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Lao Beef Larb - Indochina AFF Laotian #2

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Larb is the national dish of Laos. It is also eaten by the people in Isan, Thailand of which most of its population are of Laotian descent. There is another Northen Thailand version that uses spices to season. Some people will make it with fresh raw beef, and it is alright if you want to have a cooked version. I'm not that brave to go for a Tatare version.

Laotian larb will use padaek, of which is made from freshwater fish fermented with rice bran and salt. From this description, it sounds close to the ikan pekasam found in Northern Malaysia, especially from Perak where is it is made with fresh water fish, salt and toasted rice. But from the looks of it, it seems close to Budu, but budu doesn't contain rice. Padaek is not available here, so, one have to make do with whatever I can find here, sadly.

I made this dish when I had some relatives dining with us. This dish was very well received by them. The tangy robust flavours makes it something that one could eat and eat. Unless you need to restrain from eating too much red meat. But for this 300gm of beef, I actually served 8 persons, with each taking a few tablespoons of it. With the meat all minced and mixed with fresh herbs, it's not all that much red meat in your plate.

Lao Beef Larb (cooked version)

Reference: Spicy Green Mango 

300gm beef, whole piece
2 Tbsp sliced spring onion
2 Tbsp chopped thai basil
2 Tbsp chopped mint
2 Tbsp chopped coriander leaf
2 Tbsp chopped onions
1 Tbsp finely sliced young kafir lime leaf
1 Tbsp finely chopped lemon grass
Chilli powder, as preferred
2 Tbsp roasted rice powder

3 Tbsp lime juice
1 Tbsp fish sauce/budu
1 Tbsp sugar
Finely sliced birds eye chilli, as preferred

1. Rub the beef with some oil and roast it at 180C until it looses its bounce. Let it rest until cooled down. Slice the beef against the grain and then mince it.
2. Mix dressing together and let it rest for about 5 minutes. Taste it and adjust to your preference.
3. Combine minced beef, dressing and chopped fresh herbs and roasted rice powder together.
4. Garnish with extra wedges of lime, cucumber and more herbs as preferred.

there are times when I am forgetful..... my earlier shot, without rice powder.
I remembered it after that and added it later on for more shots

I am submitting this to Asian Food Fest Indochina Month

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