Pork Larb (Thai Salad with Pork, Herbs, Chili, and Toasted Rice Powder)

[Photographs: Robyn Lee]

Note: Glutinous rice (also known as sticky rice) can be found in most Asian grocers. It has opaque, pearly white grains, not the translucent grains of regular rice. For best results, use ground dried Thai chilis and palm sugar, though red pepper flakes and regular sugar will do. Adjust all sweetness, heat, and acidity to fit your taste.

About the author: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt is the Chief Creative Officer of Serious Eats where he likes to explore the science of home cooking in his weekly column The Food Lab. You can follow him at @thefoodlab on Twitter, or at The Food Lab on Facebook.

Every recipe we publish is tested, tasted, and Serious Eats-approved by our staff. Never miss a recipe again by following @SeriousRecipes on Twitter!

Loading text goes here What's This? OK

Pork Larb (Thai Salad with Pork, Herbs, Chili, and Toasted Rice Powder)

About This Recipe

Yield:serves 4 as an appetizer
Active time:30 minutes
Total time:30 minutes
Special equipment:food processor, mortar and pestle or spice grinder
This recipe appears in: Serious Entertaining: A Summer Thai Feast Pork Larb (Thai Salad with Pork, Herbs, Chili, and Toasted Rice Powder
Rated:

Ingredients

  • 3/4 pound lean pork or chicken, trimmed of connective tissue and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup dry glutinous rice (See note above)
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh basil leaves (preferably Thai)
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 2 tablespoons ground dry Thai chilis (more or less to taste)
  • 1/4 cup lime juice from about 4 limes
  • 2 tablespoons palm sugar (see note above)
  • Crumbled pork rinds (optional)
  • Thinly sliced fresh red chili (optional)

Procedures

  1. 1

    Place meat on a tray leaving a one inch space between each cube and place in freezer until firm but not frozen, about fifteen minutes. Transfer half of meat to bowl of food processor and pulse until meat is roughly ground and no pieces larger than 1/4-inch remain, about 10 one-second pulses. Transfer meat to a bowl. Repeat with remaining meat. Set aside.

  2. 2

    While meat chills, place rice in an empty 12-inch skillet and heat over medium-high heat shaking constantly until rice is golden brown and a nutty popcorn-like aroma emerges, about 6 minutes. Transfer to mortar and pestle and grind until it has the texture of cracked black pepper. Alternatively, grind in a spice grinder. Set aside.

  3. 3

    Add oil and shallots to now-empty skillet and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until shallots are golden brown, about 5 minutes. Drain shallots and discard oil but do not wipe out pan.

  4. 4

    Add pork, 1 tablespoon fish sauce, and 2 tablespoons water to pan. Cook, stirring frequently until pork is just cooked through but not browned at all, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and allow to cool five minutes. Add remaining fish sauce, scallions, basil, cilantro, mint, half of chili, lime juice, sugar, and toasted rice powder. Toss with hands and taste for seasoning, adding more chili if higher heat is desired.

  5. 5

    Just before serving, add fried shallots and toss again. Granish with pork rinds and chili. Serve immediately with cabbage or lettuce on the side.

Comments

Add a rating with your comment:

Comments can take up to a minute to appear - please be patient!

Previewing your comment: