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Sunday, March 23, 2014

Thai Larb


If you've ever been to a Thai restaurant, then you must have seen this dish on its menu.  Don't have an adverse reaction to the name...it's actually pronounced "laap," which has a nicer ring to it.  It happens to be one of Jim's favorites.  I have never been excited about it because I get anxious when it comes to ground meat...don't judge me...we all have our own brand of crazy.  So when I was perusing Bon Appetit's web site this weekend (as I tend to do) and saw this recipe for larb in which you start with chicken breast and grind it in a food processor, I was sold.  I was on larb duty, while Jim again set to work making papaya salad (this time he did it Thai style the way I prefer it) and sticky rice.  Another Asian style Sunday in the Faulkner house.  Everything was amazing.  Even Adrienne loved loved loved the larb - and sticky rice has always been one of her very favorite things in the whole wide world (her words, not mine.)  So the meal was an absolute success.  The larb was so easy to prepare, I wouldn't hesitate to make this on any weekday night.  You could serve it with rice or noodles, or serve it with lettuce cups and you have a ridiculously healthy meal.

Thai Larb
adapted ever so slightly from Bon Appetit

1-1/2 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup roughly chopped shallots
2 Tbsp thinly sliced lemongrass
2 kaffir lime leaves, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
1 small red Thai chili pepper, thinly sliced
2 tsp fish sauce
1/4 tsp kosher salt, or more to taste
3 Tbsp peanut oil, divided
chopped cilantro for serving

For the dressing:
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
2 Tbsp light brown sugar, packed
1 Tbsp fish sauce
1/2 tsp siracha

In a food processor, combine the first 8 ingredients.  While drizziling 1 tablespoon of the peanut oil, pulse the mixture until the chicken is very finely chopped.  Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of peanut oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the chicken mixture and allow to cook while breaking it up with a spoon until the chicken is cooked through, about 6 minutes.  Serve over rice or with lettuce leaves and the sauce.  Enjoy!


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