lamb larb

Lamb Larb

many many (and many) years
i lived in thailand.
it was during my
formative years
so please know
i will not be able to provide
any kind of reference for
the best street food
but i can tell you that
they really are the
land of smiles.

we have plans to honeymoon
with the goal of
until then, i console myself
with this salad

this really simple thai salad
can be prepared ahead of time
be served hot
or at room temp
any ground meat will do
and other than the random
cleaning of herbs
very simple to put together

what’s your favorite thai dish?

Lamb Larb

lamb larb

1 lb organic ground lamb
1/4 white onion (red would be better) thinly sliced
1/4 cup water
2 stalks of green scallions/onions, diced
handful of kale, washed & rough chopped (sooooo optional, omit if authenticity is your thing)
3 TBL lime juice
3 TBL fish sauce
dried red pepper flakes
1 thai chili
cilantro leaves and mint, washed & dried, amount according to preference
1/8 cup of toasted rice powder (recipe/instructions follow)

toasted rice powder

1/8 cup of rice or gluttonous rice

dry roast in pan over medium heat until turns a light brown. grind in spice grinder until powder-ized.

cook ground lamb in skillet with no oil, with a wooden spoon be sure to separate the big chunks. go for medium heat, if you go too high it’ll caramelize the meat and that’s not the goal. cook through. at this point, i usually strain the meat of any excess oil/fat. the dish is supposed to be juicy so i add water, it’s up to you. return the meat back to the pan, add in the green onions and kale (this is just *my* addition because i had an excess of the stuff in the fridge, this is very optional) and cook until wilted.

take off heat, add in the onion slices, mix it through. allow to cool and then season with lime juice and fish sauce. season according to taste, i went with 3 TBL of each but you can certainly add more or less. i also added a dash of red pepper flakes and diced thai chili for pretty color. right before serving i add in the mint and cilantro leaves and top with rice powder.

this dish can be served at room temp or hot, with lettuce leaves or sticky rice.

others who’ve made this:
wandering chopsticks

16 thoughts on “lamb larb

    1. it does make for a weird breakfast BUT on the other side of the world in thailand, it’s dinner time for them so it works! 🙂

  1. This kind of food is my most favorite. Simple, rice, fish sauce, tons of flavor…. pretty much like what I had planned for dinner tonight! (brown rice, fish sauce, chiles, egg, basil). I’m so envious of your time in Thailand and so glad you shared this recipe! I want to try it with lamb, for sure. My mom raises her own. And with that toasty rice powder, YUM. I honestly think spicy rice dishes like this are my favorite Thai dishes!

    ps.. elephants!!

    1. ok, simple food like rice + eggs (fried or hard boiled) + fish sauce is one of my faves too, it’s so easy to put together and it’s such honest food.
      i am so jealous of your easy access to lamb! we’re visiting a cattle and lamb farm later this month to learn about their process and hopefully will be able to purchase good grass-fed meat!


      1. Good luck on your visit to the farm! I hope you are pleased with their practices. We have the tiniest freezer ever on our rental-apartment fridge so buying a bunch of up-front meat is not a good option for us… but whenever my mom cooks lamb, I am there. It gives me such a respect for the meal, to know my mom was up in the middle of the night to help birth the lambs, feed if necessary, guide the abandoned babes, check on them repeatedly day and night. An amazing sacrifice… feels very biblical.

  2. hey lan! didn’t know you grew up in Thailand! I grew up in Singapore, just a couple of hours by plane away! You’ll definitely enjoy visiting Thailand again on your honeymoon! 🙂 my favorite Thai dishes are…pad thai/pineapple rice/ Tom yum soup!

    1. yes, just for 10-12th grade, i went to the international school there but lived in the city. it was too young and silly to pay much mind to anything but my teen angst, so i am very much looking fwd to seeing the sights that snubbed back then!

    1. thanks Laura, thai food really is awesome. as much as i hate to admit it, thai food is one of the only cuisines i’ve found that tastes the same here as it does there.

  3. this sounds delicious! i’ve never tried my hand at thai food before and this looks like a great place to start 🙂

    quick question: can it be made without the rice powder or do you think it’s a key element?

    1. thai purists will tell you that it’s a must have and i agree. it provides a unique texture to the salad, soaks up the excess juices and gives a nice nutty flavor to the whole dish.

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