Here we are, living in the Bay Area, and it is already October and finally summer has arrived. The Husband and I returned home , from our almost 21 months inThailand, at the end of May and we were expecting to have a warm summer. The Bay Area summer (if you want to call it that) failed to deliver. At first I thought the summer didn’t feel warm because I had spent the last two years in a tropical country where I was warm ALL the time. Regardless, here we are in October and it is H-O-T!
The last thing I wanted to do was come home from a long day, and have to turn the oven on to cook dinner, and heat up the house to 1000 degrees. I opted for a less heat but full flavor meal – Larp Muu.
Larp is a popular dish and versions of this dish can be found in Laos, and different parts of Thailand. No matter where you go, whether it be to Southeast Asia, or your local Thai restaurant, it seems that no two larp dishes are ever the same. Larp is considered a salad and is traditionally eaten with sticky rice. It can be made with pork (muu), chicken (gai), beef (nua) or seafood (aahan talay). I prefer pork and below is my version of this very tasty, healthy and chalk full of flavor dish.
Fish sauce (a staple pantry ingredient)
1/2 cup sliced red onion
finely sliced kaffir lime leaves (If they are small use about 15-20 leaves, for large 5-8 is good)
1 bunch of green onion
3 stalks of lemongrass, finely chopped
1/2 bunch of mint (just the leaves), finely sliced
1/2 bunch of cilantro, loose chop
3 limes (I use equal parts lime juice to equal parts fish sauce, adjust if you like more sour or more salty)
1/4 c toasted rice (khao khua), ground in mortar (omitted from tonight’s version)
Pictured above: Typically this recipe calls for minced pork (muu) or chicken (gai) but I like to use two meaty pork chops. Boil them in water until fully cooked. Let rest and cool down on cutting board.
Pictured above: Once the pork has cooled down, mince by hand. I like this technique as it gives a more rustic consistency and texture to the meat.
Pictured above: In a mixing bowl, add the red onion, green onion, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, and chilies (optional).
Pictured above: Add in the fish sauce, the lime juice, cilantro and mint and toss to combine. At this point it is important to taste and adjust your seasoning as necessary.
** update ** You can also make this recipe using minced pork or chicken, or even sliced beef.
Cheers and happy eating!