Have you tried Larb? Larb is an Asian salad with a wonderful variety of flavors and textures. It is the unofficial national dish of Laos and is also very popular in Thailand. It can be made with chicken, beef or even non-meat products like soy crumbles. If you haven’t tried Thai salads – this is a great introduction.
Along with basil, mint makes this salad sing with flavor! While not typically consumed in large quantities, mint does contain a fair amount of nutrients. 1/3 cup contains just 6 calories, 1 gram of fiber, 12% of the RDI of Vitamin A, and 9% of the RDI of Iron.
Because of mint’s dynamic flavor, it is often added to recipes in small amounts. It is also very helpful in reducing nausea and upset stomachs. It adds a cool flavor to this yummy salad that you might not expect…enjoy!
LARB – Thai Salad – Mint
- ½ Cup Rice Vinegar
- ¼ Cup Sugar
- 1 ½ TBs Minced Garlic
- ¼ Cup Fish Sauce
- 2 Cups Chopped Red Onion
- 3 Large Carrots, Grated (or about 3 ½ cups)
- 1 Small Red Chili Pepper, trimmed with seeds removed, chopped
- 1 lb Ground Chicken OR Soybean Crumbles
- Zest of 1 large lemon
- 1 ½ Tablespoons of Fish Sauce
- 1 TB Avocado or Grapeseed Oil
- 6 Green Onions, chopped – green and white parts
- 2 TB Chopped Fresh Mint
- 1 TB Chopped Fresh Basil
- Butter Lettuce Leaves
- ½ Cup Chopped Cashews
Pour the vinegar and sugar into a bowl and stir to dissolve sugar. Add the garlic and fish sauce. Place the onions and carrots into the bowl and let sit for 15-20 minutes or until the recipe below is complete.
Mix the next 3 ingredients together in a bowl.
Heat a wok or heavy skillet over high heat add the oil. When the oil is very hot, add the chicken or crumbles mixture. Turn the heat down, and stir-fry over medium heat until the chicken is done, or soy mixture is warm. Break up any lumps with a wooden spoon.
Add the chicken or crumbles mixture to the vegetable mixture and add the green onions, mint and basil. Arrange Lettuce Leaves around the perimeter of a platter – overlapping them. Add the salad and garnish with cashews. To eat – grab a lettuce leaf and place some of the Larb in it. Roll it up and enjoy!
***In Thailand fish sauce is called Nam Pla. It is is often made from anchovies, salt and water, and is often used in moderation because it is intensely flavoured. Anchovies and salt are arranged in wooden boxes to ferment and are slowly pressed, yielding the salty, fishy liquid.