At Thai restaurants, Tom Mylan usually requests a double order of larb (or laab), an addictive appetizer of ground meat spiked with chiles, lime juice and fish sauce and served with lettuce leaves for wrapping.
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2 pounds ground pork
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 small shallots, minced
1 large jalapeño, seeded and minced, plus sliced jalapeño for garnish
Juice of 1 lime, plus lime wedges, for serving
2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
1 teaspoon light brown sugar
1 teaspoon Sriracha (chile sauce), plus more for serving
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup chopped mint
1/2 cup chopped basil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup chopped salted peanuts
1 large head Boston or other leafy lettuce, separated into leaves
How to Make It
In a bowl, mix the pork, garlic, shallots and minced jalapeño. In a small bowl, whisk the lime juice, fish sauce, brown sugar and the 1 teaspoon of Sriracha.
In a skillet, heat the oil. Add the pork mixture and cook over high heat, stirring to break up the meat, until no pink remains, 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the lime juice mixture. Let stand for 5 minutes. Transfer the meat to a bowl; stir in the herbs. Season with salt and pepper. Top with the peanuts and sliced jalapeños. Serve with lime wedges, Sriracha and lettuce for wrapping.
Like many southeast-Asian dishes, larb combines sweet, spicy and tangy flavors, making it tough to match with wines unless they're sweet and tangy, too. An off-dry Riesling from Washington state is ideal.
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Review Body: My family and I really enjoy this recipe often. The blend of fresh herbs is great, and I will make it with ground beef or chicken depending on what I have on hand. My aunt has made her own larb for me many times (she is from Laos) and so whenever I make this on my own I always have to add her burnt rice (ground, toasted sticky rice) because it just doesn't taste right without it! If you feel adventurous, try to buy some or make some of your own and add it to the dish.