Larb is a Thai version of a Chicken Lettuce wrap. I was just recently introduced to this dish a few months ago when my cousin's wife made it for a dinner party they had at their place. She quickly told me how to make it, but I wasn't able to write down the recipe. I did remember that she added a toasted rice-type of powder. So I searched for a recipe that was somewhat similar to hers and found this recipe.
Larb (or Laab as the Thais say it) can be served as an appetizer or side dish or a whole meal in itself. You can use any type of ground meat you have, such as chicken, pork, turkey or beef. I always have ground turkey in the freezer, therefore its what I used today. Its a really light dish with a salty and sour taste. I modified the original recipe a bit by cutting the fish sauce in half because I found it to be too salty. But the dish was quite refreshing for this warm summer evening.
2 Tbsp. toasted rice (1/4 cup uncooked rice, toasted until golden brown, then ground in a food processor or coffee grinder)
1 tsp. oil
2 Tbsp. water
1/2 lb. ground meat (turkey, chicken, pork, or beef)
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/4 tsp. ground chili pepper (more if you like it very spicy)
1-2 Tbsp. fish sauce (depending on how you salty you like it)
5 sprigs cilantro, chopped
3 sprigs mint (optional for garnish)
1 green onion, sliced (optional for garnish)
1) Marinate meat with juice of 1/2 a lime for a few minutes while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
2) Heat pan or wok on high and add water and oil. Immediately add marinated meat and stir until thoroughly cooked and no longer pink.
3) Remove meat from heat and place in a large mixing bowl. Add all the remaining ingredients and mix well until incorporated. You can add more or less of the fish sauce and lime juice to your taste. Garnish with fresh sprigs of mint and sliced green onions and serve with lettuce or cabbage leaves.