Monday, June 15, 2009

Spicy Thai Beef Larb Fried Rice

If you're a fan of ceviche, let me introduce you to Southeast Asia's version... larb. Larb is prepared similarly to ceviche in that it allows for citrus juices to "cook" the protein until tender. In ceviche, lemon and/or lime juice are combined with fresh seafood which is then marinated for a few hours. For the Southeast Asian larb, lime juice is added to minced beef or pork to marinate in, along with fresh herbs, chiles and lemongrass.

Traditionally, larb is served with papaya salad and eaten either with rice or used as a filling in lettuce wraps. I prepared a Thai Beef Larb today and to give it a spin, I tossed it with some garlic fried rice in my wok to make it a more filling meal.

Spicy Thai Beef Larb Fried Rice
recipe adapted from Asian Online

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 stems lemongrass (white part only, finely sliced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded, deveined and finely diced
1 lb lean minced sirloin steak
1/4 cup lime juice
2 teaspoons freshly grated lime zest
3 teaspoons Thai chili sauce (Sriracha)
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
handful of fresh Thai basil, whole
1 small red onion, finely sliced
3 tablespoons fish sauce
2 cups cooked brown rice
1/4 cup crispy french fried shallots


In a wok, heat the oil and stir fry the lemon grass and jalapeno until softened; transfer to a large bowl and cool.

When the lemongrass/jalapeno mixture has cooled, add the steak, lime juice, chili sauce, cilantro, mint, basil, red onion and fish sauce. Toss to combine.

In your wok, add more oil if needed and add in the cooked brown rice. Stir to toast the rice slightly and then add the larb mixture. Stir fry until warmed through and before serving, add the french fried shallots and stir. Serve hot.