A Taste Of Thailand: {Larb Moo} Isaan-Style Minced Pork Salad

A Taste Of Thailand: {Larb Moo} Isaan-Style Minced Pork Salad
A Taste Of Thailand: {Larb Moo} Isaan-Style Minced Pork Salad | http://saltandwind.com After spending a week running around the Isaan region of Thailand, one thing was certain: the region has some of the best food around. It's home to all sorts...
Cuisine
Ingredients
15
Hands-On Time
10 minutes
Total Time
15 minutes
Yield
-
Servings
3 to 4
Diet
A Taste Of Thailand: {Larb Moo} Isaan-Style Minced Pork Salad | http://saltandwind.com
Skill
Beginner
Course
Appetizer, Dinner, Lunch, Main, Snack
Cuisine
American, Thai
Ingredients
15
Hands-On Time
10 minutes
Total Time
15 minutes
Yield
-
Servings
3 to 4
Diet
Dairy-Free
A Taste Of Thailand: {Larb Moo} Isaan-Style Minced Pork Salad | http://saltandwind.com

After spending a week running around the Isaan region of Thailand, one thing was certain: the region has some of the best food around. It's home to all sorts of bold, spicy food, one of which—larb, a sort of ground meat salad—is my standard order whenever I go to Thai restaurants. It is one of those dishes that, at its best, hits all of the major Thai flavors: sweet, sour, spicy, salty, and funky.

While in Isaan, I had versions made with pork, beef, and duck and one was better than the next. Here is a basic recipe for larb. Note that it would include toasted rice powder if it were more traditional but this is how I like it. Often, I serve in lettuce as a makeshift lettuce wrap (again not traditional), but feel free to make it more spicy, sour, sweet, or funky to fit your tastes.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon coconut, grapeseed, or peanut oil
  • 4 medium shallots

    quartered and thinly sliced

  • 6 medium green onions (aka scallions)

    trimmed and thinly sliced (optional)

  • 2 inches galangal

    peeled and grated

  • 4 medium garlic cloves

    peeled and grated

  • 1 pound lean ground pork

    can use ground chicken or turkey

  • 1 teaspoon ground chile powder

    or 1-2 teaspoons chili sauce

  • kosher salt
  • 1 kaffir lime leaf

    minced (optional)

  • 1/3 cup torn fresh mint

    (or culantro or cilantro or a mix) plus more for garnish

  • 1 head Romaine, Red Lettuce, or Boston lettuce

    washed and separated

  • Lime wedges

    for garnish

Instructions

Combine the fish sauce, 2 tablespoons of the lime juice, and sugar in a small jar, close, and shake until the sugar is dissolved. (You could also whisk this -- just make sure that sugar is well mixed in.) Taste the sauce and, if you want it fresher and brighter and less funky, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of lime juice.

Tip

Fish sauce is pretty widely available in both standard grocery stores and ethnic markets. If you have a choice, go for extra virgin or first pressing because it will have better flavor. 

Heat oil in a large nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. When the oil shimmers, add shallots and the white parts of the green onions (save the green parts for later) and cook, stirring a few times, until golden brown, about 1 minute. Add ginger and garlic and cook a few seconds until fragrant.

Tip

You could use a variety of oils here but I'm partial the slight tropical flavor that coconut oil lends. If you've never handled ginger before, check out this tip on how to peel it. Then, to make quick work of preparing it, just grate it (and your garlic) on a rasp grater.

Add pork, chicken or turkey and, use a wooden spoon or spatula, to break the meat into bite-sized pieces. Season with chile powder, chile sauce (if using), and some kosher salt and cook, stirring rarely, until meat is cooked through and golden brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in the sauce ingredients and cook until there's only enough left to coat the meat mixture, about 1 minute more.

Remove from heat, stir in remaining scallions and the herbs. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired. Serve hot or cold, filling each lettuce cups with a few spoonfuls of filling. Top with additional herbs and lime wedges, as desired.

Footnotes

My trip to Thailand and this post was sponsored by Tourism ThailandAll content, ideas, and words are my own. Thanks for supporting these sponsors who allow us to keep Salt & Wind up and running.

Did you make this recipe? Give us your thoughts by leaving a comment below and show us how it turned out by sharing it on Instagram with the #swsociety hashtag!

http://saltandwind.com/recipes/48-thai-style-lettuce-wraps-recipe

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