When I first started this blog, I had just returned home from living in Thailand for 21 months and all I could think about was Thai food. I was eager to cook all the wonderful foods we had experienced while living abroad, not to mention put my cooking class skills to good use. I made laap mu, or pork salad as it is one of the Husband’s favorite dishes. Since making it, newly repatriated, I have made it several more times and sharpened my skills quite a bit.
Yesterday, I took the little man, aka Dominic, to the local farmers market. I put him in the baby carrier and we wandered around, with my $20 in hand, looking for some fresh goodies. The farmers market I go to carries a lot of the Asian veggies and that is one of the main reasons I like it.
I made some laap, also spelled larp, laab or many other variations, for the Husband and I for lunch. Below is my most recent version for this recipe.
What you will need:
1 lb of ground beef (chicken or pork can be used as well, turkey is a little too lean)
4 small limes (depending on how juicy)
3 stalks of lemongrass, just the ends, finely sliced
3 green onions, minced both whites and greens
1/2 small red onion, sliced thin
1/2 bunch of fresh minced, chopped
1/2 cilantro, chopped
1 T toasted rice powder*
4-6 T fish sauce
Chili powder or flakes (optional)
What you will do:
1. In a skillet, brown meat, breaking it up at the same time. As the meat has almost cooked through add about 1/4 c water and stir well. When cooked, turn heat off and set aside.
2. In a bowl, add the lemongrass, the green onion, red onion, cilantro, and mint. Squeeze the limes and add fish sauce. Give a good mix and then add the meat. Stir well to incorporate all the ingredients. Taste a small amount and adjust the seasonings as needed. Finish with rice powder and chilies, stir again. Serve with sliced cucumber, lettuce leaves and sticky rice.
*To make the toasted rice powder, use sticky rice or regular rice, toast in a pan until golden brown and then use a mortar and pestle to grind into fine powder.
The wonderful thing about cooking is everyone has their special touch. The Husband likes his laap with a lot of lime. This batch didn’t have the toasted rice (made this in about 20 minutes, in a rush) and I left out the chilies (Baby wouldn’t like that). I cannot stress how important it is to taste and adjust seasonings!!!
This is a very easy dish, full of fresh flavors and textures…your mouth will thank you!
Cheers and happy eating!