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Sunday, August 16, 2009

Thai Chicken Larb Gai (Laap)

This is one of a handful of recipes in my repertoire that I would be lost without. It is so astonishingly full of flavor and nutrition that it makes most of my other recipes run and hide from shame. I could eat it once a week for the rest of my life and never get tired from it. In fact, sometimes we do come close to eating it once a week, because it is so hard to find a tastier, quicker dish that is healthier.

This dish was first introduced to our household by our dear friend Lyn, who sometimes guest blogs on here as "Butter Vixen." Lyn spent several months in Thailand while conducting her dissertation research. Not only did she bring back a load of knowledge, she also came back with some delicious Thai recipes she learned at a cooking class there.

She made this dish for us one night at her home, and my husband and I were sold. I had never really paid attention before, but since learning this dish from Lyn, I've noticed that Larb Gai appears on many Thai restaurant menus. I've only ordered it out once, because that first time I was disappointed that it didn't seem as good as Lyn's recipe. The ingredients are dead simple, but the final taste is wonderfully complex.

I've recently gotten a couple of friends, and my mother, hooked on the Larb, so I promised I would finally post the recipe. With Butter Vixen's permission, here it is. So go ahead, eat your heart out...guilt free.

Larb Gai

Comes to us via Butter Vixen from a Thai chef

Chicken Mixture
Combine ingredients and cook until chicken is thoroughly done:
1.5 cups (10 oz) minced chicken breast
4 shallots, thinly sliced
2 slices of fresh ginger, finely grated or minced (or Thai ginza)
3 Tablespoons of fish sauce
2 Tablespoons of lime juice
1-2 tsp red pepper flakes

Serve with:
Sticky rice (or white rice), and an assortment of raw vegetables. We always use finely shredded green or red cabbage, carrots, and cucumbers. Sometimes we add julienned red pepper, sprouts, or green beans.

Mix together with the chicken mixture in a bowl, or serve separately and allow individual eaters top to their taste:
1-2 Tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
1-2 green onion, chopped
1-2 Tablespoons fresh mint leaves, chopped
extra wedges of lime juice


M Smith said...

I always add toasted rice powder. My Mother-in-Law (who is from Thailand) always added it to hers. Either way, full of flavor and low fat! Can't beat that...

Laura said...

I love larb gai--this looks awesome.

Ali @ The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen said...

Wow, this looks delicious and simple to prepare! -Ali :)

gamma knife said...

This looks heavenly. I'm searching for recipes which I can cook for my friends. This is perfect. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Just made this dish and it was amazing! Turned out perfect and I will be making this again! Thank you!

Anonymous said...

What is the measurement of "2 slices" of ginger? How much is that?

Erin said...

@Anonymous: We usually use about 1 square inch of ginger. But I think it depends a bit on your taste for and tolerance of ginger. I dont like when it overwhelms a dish, so I wouldnt do more, but if my husband were left to his own devices, he would probably like about 1.5 inches of ginger.

As with any odd to measure and natural ingredient, you might start small, taste and adjust as needed.

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