Saturday, March 13, 2010
I've eaten a lot of Thai food before, but never did I order any larb (salad). I want the most bang for my buck, so larbs rarely cross my mind when ordering. Making larb is a different story though, because it's so easy. I found the recipe for Larb Gai from Import Food.
This have got to be the easiest recipe ever...but I don't like to do things the easy way. No, sir! First thing, I couldn't find ground chicken for the life of me and did not want to settle for ground turkey. Second, I was too lazy to get a package of toasted rice powder from my mom or the Asian markets. Lesson learned: present laziness will result in more work later.
When I was little, I was my parents' sous chef. My job was food prep. Come to think of it, it's still my job now when my parents are cooking. The job includes: making toasted rice powder, toasting and crushing peanuts (half of the peanuts would be gone by the time I was done), work out my arm by mincing meat with a large cleaver, picking and washing vegetables, making rice, washing/deveining shrimps, etc.
Little did I know that I would be using those "skills" to make larb gai just because I was too lazy to get the prepared ingredients.
Toasting rice was easy. I measured 3 tablespoons of uncooked white rice and throw it in a pan on medium heat and toast it for about 10 minutes or until golden brown. Remember to stir it around once in a while. If the heat is too high, you'll get popped rice instead. Notice how I kinda forgot to stir the rice so there were some that were too dark and some that were too light.
Once the rice is done toasting, use a pepper mill to grind the rice into nice powder. I did not have a pepper mill, so I resolved to put the rice inside two zip lock bags and roll the rolling pin over that. The result was a disaster, no powder there. Just broken rice grains (it was smaller than what the photo shows). If I would just get some prepared rice powder from the market, none of this would happen. I must be the most equipment deprived cook in the world.
While the rice is toasting, slice 1/2 of a shallot.
And chop 2 stalks of green onions.
Grab about 1 pound of skinless and boneless chicken. I used the leg and thigh part because dark meat is my favorite. Cut the chicken into cubes (if you already have ground chicken, skip these steps). If you have a food processor, throw the cubes in there voila, ground chicken! If you don't have a food processor like me, proceed to grab the largest and heaviest cleaver you can find and mince the heck out of the chicken. It's best to do this when you're mad at someone.
See? 10 minutes later, you have ground chicken and a super buff arm.
Squeeze yourself some lime juice from 1 1/2 limes.
Throw the wad of ground chicken and about 2 tablespoons of lime juice into a large pan. Cook on medium high heat until all of the chicken are cooked.
Pour the cooked chicken into a large bowl and add the sliced shallots, chopped green onions, 1 tablespoon of ground Thai chili, and toasted rice powder. Add approximately 1 tablespoon of lime juice and 3 tablespoons of fish sauce to the mixture. Mix it all up! I recommend adding the fish sauce one tablespoon at a time and stopping to taste after tablespoon. If you cannot taste the lime, add whatever juice you have left.
The still hot chicken will cook the shallots slightly, so don't worry about that.
Serve larb gai over a bed of lettuce and rice.
Enjoy and remember not to be lazy or be prepared to reap the consequences.
Adapted from recipe found on Import Food
1 lb of ground chicken
3 tablespoons of toasted rice powder
1/2 shallot, sliced
2 stalks of green onions, chopped
1 tablespoon of ground Thai chili
Juice from 1 1/2 limes
2 sprigs of mint (optional)
Cook the ground chicken and about 2 tablespoons of lime juice on medium high heat until chicken is done.
In a large bowl, mix cooked chicken together with toasted rice powder, sliced shallot, chopped green onions, and ground chili.
Add the remaining lime juice and fish sauce one tablespoon at a time to taste.
Serve over a bed of lettuce and rice.