Serves 4 as part of a shared meal with other dishes, but alone is sufficient for 1
This classic salad or larp from the north-east of Thailand can be made with many types of meat or fish, including pork (as here), chicken, prawns, freshwater fish and even mushrooms. A larp is a highly seasoned dish and so is always eaten with rice (usually sticky rice) and a plate of crunchy raw vegetables, to some respite from its intensity.
For a better, lighter salad, I suggest you mince the pork yourself, although mince from a good butcher will certainly fit the bill – try to make sure it is done to order, so you know it’s fresh. Long-leaf coriander is sometimes known as saw-tooth herb and, as the latter name suggests, its deep-green blade-like leaves have a serrated edge. You can usually find it in south-east Asian shops, especially Thai and Vietnamese. If you can’t find it, then simply add a little more ordinary to the mix. The same places will also likely sell roasted chili powder and ground roasted rice, but it is easy enough to make your own, and it will be certainly be much more aromatic than the ready-made stuff.
A selection of the following vegetables and herbs: slices of cucumber, raw green beans; sprigs of Thai basil or mint steamed jasmine or sticky rice, to serve
Heat the stock with the salt and sugar in a small pan. When the stock is simmering, add the minced pork and simmer until just cooked. Season with the fish sauce and lime juice, then with the chili powder – the larp should taste hot, salty and sour. Finish with the shallots and herbs and most of the ground roasted rice. Check the seasoning and adjust if necessary.
Serve the salad sprinkled with the remainder of the roasted rice and accompanied by a plate of raw vegetables and herbs – and, of course, with a bowl of steamed rice.
Roast a good handful of dried bird’s eye chilies in a wok or pan over a medium heat, stirring and tossing regularly to prevent scorching, until they have changed colour and are beginning to toast. Cool then grind to a coarse or fine powder, as preferred, using a pestle and mortar or a clean coffee grinder. This keeps well in an airtight container.
To make ground roasted rice, dry-fry white sticky rice over a low heat in a wok or pan, stirring regularly until golden and fragrant.
The rice must smell nutty and cooked – rather like cooked pastry – and it should be a deep golden brown in colour. (If it is insufficiently cooked, it is not only indigestible but unpalatable.)
Leave to cool then grind to a fine to medium powder using a pestle and mortar or a clean coffee grinder. Store in an airtight container.
06 May 2019 03:21PM
( Updated: 07 May 2019 10:08 PM )