Pig's Ear Larb

[Photograph: Chichi Wang]

About the author: Chichi Wang took her degree in philosophy, but decided that writing about food would be much more fun than writing about Plato. She firmly believes in all things offal, the importance of reading great books, and the necessity of three-hour meals. If she were ever to get a tattoo, it would say "Fat is flavor." Visit her blog, The Offal Cook.

Note: Glutinous rice powder can be found in Thai markets. If unavailable, make your own with glutinous rice, which can be found in most Asian markets. To make the rice powder, toast the rice in a dry skillet over medium heat until nutty brown, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a mortar and pestle and grind until fine, or grind in a spice grinder, pulsing a few times until finely ground, but not quite a powder.

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Pig's Ear Larb

About This Recipe

Yield:serves 4 to 6
Active time:30 minutes
Total time:3 hours
Special equipment:3 quart saute pan
This recipe appears in: The Nasty Bits: Pig Ears Larb


  • 2 pig's ears
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil
  • 8 ounces ground pork
  • 1 cup shredded cabbage leaves
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce, plus more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed juice from 1 lime, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground dried red chili (preferably Thai), plus more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon sugar, plus more as desired
  • 1 tablespoon toasted rice powder (see note above)
  • 1 medium shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper


  1. 1

    Place pig's ears in pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer until tender, about 2 1/2 hours. Remove ears from heat and let cool. Place ears in the refrigerator and let the skin solidify, then cut into thin strips less than 1/4 inch thick.

  2. 2

    Heat oil in a wok or skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the ground pork and cook, stirring frequently, until the meat is just cooked through. Remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl. Add cabbage, fish sauce, lime juice, chili, sugar, rice powder, shallot, cilantro, mint, and black pepper. Toss to combine and season with more fish sauce, lime juice, chili, and sugar as desired. Serve warm or at room temperature

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