Thursday, December 30, 2010

Ground Turkey Larb

Larb:  a type of meat salad in Laotian and Thai cuisine, most often made with chicken, beef, duck, turkey, pork or even fish, flavored with fish sauce, lime juice and fresh herbs.

Note from Sara:  This week's recipe is the last of the uber-generous substitute cooks and is from my old roommate, Kye.  Now, Kye is the sole reason that I own and cook with oyster sauce, fish sauce, and hoisin.  She taught us a lot about Asian cooking when we all lived together, and her "Hmong Beans" is still my most favorite way of cooking fresh green beans (Serious Yum City, folks).  I was so excited that she sent me this recipe because 1) I already knew that it would taste amazing, 2) I'm mildly obsessed with lemongrass anything, and 3) Not one day after she emailed me this recipe, the foodie book I was reading started waxing poetic about Larb.  I was destined to try it out, don't you agree?  Thank you, Kye!!

Ground Turkey Larb
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 half small onion, chopped finely
1 clove garlic, chopped finely
1 stick Lemon grass, cut finely
4 Hmong (Fresno/Thai) Chili
5 Crimini mushrooms, chopped finely
1 package of Lean Ground Turkey Breast (Usually 20 oz, can substitute or mix chicken and pork)

3 limes, juiced
1 lemon, juiced
2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. Honey
1 Tbsp. fish sauce
1 tsp. hot chili ground
Finely chopped mint to taste


Heat wok/large skillet to medium-high heat, add olive oil. Add finely chopped onions, garlic, lemon grass, hmong chilis, & mushrooms into the pan to sweat for 5 minutes. Add ground meat to the pan and break up meat to ensure small pieces. Cook for another 5 minutes until lightly browned. Add sauce of 3 limes, 1 lemon, salt, honey, fish sauce, and hot chili ground. Depending on how juicy the limes are, you may need 4, but use only three to begin with. Cook for another 3-5 minutes and you are finished.

Add finely chopped mint at the end after turning off the heat and stir. You can serve hot or at room temperature. Pair with rice, cabbage or lettuce cups.


When chopping lemon grass, cut off the top of the stem and the bottom. Then take the outer layer of the lemon grass off. Make a cut vertically down the middle and finely chop horizontally.

Hmong chilies are generally found in the Mid West and in the Central Valley of California. You can use Thai chilis which are similar and can be found at any Asian market.

Hot Chili Ground- This is dried ground chilis mixed with garlic powder. You should be able to find this at the Asian market, but if you can’t, you can use red hot pepper flakes instead.

Mint- If you don’t like mint, you can substitute with Thai Basil that can be found at the Asian market or leave out completely.

Chopping the lemongrass:

The chopped crimini, onion, garlic, lemongrass, and chili:

Sauce ingredients:

The meat mixture, steaming hot:

 Adding the sauce:

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1 comment:

  1. I'm definitely going to try this recipe out, I can't hardly wait! And because it's got healthy things going on, it will fit perfectly with my eating goals in the new year!!!


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