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  • Andy

Larb - a special taste of thai cuisine

"Larb" is very popular in Thailand. Thai people love to eat larb everyday.

An important ingredient to make into a "larb dish" is grounded toasted rice, without it we cannot say it is a "larb".

To make this toasted rice mixture, simply toast raw rice (you can use jasmine rice or sticky rice) with a pan or a wok under a medium heat until it gets golden brown colour, pour it into a bowl or a tray to let it cool down, this way you stop cooking the rice otherwise it will be overcooked.

When the toasted rice is completely cool down, grind it by using a mortar and a pestle in traditional way, or simply use an electric blender in a modern way. However, I can say traditional way gives better flavor. Keep the ground rice mixture in an airtight container then you can use it anytime you make a larb.

Now, to make a larb, select a kind of meat that you prefer, normally chicken, pork or beef. I haven't seen a seafood larb or a prawn larb, but there is no harm to try!

Photo: Pork larb make by chef Amporn Pholkerd, at Two Bamboo Restaurant

  • Chop the meat into small pieces or grind the meat by using a food processor. It depends on what style you prefer.

  • Cook the meat by saute on high heat (low heat will make the meat tough and relieve juice from the meat, that is not good), when it is cooked, remove it from the heat.

  • Seasoning with toasted rice mixture, dry chilli, fish sauce, lime/lemon juice, mint and spring onion, sliced red onion, julienne kaffir lime leaves, some people add a little of chopped galangal.

You can also adjust the seasoning with a teaspoon of sugar. A good larb flavor is a balance between the tartness from lime, the saltiness from fish sauce and the savoury flavor from the meat. Don't let sugar lead the flavor, you will ruin your larb.

A larb goes very well with sticky rice and raw vegetables like cabbage and cucumber and a mate to share it with. Believe me!

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