Thai Chicken Larb
A fresh take on chicken salad, chicken larb (pronounced lawb) can be found on most Thai menus as an appetizer. What many people don't know is that it's the national dish of Laos and one of my favorites for summer.
Most of the ingredients are fresh herbs so there’s not much actual cooking involved but don’t be fooled as it’s fresh, packed with flavor, and usually a bit spicy. I use a dried chili pepper for the spice but sometimes I don’t want to deal with the hot pepper residue on my fingers for the rest of the day as always seem to touch my eyes at some point. If you've ever cooked with peppers, you know what I mean. You can substitute with my trusty favorite, cayenne pepper. This dish can be made into a full meal by adding glass noodles or serve it in lettuce cups as an appetizer.
The traditional recipe calls for khao koor which is basically toasted white rice done in a dry wok and then grated down with a mortar and pestle which creates a dusty powder. I don’t take the time to make the khao koor, so I substitute with almond meal which seems to help the sauce adhere to the chicken just perfectly for an even coat.
2 large chicken breasts
1/4 red onion, chopped
3 green onions, chopped
mint, handful chopped
cilantro, handful chopped
1 small chile pepper, minced
1 lemongrass stalk
2 tbsp fish sauce
1/4 cup almond meal
Start by cleaning and chopping the chicken breast and cooking it over low heat with some coconut oil and a pinch of salt until cooked through. Set aside and let cool down draining about half the liquid from the bottom of the pan. Combine red onion, green onion, mint, cilantro, chile pepper, lemongrass, fish sauce, lime juice and smash the lemongrass to emit some of the flavors into the mixture. Add chicken and almond meal and toss until coated evenly. Let sit for a couple of hours so that the flavors find their way into the chicken.
Remove pieces of lemongrass when it’s time to eat as they are hard to chew, and I’m sure a bit tougher to digest.