Larb

Staff Writer
Larb
Larb
Jane Bruce

Larb

I had the great fortune of living right next to Thai Town when I used to call Los Angeles home. There was a restaurant that served amazing drunk food called Hollywood Thai. With a name like that, one probably wouldn't expect much. We are, after all, talking about drunk food, and a place that serves beer — ahem, "tea" — surreptitiously in teapots after 2 a.m., when all other bars have closed by law in the city of angels.

One of my favorite dishes there was a traditional northeastern Thai dish from the region of Chiang Mai called larb (also spelled laab). It's a "salad" in the sense that it comes with a wedge of cabbage. What you're supposed to do with this cabbage isn't apparent at first until someone at the table puts two and two together and breaks off a leaf of cabbage and uses it as a spoon.

Commonly found at many Thai restaurants worth visiting, I swore by Hollywood Thai's rendition of the dish, which was inexplicably addictive. Well, perhaps not inexplicable — my version here is missing the key ingredient, MSG.

See all beef recipes.

Click here to see Bountiful Basil Recipes.

Ready in
45 m
4
Servings
391
Calories Per Serving
Deliver Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 1 Pound ground beef
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1/4 Cup Jasmine or short-grain rice
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/4 Cup loosely packed basil, torn
  • 1/4 Cup loosely packed cilantro, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 scallion, white and green parts, chopped
  • 3 dried Thai bird's-eye chiles
  • 1/2 head green cabbage, cut into 3 wedges, for serving

Directions

In a bowl, combine the ground beef and lime juice. Set aside to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat a skillet over medium-low heat for 2-3 minutes. Add the rice and toast until golden, tossing occasionally to make sure it colors evenly. Remove from the heat and transfer to a bowl to cool to room temperature.

Heat the same skillet over high heat for about 5 minutes. Add the oil, and when hot, add the beef. Cook until browned completely, about 5-7 minutes. Drain in a colander and reserve any juices. Transfer the beef to a medium-sized bowl.

Place the rice in a coffee grinder and grind until it resembles fine cornmeal. Sprinkle the toasted rice powder over the beef and combine with the basil, cilantro, fish sauce, scallion, and chiles. If it looks a little dry, add some of the reserved cooking liquid. Serve with the cabbage wedges.

Nutritional Facts

Total Fat
26g
41%
Sugar
3g
N/A
Saturated Fat
9g
44%
Cholesterol
81mg
27%
Protein
22g
43%
Carbs
17g
6%
Vitamin A
31µg
3%
Vitamin B12
2µg
41%
Vitamin B6
0.6mg
30.5%
Vitamin C
60mg
99%
Vitamin D
0.1µg
N/A
Vitamin E
1mg
7%
Vitamin K
24µg
30%
Calcium
47mg
5%
Fiber
2g
6%
Folate (food)
28µg
N/A
Folate equivalent (total)
28µg
7%
Iron
3mg
17%
Magnesium
51mg
13%
Monounsaturated
13g
N/A
Niacin (B3)
6mg
29%
Phosphorus
216mg
31%
Polyunsaturated
1g
N/A
Potassium
505mg
14%
Riboflavin (B2)
0.2mg
13.2%
Sodium
786mg
33%
Trans
1g
N/A
Zinc
5mg
34%

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