The local butter lettuce in my fridge was calling out for larb, the simple, adaptable Thai salad generally made from minced pork or chicken cooked in broth with the addition of fish sauce, lime juice and other spices. Served at room temperature and tucked in lettuce or cabbage, larb (or more properly, larp or lahp) is sublimely citrusy, gently spicy and full of pleasing crunch.
It’s also really easy to make. Here’s how:
Larp at home
¾ cup chicken broth, preferably homemade
1 lb ground chicken
2 small garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon fish sauce
Three tablespoons lime juice (about 1 ½ limes)
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1-2 teaspoons dried chili flakes (depending on your tolerance for heat)
2 tablespoon chopped scallions (green parts only)
Washed and dried butter or Bibb lettuce leaves or cabbage leaves
Generous basil and mint leaves for garnish
Heat the broth in a large skillet over medium-high heat, then add ground chicken, breaking the meat up. Add garlic, fish sauce, lime juice brown sugar and chili flakes, cooking for about 5 to 7 minutes until chicken is cooked through evenly and other ingredients are incorporated. Turn off heat and add scallions. Serve with arranged lettuce or cabbage leaves with herbs for garnish. Mint is essential.