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tommy

Larb Laab Larp

430 posts in this topic

this thai dish really really needs it's own thread.

finally made it again tonite.

fd1d869f.jpg

this was the first time i used ground roasted rice. i do love that texture.

share your larb stories.

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Wandering around Berkeley with friends, visiting iconic locations, we opted for this Thai place, for some reason I can't recall at the moment, but boy was I glad we did, had larb for the first time...just so delicious, and well, I thought (at the time) wow one is supposed to come to Berkeley to eat other stuff besides THIS but we had clearly stumbled, as sometimes happens, into the best possible option.

Open-air second-story patio affair, as I recall, put one in mind of the Swiss Family Robinson treehouse at Disneyland, in fact, well-known, as we heard later, I recall, too, although just now I cannot remember the name but I'm sure it's very very famous and respected. I feel certain.

(However, near the Seattle area airport, SeaTac, there is a restaurant, Bai Tong, which--according to my sister the Seattle-area airline employee, and regular patron--was started largely to serve Thai Airways personnel, which has delicious Thai food, and while I'm not an expert by any means, to paraphrase former Chief Justice Warren Burger, one knows it when one sees it, wow is the food delicious. Nott sure I've had larb there however, now that I remind myself of the topic.)


Priscilla


Writer, cook, & c.


● observing #TacoFriday since 2010 ● preoccupied with road trippin' ● always ISO of the next #truckgram


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tommy... your larb looks better than the larb I had the other night at the thai restaurant. Did you use the recipe that you linked to on the thai crab salad thread?

This one?

Do you ever make yours with ground pork or just ground chicken? Also, do you grind your own chicken, or buy pre-ground chicken?

I think the problem with the larb I had at the Thai restaurant was that there was tooo much raw onion in it and not enough spice/heat, as well as not enough lettuce for my taste. Also I did not detect any lemongrass, which I think would be nice in it, too. Your pictures and words of encouragement have inspired me to try and make it early this week. I will let you know how it goes.

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blue,

the approach i used was similar to the one you linked. 'cept i didn't/don't use kaffir and sometimes don't bother with lemongrass, and, i add cilantro, mint and some red pepper for color/texture (now i see the recipe says to garnish with cilantro).

the proportions of fish sauce/stock/lime juice are very important for the correct balance. as you can see, that recipe calls for "2-3" Tbs of each. that's a lot of room to play with. i've found that lime juice and fish sauce can be half-and-half, or maybe a bit less fish sauce, depending on your taste.

until yesterday, i'd saute the pork (i use pork, and i grind it myself - a food processer works well for this) i a little oil. now i'll "poach" it in abot 5 Tbs of chicken stock/broth. i also throw in some minced garlic.

many restaurants don't serve this dish with lettuce, or much of it. i prefer more than less, so i plate accordingly.

this recipe calls for "ground chilis." i, however, use a mix of fresh thai chilis and "pickled" thai chilis. i find the fresh add a hotter and fruitier flavor than the pickled chilis, but the pickled chilis offer a nice acidic bite.

you say that the balance was off in the version you had. thai food is all about balance. so if you don't hit it 100% the first time, try again soon.

be sure to tell us how it went.

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The larb of my childhood, eaten in northern Thailand was made with raw pork, hand chopped, by a little old Thai woman squatting on the floor (the pork, however, was on a cutting board).


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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I’ve made larb twice in the last week or so since the crab salad thread appeared. I use ground pork and a variation on both of the linked recipes. Along with the lime juice and fish sauce I used kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, fresh and dried chiles, red and green onions, cilantro and mint. I wouldn’t even think about leaving out the ground roasted rice. It's easy to do and really enhances the dish. Both times I sauteed the pork, adding chopped garlic and ginger the second time. I'll try the "poaching" method next.

not enough lettuce for my taste.  

Inspired by the other thread, I served the larb in endive leaves after forgetting to pick up lettuce. Coincidentally the fisherman just brought me home a huge pile of Jonah crab claws so I’ll try the crab salad as well.


Sometimes When You Are Right, You Can Still Be Wrong. ~De La Vega

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Tommy - what type of rice did you use, and how did you grind it.

johnjohn

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Tommy - what type of rice did you use, and how did you grind it.

jasmine perhaps. i have a spice grinder. a mortar and pestle would probably work, although it would take a bit more effort. you don't need much, however.

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I LOVE LARB!!!!!

Well I have finally made it and am in love!

I used the recipe from Hot Sour Salty Sweet and again have found another winner the balance was perfect!

Lots of lettuce leaves are an absolute must, I also served it with some cucumber slices as well.

My husband raved as well.

Now I need to get in the kitchen and scrub the chicken pieces off the wall, I decided to mince the breasts myself with two knives the way I always watched Martin Yan do it.


<p><strong>Kristin Wagner</strong>, aka "torakris"

Manager, Membership

<a class="bbc_email" href="mailto:kwagner@egstaff.org" title="E-mail Link">kwagner@egstaff.org</a></p>

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Seems to me, and I certainly could be, often am, wrong, but:  Could the Cham Am larb have been made with beef?  And not ground, but thinly thinly sliced?  And lots of herbs?  And could it have been more than a dozen years ago?  Imagine, the places I went as a mere child!

Larb is commonly made with Chicken, Beef or Pork. In the Pork version, little cubed peices of pork liver are also added.


Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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jasmine perhaps.  i have a spice grinder.  a mortar and pestle would probably work, although it would take a bit more effort.  you don't need much, however.

Tommy, you're a genius, but the truth must be known!

First of all, you can make rice powder with any rice, but the best and most widely used in Thailand is sticky rice. Toast it up in a dry pan (a little further than golden brown but not burned) and grind it in a coffee grinder. Perhaps your spice grinder is a coffee grinder.

Also, to my taste you can always improve a larb by adding thinly-sliced shallots rather than onion. Like most Thai salads, they key to great larb is seasoning it a lot--plenty of dressing, chiles, and rice powder. This is a really good larb neua recipe: http://www.recipesource.com/ethnic/asia/th...00/rec0054.html.

Have they ever made a coffee grinder that's easy to clean?


Matthew Amster-Burton, aka "mamster"

Author, Hungry Monkey, coming in May

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Have they ever made a coffee grinder that's easy to clean?

my spice grinder works fine. and while we're telling the truth, i used some sort of indian rice because it's the only thing i had.

and i use shallot and not red onion. truthfully.

spice grinder:

B00004S9EQ.01.LZZZZZZZ.jpg

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I sometimes add thin cellophane noodles to larb. You pre-soak the noodles, cut them into short lengths and add to the meat while it's cooking. A shortcut to grinding your own rice powder is using glutinous rice flour (Mochiko). Once you toast the powder, it tastes almost exactly like the freshly ground and no messy coffee grinder.

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I sometimes add thin cellophane noodles to larb. You pre-soak the noodles, cut them into short lengths and add to the meat while it's cooking. A shortcut to grinding your own rice powder is using glutinous rice flour (Mochiko). Once you toast the powder, it tastes almost exactly like the freshly ground and no messy coffee grinder.

rhea, does the rice flour offer the same texture as ground rice?

also, cellophane or glass noodles in larb is very nice.

in fact, another popular thai dish, yum woon sen, is glass noodle, ground chix or pork, with lime juice, fish sauce, shallot, etc. quite similar to larb i'd say, and very very tasty...if you like glass noodles that is.

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Seems to me, and I certainly could be, often am, wrong, but:  Could the Cham Am larb have been made with beef?  And not ground, but thinly thinly sliced?  And lots of herbs?  And could it have been more than a dozen years ago?  Imagine, the places I went as a mere child!

Larb is commonly made with Chicken, Beef or Pork. In the Pork version, little cubed peices of pork liver are also added.

Thank you for that, Jason. I am pretty sure, peering back, back, back, through the mists of history, that this was beef. And so so so good.


Priscilla


Writer, cook, & c.


● observing #TacoFriday since 2010 ● preoccupied with road trippin' ● always ISO of the next #truckgram


Twitter Instagram  Orange Coast Magazine

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rhea, does the rice flour offer the same texture as ground rice?

It depends on how finely you grind your rice. I usually grind mine very fine, so it ends up the same as the rice flour. Asian markets also sell toasted rice powder and it's the same texture as the home-roasted rice flour but doesn't taste nearly as good. I use home-toasted rice flour in yam neua (sp?), larb and yum woon sen more for flavour than texture. How finely do you grind your rice?

P.S. I completely forgot that larb + glass noodles = yum woon sen. And I cook the latter more frequently because I don't eat much meat.

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rhea, i go for a big textural thing with ground rice...in this dish specifically. "flour" won't cut it for my needs. i need crunchy and stuff getting caught in my teeth. :biggrin: <== see, there's some in there right now. :smile:

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Thanks for bringing the thread back up. I had larb for the first time last week at Tuk Tuk Thai in Berkeley. A Tuk Tuk is a little golf cart-type thing and they have one in the dining room. Nice place, bright, open dining room with a bar next to the open kitchen so you can see the chef cook. It's open late (rarity here in the Bay Area). Cheaper than most Thai places too. I went with my Thai friend (who I mentioned earlier) and whose roommate works there.

The Larb ($5.95) was a generous pile of chicken breast on chopped lettuce. The lime juice, chile, fish sauce, lemon grass dressing was perfectly balanced. The interspersed mint leaves gave nice flavor and textural accents.

I also had Guey Teaw Neau Sub ($5.50), a pile of sliced beef with a few vegetables in a sweet-spicey soy gravy-like sauce over rice noodles. The sweetness of that sauce contrasted nicely with the acidic bite of the larb.

We shared an order of vegetarian Tod Mun ($4.55), deep fried rounds of sweet potato in a crunchy coconut flavored batter, accompanied with a sweet dipping sauce.

I had bottled coconut palm juice ($1.50) to drink which was very good, but very sweet. It had a really nice caramelly aftertaste. My friend said it's not that common a beverage, most restaurants don't carry it. I would drink it again though.

It was great! Three things I'd never had before. The larb was the star though. It's definitely going on the must order list.

My friend works at a different Thai restaurant and said he copied down the larb recipe there, but forgot it. I should see him tomorrow though. He said I could post it because "larb is just home cooking and everyone knows how to make it in Thailand. It's nothing special." Sure tastes good though!

I also have Hot Sour Salty Sweetand will give their recipe a try too.

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grant, do try to make it at home. it's simple and hard to mess up. the ingredients are available *anywhere*, which makes it even more special.

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I posted it on the dinner thread, but......

I took some atsuage (thick deep fried tofu) and toasted it until it was crispy, then sliced it and topped it with red onions and garlic chives (no herbs in the house) and poured over a dressing of nampla, lime and sugar mixed with a little sweet chilli sauce.

I guess it would ahve been more larb like if I crumbled it but I wanted to make the most of the crispy exterior and the silky smooth insides.

It was really good!


<p><strong>Kristin Wagner</strong>, aka "torakris"

Manager, Membership

<a class="bbc_email" href="mailto:kwagner@egstaff.org" title="E-mail Link">kwagner@egstaff.org</a></p>

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I guess it would ahve been more larb like if I crumbled it but I wanted to make the most of the crispy exterior and the silky smooth insides.

texture is more important than following rules. rules are for tourists. nicely done.

larb.

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Experience of growing up in Thailand suggests that "rules" don't necessarily apply. What applies is what sounds good, tastes good, has good texture, smells good, and is what you want. As Peter (age 6) would say "joy" -- your senses are happy.


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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Meant to add that even people who profess to "hate" tofu seem to like the deep-fried version. Mouthfeel is exquistly contrasting.


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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Meant to add that even people who profess to "hate" tofu seem to like the deep-fried version.  Mouthfeel is exquistly contrasting.

i think tofu is one of the most important aspects of pad thai, to use that dish to bolster our collective thought. when there's not enough, it is missed. when it's there, you find yourself enjoying the dish more (well, i do anyway).

people who make proclamations and blanket statements like "i don't like tofu" probably don't like much.

no where's my damned soapbox when i need it. :wacko:

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This post has brought back an old memory. We arrived in Thailand, fresh from Nebraska, on my birthday, mid 1960's. I think it was my 8th birthday. We were whisked from Don Muang airport to the grand old Erawan hotel, from when we were whisked to the home of one of the deans at the University my father would be teaching at.

We were treated to quite a meal. I remember plate after plate after plate. My first taste of saute. My first curry. My first time to ever see a whole fish (head and all) on one plate. The list was endless.

I also, that night, had my first larb (made with raw pork, which is what I associate with larb), as well as another salad, which is very much akin to larb -- a squid salad. It's one I make with some regularity. Chop up squid (not too fine), and boil for a couple of minutes. Mix with chopped cilantro, lots of lime juice, prik e noo peppers, some ginger, and shallots (cut lenghtwise). Great with sticky rice. While not considered larb, it can be considered another variation. I had trouble with the texture of raw pork at first, but grew to love larb.

The Thais present at this meal were rather amazed that an 8 year old girl from Nebraska would take so readily to this food.

Someone in another thread mentioned that perhaps foodies are born, not made. Now that I think of it, I was probably just an 8 year old seeking a way out of traditional, bland, cream of mushroom food that had been my diet.


Edited by snowangel (log)

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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