Thursday, March 30, 2006

Turkey Larb

Sometimes you just need a little green in your system. After a night of Truffled Mac 'N Cheese, Orecchiette w/ Roasted Fennel, Red Peppers and Burrata, Ceasar Salad, a basket of garlicky shoestring fries, several glasses of wine and several trips through the bread basket (no no- I didn't eat ALL of that alone...four of us shared a bunch of stuff) at Blair's, I felt like eating something light and clean.


I'd found a recipe for Thai Pork Salad with Cilantro and Mint on Epicurious about a month ago and saved it for an occasion such as this. Larb, which is basically what this dish is, is something I order often from Thai restaurants and I've always loved the flavor. I read the user comments and made some adjustments. Instead of pork, I used ground turkey and added ginger since the original recipe didn't call for it. I also substituted chili garlic sauce for the cayenne and rice powder for breadcrumbs (?!). It was quick and easy to put together, and the perfect antidote to the rich meal I'd eaten the night before. The combination of the fresh lime, salty fish sauce, bright mint and cilantro with the lean meat was so delicious- a taste of summer in our relatively cool Los Angeles spring.

I just served it with some steamed snow peas drizzled with a tiny bit of toasted sesame oil, sea salt and sesame seeds- a nice, quick weeknight meal.

Snow peas w/ sesame

I'm looking forward to the leftovers for lunch today....speaking of which, it's time to eat!

Turkey Larb in Lettuce Cups
(adapted from Thai Ground Pork Salad with Mint & Cilantro from Gourmet Magazine, June 1999)

1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2 TBS fresh mint, chopped
2 tsp grated ginger
1 white onion, chopped
1 lb ground turkey
4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons of toasted rice- ground
1 1/2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce (preferably naam pla)
2 tsp chili sauce w/ garlic
3 TBS chopped roasted peanuts (optional)

Lettuce or cabbage leaves for wrapping.

Note: To get the ground rice- simply take white rice and toast it in a dry pan until the rice gets brown. Put it in a coffee grinder to make a fine powder.

Take the ground turkey and put in a pot with 2 TBS of the lime juice- cover with cold salted water and bring to a simmer- use a fork to break up the meat. Cook until meat is just done- about 3 minutes after it starts to simmer rapidly. Drain well in a sieve.

Put turkey in a large bowl with the remaining 2 TBS lime juice and all of the herbs, ginger, onion, rice powder, fish sauce, chili sauce and peanuts (if using). Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve with lettuce cups.


1 comment:

Colleen Cuisine said...

OOOHH... yummy!
I love making larb too. It tastes great no matter what meat you use. I've made it with chicken, turkey, beef and lamb - it tastes different and delicious every time!

Here's my version of it: