground meat and sliced shallots until meat is halfway cooked. Add fish sauce, red chiles, sugar and juice from two limes. The amounts of all of these ingredients can be added and subtracted from depending how you like your dish. Fish sauce is pungent yet flavorful and adds saltiness. If you go light on the fish sauce, I would add a pinch of salt to make up for it.
- Right before meat is cooked add garlic, jalapeños and half of the ground rice. I do this at this point so that the garlic and jalapeños don’t overcook and the rice stays a bit crunchy. When meet is cooked I would taste to see if there is enough salt, lime and spice.
- After meat is cooked, turn off the burner remove the pan from the burner, then toss in two thirds of julienned herbs. Serve Immediately
To plate, serve with cooked jasmine rice, whole leaves of lettuce (I use Boston) and enough of the Larb salad to cover the rice. Garnish with some of the remaining ground rice and fresh herbs and a wedge of lime. This can be plated family style or individually.
Let’s talk about a few of the ingredients:
Fish Sauce: Smells like the name, can be found in some grocery stores and all asian markets. Don’t let it scare you, it adds a depth of flavor that cannot be missed.
Jasmine Rice: Of course you can substitute any other rice, but jasmine rice has a beautiful fragrance and is typically used in Thai cuisine.
Red Chiles, Shallots and Thai Basil: All three of these can be specifically thai chilies, thai basil, and thai shallots (which are small and round), but since not all of these can be found outside of an asian market. Although I often see Thai basil at the grocery store and if possible should not be substituted for Italian basil.
Ground Rice: What the heck! And is it necessary? I just think this ingreient adds a flavor of toast and delightfully addictive crunch quality that make the Larb salad one of my favorite dishes.
Have fun toying with the variences in this dish. I add Sriracha for extra heat and I also go crazy with the lime juice. Yeti likes to add more fish sauce than I do and extra fresh jalapeños in the garnish. The spice in this dish can be turned way up, so go crazy hot pepper fans!
I made this Larb salad for my bestie Karina’s birthday. She’s a big spice fan and loves limes as much as I do. Since I knew she isn’t a huge fan of cake I made her mango sticky rice and placed it in a tart dish for the birthday effect. I found that recipe on Epicurious if you’re feeling ambitious and want to add a dessert.