7, Jul 2009

After last week’s chicken patties, we wanted to try some more ground chicken dishes, and larb came to mind. I looked at a few recipes and ended up basing mine off this one. I hadn’t had larb in a long time, but the first bite brought it right back. It’s a great flavor combination, with the bite of the fish sauce and shallots, and a bit of toasted rice flavor. We’ve been going easy on the spice lately, but this dish could do with a little bit of ground red pepper as well, and cilantro goes great too, if you aren’t feeding one of those cilantro-tastes-like-soap types. One change, next time we’d like to try it with some fine and coarse ground peanuts in place of the rice powder.

1 lb ground chicken (about 2:1 thigh to breast)
juice from one lime
1/4 c fish sauce
1 shallot, chopped
1 c red cabbage, chopped
handful of mint, chopped
1 green onion, minced
2 tbsp ground toasted rice
lettuce leaves

Toast the rice in a skillet over medium-high heat until just browned and grind. Mix about half the lime juice lightly into the chicken and let stand about 5 minutes while you prepare the other ingredients. Heat a non-stick skillet on high, add 2 tbsp water, and then the chicken. Cook, stirring often, until cooked through. Remove to a bowl, add the rest of the lime juice and other ingredients, and serve with lettuce leaves. Place a spoonful of larb on the leaf, roll up like a spring roll, and eat.
NB: you can cook the chicken in advance, but don’t mix the chicken with the other ingredients until ready to serve, as the larb will dry out and mellow over time, losing much of its bite.