Laab (aka ‘larb‘) is one of the national dishes of Laos. It is generally made from cooked mince with chillis and mint, and it served at room temperature as a kind of salad. Laab has migrated with its people to the extent that versions of it are found all over South East Asia. In particular laab moo is a popular snack or starter dish in Thailand, where it is often served in a lettuce leaf wrap. In Thai cooking, laab can resemble a cold phat kaphrao.
- 2 tbsp groundnut oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 chillies, finely chopped
- 1 stalk lemongrass, finely chopped
- 500g pork mince
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 tbsp oyster sauce
- Pinch of MSG (optional)
- Handful of green beans, chopped up
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- Handful Thai holy basil leaves, shredded (European sweet basil can be used in a pinch)
- Handful coriander, chopped
- Handful of mint, chopped
- Romaine lettuce, separated into leaves
- Handful of rice, toasted and lightly ground.
Heat oil and toss onions, lemongrass, garlic and chillies for 1-2 minutes.
Plop in the pork mince and turn the heat to high to cook the meat fast, stir the mince thoroughly for 1–2 minutes until pork starts to brown.
Add the green beans and stir for 1–2 minutes
Plop in the soy sauce, fish sauce, oyster sauce and sugar, stir through for 2 minutes. Optional MSG can go in at this point.
Throw in coriander and holy basil and lime juice, mix and serve on the lettuce leaves. Sprinkle the toasted rice over the top.