The leftover Christmas turkey was on its last legs, and sandwiches had long since lost their appeal … time for what Lenny calls a “flavour changer”.
Larb is a simple Laotian dish of spicy mince (usually pork or chicken) that is eaten with sticky rice, also known as glutinous rice. In Laos the rice comes in a little hopper-style basket made of bamboo and woven grass. The lime and chili flavours are heaven together, and ground rice powder adds a bit of crunch.
We whizzed up our turkey meat in a food processor. The problem here is that the turkey is pretty dry and lean, whereas larb is best made with fattier meat. To compensate we tipped in extra vegetable oil (DON’T use olive oil – the flavour’s too strong for south-east Asian cuisine).
Neither of us is a big fan of turkey, and for me the flavour of the meat doesn’t gel with Asian food – but in this case the chili, lime and fish sauce do quite a good job of masking it.
We’ll be converting some more Christmas leftovers in our next episode.
As you’ve probably noticed, the site presentation has changed a bit. We’re now offering a Flash video that you can play directly at our home page, as well as the usual MP4 and WMV files. There’s still a video file going out in the feed as well, and this will continue to play on things like iPods and Apple TV boxes.
* Update, January 11: A workmate, Luke, has just pointed out that it the name of this dish is usually transmogrified into English as ‘laap’. Well I suppose he’d know, since he lives in Laos, the smarty-bum.