Barb. Carb. LARB.
STOP THE PRESSES! STOP THE PRESSES! Wait….this is only on the internet….STOP TYPING….DON’T HIT ENTER….DON’T POST ANYTHING YET!!
I’ve got HUGE news to report. After my last blog on sonnets, I received a huge response. (I thank all five of you who chose to reach out.) Besides being told I know nothing about poetry or Shakespeare, I was told that I OBVIOUSLY don’t know as much about food as I thought I did. (I thought this was a little mean, obviously, I am transparent about the fact that I am always learning and that is why I spend so much time on The Google….and cite my resources to boot.)
I didn’t take it offensively….with the exception of making a voodoo doll out of a garden zucchini of this particular person who wrote. (In case you are not familiar with voodoo dolls, the zucchini version can be particular cruel. I won’t go into the gore but I bet my “friend” is not sitting down anywhere hard today!)
The letter I received reminded me there is a food that rhymes with Barb. How did I miss this? I spent 7 whole minutes trying to come up with “barb” rhymes on my last post. How can that amount of research come up with no results? I am starting to understand the pain of millennials if this is the kind of suffering the go through.
I went back on the line and found the mystery food that I apparently overlooked. LARB!!?? I had heard of Larb before but honestly hadn’t eaten it. I guess (if guessing means I looked it up on The Wikipedia) it is the Official unofficial dish of Laos. (Sort of like how pizza is the official unofficial food of Chicago.)
Essentially it is a minced meat salad….no not mincemeat…because that is a thing too….but literally chopped up meat flavored with lime, fish sauce, fresh herbs like mint and served on or with veggies.
And we can’t forget the most important part of larb…..it rhymes with BARB!!!!! (It is like a whole new world of poetry is open to me.) Actually, the most important part is that there seems to be a lot of different ways to make larb.
I think the one key ingredient that can’t be missed in larb is the toasted rice powder (Khao khua). You can buy it in the store or simply make it at home. (You toast rice in an unoiled pan until it gets a popcorny fragrance and turns brown. Let it cool and grind it to a powder.)
The cool thing about using this rice flavor is that it does two things to your larb….it adds a really neat toasty flavor and it acts like a thickener so your meat salad doesn’t turn into a meat soup. A teaspoon or two does the trick. The coarseness of the rice depends on you…you may want it to have some poppy, crunchy bits (think of croutons or nuts in a salad) or you may just want the flavor. It is kind of a neat ingredient to play around with.
What I really liked about making Larb is that you can really make it a “light” summer meal. Given we like to toss all caution to the wind on Felt Like a Foodie, you can make it with any meat you like. You may have to adjust the seasoning. I served mine over an Asian-esque salad of raw cabbage and carrots and it was an awesome dinner.
And because I know you were just waiting for it…..
There once was a girl named Barb.
She wrote a blog on a Larb.
She thought it was tasty
And good for your waisty
Because it seemed really low on carbs!
4 cloves of garlic
juice of 2 limes
2 Tb Fish Sauce
2 Tb Brown Sugar
1 tsp red pepper (I used togarashi but red pepper flakes would work too….just go a little lighter if you don’t like spice)
1.5 lb ground pork
1 tsp rice powder
Thai basil/fresh mint
Favorite salad mix
In a large food processor, chop up shallot and garlic. Add the meat, lime juice, fish sauce, brown sugar and red pepper. Twirl it all together.
Brown the meat in a large skillet over medium high heat.
When the meat is about half done, add the rice powder. (I don’t want to add it too early because I want it to stay “toasty” tasting and not burnt.)
Continue cooking until meat is cooked but don’t overcook it.
Add a handful of fresh herbs like Thai basil or fresh mint and serve on top of a light salad.
Give it a squeeze of a slice of lime and serve.
Maybe it will be so good YOU’LL write a poem.
- 4 cloves of garlic
- juice of 2 limes
- 1 shallot
- 2 Tb Fish Sauce
- 2 Tb Brown Sugar
- 1 tsp red pepper (I used togarashi but red pepper flakes would work too….just go a little lighter if you don’t like spice)
- 1.5 lb ground pork
- 1 tsp rice powder
- Thai basil/fresh mint
- Favorite salad mix
- Sliced Limes
- In a large food processor, chop up shallot and garlic. Add the meat, lime juice, fish sauce, brown sugar and red pepper. Twirl it all together.
- Brown the meat in a large skillet over medium high heat.
- When the meat is about half done, add the rice powder. (I don’t want to add it too early because I want it to stay “toasty” tasting and not burnt.)
- Continue cooking until meat is cooked but don’t overcook it.
- Add a handful of fresh herbs like Thai basil or fresh mint and serve on top of a light salad.
- Give it a squeeze of a slice of lime and serve.