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Pork larb (and coconut green curry with lots of baby Asian eggplants and a bit of chicky thigh) for dinner on Wednesday night for guests. One guest has spent considerable amount of time in Thailand and looked at me sideways when I said I was making larb. But I must be doing something right because it passed his palette and they were all very happy. :biggrin: Friday night, more pork larb for myself made of the same pork loin we had smoked a few days earlier. Kept the pinkest part for the larb. Was out of lime leaves so I upped the lime juice and fish sauce (still 1:1) and managed to get a bit of lime zest in there. Not the same as the kaffir lime leaves but still very good.

Judith Love

North of the 30th parallel

One woman very courteously approached me in a grocery store, saying, "Excuse me, but I must ask why you've brought your dog into the store." I told her that Grace is a service dog.... "Excuse me, but you told me that your dog is allowed in the store because she's a service dog. Is she Army or Navy?" Terry Thistlewaite

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Me too. Chicken larbilicious.

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Judith Love

North of the 30th parallel

One woman very courteously approached me in a grocery store, saying, "Excuse me, but I must ask why you've brought your dog into the store." I told her that Grace is a service dog.... "Excuse me, but you told me that your dog is allowed in the store because she's a service dog. Is she Army or Navy?" Terry Thistlewaite

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Having been a Larb enthusiast for a long time and occasional participant in this forum I just discovered a Larb like categorie of Thai dishes called Miang or Mieng. Have had two versions, finely chopped lime ginger peanut coconut and chili rolled up in a spinach leaf with a sticky tamarind sauce and one with shredded pork and some of these ingredients rolled in a chinese broccoli leaf. Both incredibly delicious.

I have a hunch that Miang can be as compelling and varied as Larb!

Anyone know more about this?

Kathe:

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OK... I want to make larb. I am aching for larb... good, luscious, earth moving larb!!!

I have read the recipes... I have seen the pictures... I just want to taste proper larb first to get an idea. I know I can do it, but here's my dilemma...

The closest and so we thought, decent Thai place had NO clue what Mr. Peanut was talking about when he asked if they had it on the menu by a different name by chance... or could make it it on the fly. Very dissappointed... we ordered the usuals and were happy... but not really... because I WANTED LARB DAMN IT!!!

Where's the best place in the Central NJ area to sample this obviously wonderous life changing dish???

This is a larbiously, seriously plea for larb help :blink: .

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My journey to LARB began with a trip to the Asian Market. I didn't take pictures while shopping and bought many things unrelated to the making of larb so I begin with the toasted rice dilemma...

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Bought the toasted rice power , but changed my mind during my prep work.

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The frozen galangal excited me for reasons unknown :blink: .

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Freshly dug up lemon grass from my herb garden.

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My "mess in place."

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MMMM... larb at last :wub: .

I went throught this whole thread taking mental notes and adjusted the suggestions/ recipes to suit our tastes.

For this first time I used ground chicken because I had some in the freezer. Went with the 1:1 fish sauce to lime ratio (with a pinch of sugar & some lime zest), heavy on fresh Thai chilies, big handfull of cilantro, scallions, grated fresh lemon grass, galangal, garlic, and the homemade toasted ground rice.

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Dessert.

Hubby loved it to say the least. The fact that I ate the leftovers for breakfast didn't sit well with him as he wanted to eat it, so guess what we had for dinner tonight? That's right... larb again!!!

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This time made with chicken breast.

Good, but not as good with the fatty ground chicken I used last night. At least there are leftovers for breakfast this time :wink: .

We'll probably be making larb more often... next time we'll try pork (but not raw) for some extra fatty goodness thrown in.

MAKE LARB, NOT WAR. Our new motto.

NOTE: We didn't eat the water caltrops... I just bought them for the kids to take to school and freak out their friends.

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Last night we visited a local restaurant that we had been to only for lunch before. I saw Larb Gai on the menu and had to give it a go after reading this thread. It was made with ground chicken and was spicy. I really enjoyed it and would definitely have it again. My husband was hesitant to try it ... he doesn't like heat as much as I do. My son was complaining about going to a "sushi restaurant", but was quite happy having polished off a seafood tempura.

“Everything you see I owe to spaghetti.”

Sophia Loren

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gallery_11353_238_1097883872.jpg

Freshly dug up lemon grass from my herb garden.

Nice account of your larb making! And, what caught my attention... you dig up your lemongrass? I cut mine, and it keeps on growing, and growing, and growing... Is there any special reason you dig it up?

Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

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Susan... I dug it up because I live in Central NJ. I planted 3 pots ( 6 bucks a pop) last year and did absolutely nothing with it. I planted the same amount this year.

Needless to say, I learned my lesson. Lemongrass is not a perennial here with our cruel cold winters. I've read it can winter indoors but haven't tried that yet.

I'm wondering... since you live in Florida, has yours ever flowered? Just curious, though you said you do cut it back.

With this Larb thread and other recipes in mind I knew I had better pull it up and try and freeze for later use before our first hard frost hits and kills what's left in the herb garden.

Thanks for asking , and the compliment... love the pictures and descriptions of your dinners BTW :smile: .

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Lemongrass is not a perennial here with our cruel cold winters. I've read it can winter indoors but haven't tried that yet.

I'm wondering... since you live in Florida, has yours ever flowered? Just curious, though you said you do cut it back.

Duh. I am embarrassed, because I should have thought of that, digging it up because of winter. I guess I am a true Floridian now... I forget that it's not warm all the time, everywhere. Please pardon me for what now seems like a dumb question.

It has spread so much that it's been hard to keep using it, and so in sections where I didn't cut it back, we have had some blossums, and one year it "went to seed." I threw the seeds back on the ground around it, and it grew more.

When I made larb for the first time recently, as you, I went through this thread and some other recipes, making mental notes and adjusting to suit our tastes. Larb is awesome food. I love your saying, make larb not war!

Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

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Alright, so why is my larb so much wetter than everyone else's? I'm following snowangel's deeeelicious recipe, and mine comes out with lots of excess liquid (i.e. lime juice and fish sauce), quite unlike all the lovely photos on this thread. Am I using too little meat? I'm following snowangel's recipeGullet formula exactly, and even adding more meat (8 oz as opposed to 6) than it calls for.

Not that the juiciness/sauciness is a problem, but it isn't so pretty for plating. Are you folks draining off the excess before plating? What's the secret, hmmm?

She blogs: Orangette

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Susan... no need to feel a duh moment :smile: ... I would love to live where the weather is summery all year round ( though the hurricanes you experienced do make me think twice), or at least above freezing. Someday hopefully we'll be able to do that. I can see how easy it is to put our North East weather out of your thoughts.

cheeseandchocolate... I am most definitely new to larb as you can tell by my questions, pictures and posts. I don't know why yours is wetter... post a picture!

I don't know how authentically I've been making mine, but I add the lime & fish sauce mixture towards the very end to make as "juicy" as I think we'll like it. As I've mentioned... I looked at everyone's recipes ( snowangels included) and suggestions.. googled... and went through countless cookbooks to devise something suitable to our tastes. So larb, so good!

Veteran Larbsters will likely chime in for you I hope.

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I have become very fond of a Laab-like dish called Yum Neua at the Dallas restaurant Thai-riffic (silly name, very good Thai). Yum Neua ingredients include grilled medium rare beef, onions, lemongrass, lime and chili paste. My impression is that the preparation is not much different than Laab. Anyone else familiar with this dish and its preparation?

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I have become very fond of a Laab-like dish called Yum Neua at the Dallas restaurant Thai-riffic (silly name, very good Thai). Yum Neua ingredients include grilled medium rare beef, onions, lemongrass, lime and chili paste. My impression is that the preparation is not much different than Laab. Anyone else familiar with this dish and its preparation?

It is a very common dish in Thailand, and prepared pretty much the same way EXCEPT that the meat has been grilled or seared, not poached in broth. I have mentioned above several times than when we grill steak, I always grill an extra one so I can larb it. Actually, that's not correct, now that you bring this up. I yum neua my leftover steak (or yum whatever leftover meat I have -- chicken, pork, lamb, even venison).

The catch is that this does not hold the "rare" aspect of the meat very well as the lime sort of "cooks" it. It is still wonderful, even with the rare aspect of it gone. (with larb, I will often make enough for lunch the next day.)

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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Snowangel,

So when you use already grilled/ cooked meat ( as I did with my fatty steak)... what do you do? Mix all the other components ( lime , fish sauce etc) and drizzle to moisten to taste?

With my rare steak I made this week, I poached the garlic, chilies, galangal, lemongrass and toasted rice with a bit of beef broth. Then I added the rare meat to heat it very slightly and tossed with the cilantro ( no mint...)... added the fish sauce/ lime + some sugar , 1:1 ratio to our liking to moisten.

Is this heresy? We've liked every larb so far... even the chicken breast (poached, but still dry)... the ground chicken and the aforementioned steak have been our fav's so far.

Pointers please?

Edited by peanutgirl (log)
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Long time lurker on this thread, and even longer time larber. (I use the Hot, Sour, Salty, Sweet recipe with the aromatic rice powder, which is amazing.) A quick point to share, and a question I'd larb to have answered:

Obviously, meat grilled to rare can be prevented from "cooking" in the lime juice if you cut and add it just before tossing -- and all of the wonderful juices that leak onto the plate can be tossed in as well. This works with leftover meat as well; just cut it up before you toss it around.

Question: I run a preschool and kindergarten and at our staff meeting pot luck I'm gonna larb my faculty. Any ideas for finger-fooding larb? I have been thinking about getting a few heads of boston lettuce and serving the larb in the little cups, but I'm interested in any other ideas. Something that's a bit less messy would be good.

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Hi, long time larb lurker!

When I larb pre-cooked meat, I do not heat the "dressing" ingredients. In fact, when I make larb using poached meat, I tend to let it sit for a bit to cool before I add the "dressing." I dislike the color that cilantro turns when it is added to the hot meat.

ANd, when I use pre-cooked meat, I just do it as I always do. Mix the dressing stuff and dress it. ALthough if I have leftovers of this and eat it the next day, it is still good, and the meat does not seem dry or stringy. It is just not bloody!

When I serve larb for a party: I line the larb bowl with boston lettuce leaves, so it looks pretty. I put a spoon in the bowl. A plate alongside with leaves, sort of fanned out. And, if they are larb virgins, I always demonstrate! I have found it's not that messy. People will put a leaf or two on their plates with a spoon of larb and sit and eat it. I do show them how to roll it sort of like a spring roll. Use the biggest leaves for the bowl garnish and the smaller leaves for the larb, since it's less messy at a pot luck if they are about bite (make that big bite)-sized.

And, finally, I tend to favor an even ratio of fish sauce to nam pla.

My recipe (since recipeGullet is down; I would reduce heat for the general public) is:

1 T Toasted Rice powder

3 T Lime juice

3 T Chicken Stock

3 T Nam pla (fish sauce)

6 tsp Ground red chilis (dried, not fresh)

4 Shallots, minced

1 Stalk lemon grass, bottom portion minced

3 Kaffir lime leaves, chiffonade

3 Scallions, thinly sliced

1 tsp Powdered galangel

6 oz Pork, chopped in food processor or with cleaver

Lettuce leaves

Sticky rice (optional)

NOTE: For toasted rice powder, you can purchase or make your own. I prefer to make my own, toasting raw sticky rice in a wok and grinding in spice grinder.

NOTE: For all of the ingredients except the galangel and toasted rice powder, quantities are approximate. I often up them by 15-25%, depending on how I want it that day. I often add Thai basil (depending on availability) and/or cilantro; some like it with mint.

Poach ground pork in broth in wok or skillet. Add remaining and heat. If you want it spicier, you can add thinly sliced bird chilis. I usually opt to reduce the amount of ground chilis and add the bird chilis.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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And, finally, I tend to favor an even ratio of fish sauce to nam pla.

?

Even ratio of fish sauce to fish sauce?

=Mark

Give a man a fish, he eats for a Day.

Teach a man to fish, he eats for Life.

Teach a man to sell fish, he eats Steak

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Should have been lime juice to nam pla. Many recipes are heavy on one or the other. I like the balance. Most published recipes will be heavier on one or the other. Like all "authentic" recipes, "authentic" is in the eye of the taster.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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Ahh.... What is more wonderful than three pounds of ground chicken larb sitting in the refrigerator? That's what I've got, good people.....

Snowangel's great recipe includes the following ingredients and directions:

1 T Toasted Rice powder

1  Stalk lemon grass, bottom portion minced

3  Kaffir lime leaves, chiffonade

...

NOTE: For toasted rice powder, you can purchase or make your own. I prefer to make my own, toasting raw sticky rice in a wok and grinding in spice grinder.

First, let me second the wonderfulness of toasting your own rice powder. Like toasting your own cumin seed and grinding it yourself, you get something that is much, much better than what you can get in a store and is very easy to make. All you need is a cheap coffee mill devoted to spices (a buck at a yard sale, right?). On that note:

The Hot, Sour, Salty, Sweet book includes a recipe for aromatic rice powder that includes the aforementioned (and crucial) lemon grass and kaffir lime leaves, but they are toasted and ground along with the rice. It's an astonishing ingredient, one of those flavors and aromas that utterly transforms your sense of a cuisine. And, if you can find and chop fresh lemon grass and kaffir lime leaves, you can make it. Finally, it removes the texture of the very toothy -- and to some inedible -- lemon grass and lime leaves, which are ground to a fine powder with the rice.

Anyone else use this method?

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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So, yesterday, I reread most of this larbtastic thread, and I read the following from snowangel:

A couple of years ago, a friend gave me (and herself) a kaffir lime tree.  ... It sits outside late spring/summer/early fall and comes inside during the cold months.

Oohh... I drooled when I read this description, and I thought, I'll never find a kaffir lime tree around here. However, as a lifelong Boston Red Sox fan, I have begun to realize that my karma for such things is shifting, and, lo and behold....

Today I went to my trio of local southeast asian markets (here in wonderful Providence RI), buying up lort (deep fried taro and pork rolls), fried bean dumplings, and steamed egg and pork buns while I shopped for nam pla, limes, and vietnamese coriander. NOT ONLY did I find an ideal, hefty, large mortar and pestle (for which I've been looking for months and with which I now smash coriander/cilantro root with bird chilis), BUT I ALSO FOUND A WEE KAFFIR LIME TREE!

Calling it a "tree" is a bit of a stretch, but the salesgirl told me that her neighbor (who is "crazy about the trees, seriously crazy; she has no bed in her bedroom, only kaffir lime trees"!) has one five feet tall. And I'm bound and determined to grow mine to a similar stature!

So, snowangel, as someone from a similar climate (Twin Cities, yes?), please tell me what you to do keep your lime tree happy and bountiful!!

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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So, yesterday, I reread most of this larbtastic thread, and I read the following from snowangel:

So, snowangel, as someone from a similar climate (Twin Cities, yes?), please tell me what you to do keep your lime tree happy and bountiful!!

Oh, lucky you! A world series win and a kaffir lime tree!

OK. So, this is my second kaffir lime tree. The first was killed during a summer storm when an 80 year old ash tree fell on it. At that time, it had grown from a wee thing to an almost 5' tree. In MINNESOTA!

So, care and keeping of the tree. In the spring, about memorial day, when we are pretty much past the danger of frost, I haul it outside into a very sunny spot. Make sure it is well watered. Mine is planted in a very "barky" medium, so it doesn't hold water well, but by the same token, it doesn't sit and get wet feet. (when we are gone to the cabin for long stretches, I pay a neighborhood kid to water the plants that will need water).

As I do with my orchids and Xmas cactus, I bring them inside when the nights start to fall steadily into the mid to high 40's.

When inside, it sits in our sun room, on the west side of the house, where it gets lots of sun. I'm sure, having lived in Thailand (where we had a kaffir lime tree that actually produced fruit!) that it loves sun. I water at least once a week, hauling it (and my orchids) into the bathtub and give them a very good drenching, let them drain, and then put them back in their sunny spots.

Here is a picture of my little lime tree:

gallery_6263_35_1099283669.jpg

It has grown quite a bit. The plant also growing in it is a petunia that volunteered last summer. It does bloom; I have just pinched off the blossoms that were waning. They are happy living together.

The catch, at least with my tree, is that it is a grafted tree, so anything that grows under the graft (the green tape thing) gets cut off. The leaves below the graft do not have the two leaves that are attached. Hope I'm describing the leaf thing well. The leaves above the graft have a little leaf with a big leaf on top, all on the same stem.

In this clime, it is not a prolific grower -- but, slow and steady wins the race. Enjoy your lime tree! It provides enough leaves for me, but no extras. Those will come in future years as it gains height. The big thing, I think is sun and water.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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Snowangel, as promised...

The larb was fantastic, although we both agreed I over did the chillies a little.

Great combination of flavours.

This was the inaugural run and next time I will play a bit with the ingredients....more lime...more nampla....way less chillies.

I used a tablespoon of ground fine dried red chillies.....whoooohooooo...hot!

Don't get me wrong, we like it hot, but this was a bit much.

I have a jpeg, but I can't figure out how to post it.

When I hit IMG it says "enter the URL".

Where is the "browse my files" prompt?

:blink: in Vancouver

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Snowangel, as promised...

The larb was fantastic, although we both agreed I over did the chillies a little.

Great combination of flavours.

This was the inaugural run and next time I will play a bit with the ingredients....more lime...more nampla....way less chillies.

I used a tablespoon of ground fine dried red chillies.....whoooohooooo...hot!

Don't get me wrong, we like it hot, but this was a bit much.

I have a jpeg, but I can't figure out how to post it.

When I hit IMG it says "enter the URL".

Where is the "browse my files" prompt?

:blink: in Vancouver

Once you've uploaded your photo, click on it. Down by the photo in the lower right corner, there will be a clickable phrase -- something like "click here for actual URL." Copy that, go to the post, do the IMG thing and paste.

I like things way hot. I also add bird chilis for that POP. Yes, you must play with this. The recipe I indicated is what I like. I know that in Thailand, larb tastes different in almost any little joint at which you dine.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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