Last night I had nothing to do after work for the first time in a very long time so I decided to make myself a simple little dinner and catch up on some missed TV. Imagine my absolute delight when my spirit animal friend, Julie, let me know that she had a meeting a few blocks away from my house and she was going to stop by afterwards. I decided to make us both some Larb Salad.
Larb Salad is the best salad EVER… because its a salad…. but the main ingredient is meat! How freakin’ awesome is that? Larb is a minced meat salad from Laos that is often served in Thai restaurants. Its basically minced meat tossed with bunches and bunches of delicious and aromatic herbs and then mixed with with a lime and fish sauce dressing. Whats not to like?
The one slightly complicated thing about this salad is that it calls for toasted rice powder. But its only slightly complicated — If you dry roast some dry rice and throw it in a blender for 45 seconds you’ll have all the rice powder you need to last you for a couple of months of larb dinners.
Since this salad is basically just served on lettuce leaves, its an incredibly flavorful and fun way to have a low-carb dinner.
- 1 pound of ground beef*
- ½ cup of mint, chopped
- ½ cup of basil, chopped
- ½ cup of cilantro, chopped
- ¼ cup of scallion, chopped
- ½ red onion, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup of fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
- 2 tablespoon of fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons of rice, raw grains
- salt and pepper to taste
- thai red chili (optional)
- lettuce for serving
- Place the rice into a skillet over medium heat. Toast for about 4 minutes until the rice has turned a light brown color, shaking the pan often so that the rice doesn't burn. Transfer the rice into a small blender or food processor and blend until it turns into a powder. Set aside.
- In a small bowl mix together the lime juice, sugar and fish sauce until the sugar is dissolved. Set aside.
- In a large skillet, over medium-high sauté the ground meat in a little bit of oil with a large pinch of salt and some pepper until the meat is completely cooked through.
- In a large bowl toss the warm meat with the cilantro, scallion, basil, mint, red onion and lime sauce. Sprinkle on the rice powder and toss lightly.
- Serve in lettuce cups garnished with red chili.