February 17, 2017
Larb Lettuce Cups
Until recently, what I knew about larb wasn't much. I knew it was delicious and...that's about it. But, when it comes to food, I'm always willing to learn. I set out to learn how to make one of my favorite dining out dishes at home so I could 1) eat it more often guilt-free, and 2) suit it to the needs and likes of my family, and happily I learned it was much simpler to prepare than I imagined.
Are you in the dark like I was? Here are the basics you need to know about larb; it is a Thai dish that's considered a salad, but is comprised mostly of meat, it is most often made with chicken (but not exclusively), it’s flavored with ingredients such as lime, fish sauce, herbs, and chilies, and finally, it's finished with toasted rice. Sounds so good right? It is!
The addition of a tangy sauce and some crisp lettuce made me fall in love with larb even more.
The bright and exotic flavors of this dish are such a welcome change from my usual dinner rotation. And because I now know how to make this dish at home, I'm able to take some creative license when serving it to my family. For some added crunch (and fun for the kids) I recently tried combining larb with another of my favorite Asian restaurant dishes, lettuce wraps. The addition of a tangy sauce and some crisp lettuce made me fall in love with larb even more. And, while it was a bit messy, it was so good no one minded having to lick their fingers a few times.
The salad itself is a breeze to prepare at home. To keep things really simple I used pre-ground chicken and sautéed it up in my new Le Creuset Toughened Nonstick fry pan. This pan makes it possible to cook with less oil because the food will not stick to it, like AT ALL, so yeah...it's pretty much a God-send in my kitchen (as if Le Creuset needed another reason to be amazing). Between the leanness of the ground chicken and the reduced amount of oil, I always feel pretty awesome about how healthy this dish is...which I then use to justify eating way too much of it. Can we call that balance? Make these larb lettuce wraps and you'll understand just how good they are, I promise. And maybe then you won't be so judgey.
This is a sponsored post written by TMP on behalf of Le Creuset. The opinions and text are all ours.
Larb Lettuce Cups
|1/2 cup||raw sushi (short-grain) rice, toasted and ground (optional)|
|2 lbs||ground chicken|
|1 tsp||canola oil|
|1/2 cup||shallots, thinly sliced|
|1 tbsp||brown sugar|
|1/3 cup||lime juice|
|1 tsp||lime zest|
|1/2 cup||cilantro, roughly chopped|
|1/4 cup||mint, roughly chopped|
|1 tsp||ground chili paste|
|2 tsp||fish sauce|
|2||heads Boston/butter lettuce|
|1 tbsp||soy sauce|
|2 tsp||lime juice|
|1 tsp||chili paste|
|1/2 tsp||brown sugar|
|2 tsp||fish sauce|
|green onions, thinly sliced|
- In a small skillet toast the raw sushi rice (dry, no oil) until brown and fragrant. In a small food processor, or using a mortar and pestle, grind the toasted rice into a fine powder, set aside.
- In a large skillet or braiser, saute chicken until cooked through, drain over a colander, set aside.
- Using the same large skillet, cook the shallots in the oil and brown sugar until tender, about 3-5 minutes. Add the chicken back into the pan. Add powdered toasted rice powder, lime juice, zest, salt, chili paste and fish sauce. Saute for 3-5 minutes until all ingredients are fully incorporated and there is little to no crunch left from the rice powder.
- In a small bowl, mix all ingredients for the sauce. Remove lettuce leaves from the stalk. Fill each lettuce leaf with the larb mixture. Serve drizzle with sauce and extra green onions if desired.