Larb is a popular Thai salad of highly seasoned ground meat and herbs. It’s a lovable mix of spicy and sweet, but Elaine and I agree they should find a more appetizing name for it.
My version includes our organic radish, and tender baby napa cabbage, but any of the ruffled greens could be used. Chopped into ribbons they are a cool crunchy complement to the spicy meat. My larb also is made with ingredients that are easy to find. That’s important to me because what good is a recipe that lays on my desk while I go on the hunt for “Thai bird chiles” or “gochugaru”? That is an actual thing, by the way. I am not making that up.
Lastly, I love learning new things. Not only was larb new to me, but I learned how delicious a little sugar on minced garlic is! The gritty sugar helps the garlic to mince up finely, but then it also picks on the garlic’s natural sweetness. I may always sugar my garlic cloves from now on.
Serves 2, generously.
Cremini mushrooms, 1 package, quartered (about 2 cups)
1 small onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 tablespoon butter (helps add a little fat and flavor to the turkey)
1 pound ground turkey
3 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons lime juice
1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce (don’t skip this – it’s key to flavor and saltiness)
3 squirts of Sriracha hot sauce (about 1/2 tablespoon),or other hot chile of your choice
Cilantro, one big handful, leaves roughly chopped
5 or 6 radishes, chopped
Baby napa cabbage or other ruffled green, thinly sliced
- Heat pan over medium-high; sauté the mushrooms and onion in butter until softened and browned. Add turkey and cook until browned, about another 7 minutes. Stir to crumble.
- Place garlic on a cutting board and sprinkle with sugar. Mince.
- In a large bowl combine garlic, lime juice, fish sauce and sriracha
- Add meat mixture. Toss and cool a little, then add cilantro and radish.
- Place greens on a platter and top with the meat mixture.
NOTE: If you have basil, mint, and/or cucumbers, please feel free to chop and add too – all of these things are friends of larb. This is great served at room temperature and the meat mixture keeps well in the fridge.