Thursday, June 29, 2017

Chicken Larb 2.0


I've always loved salads in the summertime, especially if they contain a meat of some kind. That's why I'm so fond of Thai Salads - Crying Tiger and Larb to be specific. I learned recently from a Thai friend that Larb is not a stir-fry dish. It is actually Chicken or Pork cooked in Broth with the addition of Lime Juice, Fish Sauce, Green Onions and Shallots, Garlic and Chili flakes that together create a salty, sweet, spicy and savory melange of a sauce that is served over Lettuce.  It's a light meal and oh so delicious! I posted a Larb dish before, but I made it as a stir-fry and while it was good, this method of cooking the ground Chicken in Broth makes it much more tender. And, like all Thai dishes, there is a lot of fresh herbs - in this case Cilantro(Coriander) and Mint. It is traditionally served with Toasted Rice Powder and some steamed Sticky Rice, but I had it just by itself and enjoyed it so much!

Chicken Larb 2.0

1 pound of Ground Chicken
1/4 cup Chicken Broth
2 teaspoons Vegetable Oil
1 heaping teaspoon Sugar
Juice of 3 Limes - about 6 Tablespoons
1 Red Jalape├▒o or Red Thai Chili, sliced into rings
6 Tablespoons Fish Sauce
1/2 teaspoon Red Chili Flakes
3 Garlic Cloves minced
2 Green Onions, trimmed and cut into small pieces
1 large Shallot, peeled and sliced into thin rings
3/4 cup packed Mint Leaves
3/4 cup packed Cilantro Leaves
1 small head (or 1/2 of a large head) Iceberg Lettuce torn into large bite-size pieces

Optional:  Toast 2 Tablespoons of Glutinous (Sticky or Sweet) Rice in frying pan until brown. Then grind in a mortar and pestle and sprinkle on top of the Larb.

Pour the Chicken Broth into a large frying pan and add the Oil and Sugar. Bring to a boil and add in the Ground Chicken, stirring to cook until almost all becomes opaque and has broken up into small pieces. Stir in Lime Juice, Fish Sauce, Red Chili and Chili Flakes.  Then add in the Garlic, Green Onions and Shallots and cook for a few seconds and take off the heat. Then add in the Mint and Cilantro leaves.  

Place the Lettuce in a large serving bowl or a plate with sides and spoon the Larb on top to serve.  

Five Element Analysis

Salads are a Fire Food because they involve Lettuce and the Red Chili , both fresh and dried adds just a bit more. The Chicken and Chicken Broth along with the Lime Juice contributes plenty of the Wood Element. The Garlic, Onions, Shallots as well as the Mint and Cilantro leaves make sure that the Metal Element is present. And finally, the Fish sauces brings in the Water Element making this a balanced Five Element dish!


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