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Sunday’s are my zen day. All the chores have been done for the week and so it’s time for fun and play, and for me that involves primarily anything involved with food! And on such a dreary day as today (it’s cold and overcast, threatening to rain at any given moment) I decided I needed some colour in my life, and what better colour that this bespeckeld rainbow of this salad?
Laab, Laap, Larb or lahb is a dish from Laos, although I must admit I am more familiar with this dish from Thai restaurants (it is a popular dish in the northern parts of Thailand). Laab in its essence is a minced meat salad and is incredibly easy to prepare with a lot of pantry staples involved.
This salad, like most Thai food, is salty, sweet, sour and spicy. If you think it may be too spicy for you, skip the minced chili to create a more mild flavour. And if it’s too sour? Add a pinch more palm sugar (or caster sugar, if you’ve no palm sugar to hand) to help balance out the flavours to better suit your palate. Regarding the pickled chilies, and toasted (scorched) rice, you can find this at your local Asian grocery store.
This salad is great served with some crisp lettuce leaves (similar to choy sum bow), with a pile of steamed jasmine rice, or simply by itself (as I am prone to do!)
1 1/2 limes, juiced
1 1/2 tbsp fish sauce
1/2 tsp minced ginger
1/4 tsp minced chilli
2 shallots, sliced (both white and green parts)
4 pickled chillies, de-seeded and sliced
1/2 tsp palm sugar
1/2 bunch fresh coriander, chopped
1/4 bunch fresh mint, chopped
500g pork mince
1 tbsp peanut oil
1/4 cup toasted rice
1. The sauce: In a small bowl, combine lime juice, fish sauce, ginger, chilli, shallots, pickled chillies, palm sugar, coriander and mint. Set aside.
2. The pork: In a large frypan (or wok), heat the oil over a medium heat before adding the pork and cooking for 5-10 minutes or until browned. Set aside to cool.
3. Once the pork has cooled, toss through the sauce and divide between serving plates.
4. Sprinkle with the toasted rice and serve.