This ain't your grandma's pork larb. Unless your grandma happens to be of Lanna descent and native to Northern Thailand, in which case, this is probably very much like your grandma's pork larb. Unlike Isan larb, this is a darker mince, with tender bits of lean pork mixed together with chunks of fat, chewy bits of intestine, and a rich, thick sauce flavored with crushed spices and pork blood. It's not larb for the faint of heart, but it's one worth seeking out or cooking at home if you've got any interest in offal.
'larb' on Serious Eats
A variation of the classic Northern thai hot and sour salad made with shimeji mushrooms.
This healthy dish of ground chicken, shallots, mint, and cilantro is full of fresh and hot Southeast Asian flavors. Serve it as a crispy lettuce wrap or over rice. It can be on the table in under 30 minutes.
Pig ears larb. The pig skin soaks up a marinade of fish sauce and lime, and then you get the crunch of the cartilage with every bite.
A classic Northern Thai dish, larb is a meat-based salad that exemplifies the hot, sour, pungent, and sweet flavor balance typical of many Thai dishes. Our version uses fried shallots for extra flavor along with toasted rice powder, giving it an intense nuttiness. We found that grinding the meat yourself in a food processor results in a more interesting and varied texture.
Chicken breast, beef chuck, pork loin or shoulder, or even firm fish can be substituted for the duck. Toasted glutinous rice powder can be purchased at Thai grocers. Thai red chili powder can be found in Asian grocers, or you can substitute red chili flakes. This dish is extremely hot. You can tone down the heat to suit your taste if desired.