Thai dishes are very popular worldwide. But, you must be thinking why these are so? Thai cooking or Thai cuisine always maintains a certain protocol to cook its every dish. Thai cooks strictly see to it that all the four flavors are equally balanced in their dishes. The four flavors are sweet, sour, salty and occasionally bitter. Thai food uses lots of herbs and spices to balance all the four necessary flavors. Apart from the flavors, Thai cuisine greatly concentrates on the aroma of the food. Each and every Thai dish is created with utmost sincerity and passion. And one such example of their most popular dishes is pork salad or Laab Moo.
Laab Moo is considered to be the national dish of Laos. Laab Moo is also often termed as Larb or Laap. This dish originated in Laos and Isan (the northeastern part of Thailand). It is mainly served with Laos khao niao (steamed sticky rice). And it is prepared by tossing ground pork with spices, lemon juice, fish sauce, chili powder and toasted rice powder.
Estimated time taken to complete: 30-40 minutes
Complexity level: Easy
1. 1 cup of ground pork
2. 4 teaspoons of lime juice
3. 3 teaspoons of fish sauce
4. 1 tablespoon of long coriander, sliced
5. Â½ cup of water, at room temperature
6. 4 teaspoons of chopped scallions
7. 1 teaspoon + Â½ teaspoon of roasted chili powder
8. 1 teaspoon of white granulated sugar
9. 2 tablespoons of shallots, sliced
10. 3-4 dried chilies
11. 1 teaspoon of roasted jasmine rice powder
12. 4 tablespoons of mint leaves
13. 1 2-inch wedge of flat yellow Chinese cabbage (optional)
1. Put 1 teaspoon of jasmine rice in a wok and set it on medium high heat. Toast the rice for a few minutes, until it turns into a slightly golden brown color. Stir the rice occasionally to prevent it from burning at one side. Once done, turn off the stove and transfer the rice to a stone or wooden mortar.
2. Gently pound the roasted rice with the help of a pestle until it is grounded into a fine powder. Once done, strain the rice powder through a strainer to get rid of the rice peels. Collect the refined rice powder in a bowl and keep it aside.
3. Then again, place the wok on the hob and set the flame on medium high. Let the wok heat up considerably and then put red chili powder in the wok. Toast it until it turns aromatic and a little darker in color. Do not leave the chili powder on the wok for too long, because that will burn and liberate a super spicy smoke which can affect your lungs, eyes and nose.
4. Once done, remove the wok from the stove and place a sauce pan instead. Put the required amounts of water in the sauce pan and set the flame on high. Wait for some time and let the water come to boil. As soon as the water comes to boil, splash in the ground pork and gently stir it with a spatula to break the lump of meat.
5. Cook the meat until it turns soft and tender. Try to cook the meat until it is completely cooked and the water in the sauce pan turns murky. Once done, turn off the gas and remove the cooked pork from the hob. Then place a bowl on your counter and strain the pork with a strainer. Collect the liquid in the bowl and discard it. Then transfer the pork to the bowl and let it sit for some time.
6. While the pork is cooling, prepare other things. For this, cut the shallots into thin slices. Then tear the mint leaves from the twigs and keep them aside. Take the scallions and slice them into Â½ inch thick pieces. Once everything is done, cut the coriander thinly into small pieces.
7. Once done, add the toasted rice powder, chili powder, lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, chopped coriander, shallots, mint leaves and scallions to the ground beef. Stir all the ingredients thoroughly with a spoon and then serve on the wedge of Chinese cabbage. Sprinkle some small dried chilies to decorate the dish.
1. Laap Moo is normally served at room temperature. However, it can also be served a little warm. But cold Larb is not good at all.
2. Avoid grinding the rice powder too finely. It tastes better when left a little on the coarse side.