Chicken larb salad


Chicken larb salad

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This is a classic Thai recipe that’s a winner when you want to either start the meal with something light and tasty or go for a light lunch, says celeb chef Pete Evans.

The beauty of this, apart from its simplicity and flavour, is its texture. The rice is fried in its raw state until it turns golden brown and then crushed with a mortar and pestle and incorporated into the most aromatic salad you can imagine.

This gives the salad a great textural crunch that is quite unique. I love to eat this wrapped in fresh cabbage leaves – a Thai version of san choy bau.

Ingredients (serves 4 as a starter)

  • 2 tbsp uncooked jasmine rice 
  • 500g boneless, skinless, free-range chicken breast, minced
  • 2 tbsp cornflour
  • 2 tbsp coconut or olive oil
  • 4 tbsp lime juice
  •  2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 small red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 4 red Asian shallots, peeled and diced
  • ½ bunch of spring onions green part only, finely sliced
  • 1 large handful of coriander leaves, torn
  • 1 small handful of Thai basil, leaves torn
  • 1 large handful of mint leaves, torn

Add the rice to a wok or frying pan over medium-high heat and cook, shaking the pan continuously, for about two to three minutes or until the rice is golden and toasted. Remove from the pan and leave to cool.

Grind the rice in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle until it has a coarse texture (not too fine).

Lightly coat the chicken mince in the cornflour. Wipe out the frying pan with kitchen paper and heat over medium-high heat. Add a little oil and cook the mince, breaking it up with your spoon and stirring frequently for two to three minutes until cooked and crumbly.

Stir in the lime juice, fish sauce, chilli, shallots and spring onions. Leave to cool for one minute.

Toss the coriander, Thai basil, mint and ground rice through the chicken mince. Taste for seasoning and serve with fresh cabbage or lettuce leaves, sliced cucumber and green beans.

Recipe and image from Cook With Love by Pete Evans.

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