I really love larb and will always order it when eating Thai food. It’s often pretty spicy which I love. You can make this as spicy as you like, I used a fresh chilli which was pretty mild and you can also use chilli flakes. Here I have added a few good handfuls of chopped cavolo nero (or use a sturdy green) as it can handle the heat and pretty much blends in with all the herbs.
The idea here is to make the larb nice and punchy and serve it with rice. A fried egg is particularly nice on top and also increases the protein content - Keeley had one on his. If you didn’t want rice you could serve it in lettuce or cabbage cups or vermicelli noodles are good - just increase the lime and fish sauce so there is enough dressing to coat..
Traditionally, larb is served with toasted ground rice. Thai cooks usually use glutinous rice but any white rice will do. It adds an interesting texture. You could also sub the rice for toasted peanuts or cashews for a bit of crunch.
For the kids I took some of the pork out before I added the seasoning and herbs and mixed in some peas and rice. Though Flynn actually enjoyed the finished dish more… Toren did not.
1-2 T white rice (optional)
500-600g pork mince - or use chicken mince
1 red onion or 2 shallots, finely sliced
a large handful of cavolo nero about 2-3 cups chopped
2 T fish sauce
2 T lime juice
pinch of sugar to balance
1 cup chopped herbs - I used mint and coriander
1 red chilli chopped or chilli flakes to taste
rice and cabbage leaves or greens or lettuce leaves
Other extras I like to sometimes add - lime zest or finely shredded kaffir lime leaves. Sometimes I add extra red onion and add some garlic and extra herbs too!
If you are serving this with rice, get the rice on to cook first. Then prep your ingredients as once you start cooking, it only takes about 10 minutes.
If you are using the rice, toast it in a dry pan until lightly brown and then ground finely. Set aside.
Heat a pan over a high heat. Add some oil and add in the pork mince and spread out to brown. In saying that, it’s actually quite hard to brown unless you have a wok so just try your best. Leave for a few minutes and then start breaking up the pork mince. When it’s 3/4 cooked add in the onion and the cavolo nero and stir fry for a minute or two or until the pork is cooked.
Remove from the heat and add the fish sauce, lime juice, a pinch of sugar and the herbs. Taste and adjust to suit you. I just added the chilli on top but you can mix it in now.
Serve with rice and crunchy vegetables, I used cabbage.