A recipe from Kat – Surry Hills
Larb (also laab, larp or laap) is a type of minced meat salad that is regarded as the national dish of Laos….. Its a dish I love .
I usually use either chicken or pork mince and fish sauce…. But now I’ve adapted the recipe using Quorn and a few other ingredients to create a tasty vegetarian dish.
Please note that this dish is not vegan – Quorn contains egg!
- 1 tbspn uncooked rice
- 5 chillies – finely chopped
- 2 tspn palm sugar
- Juice of 1 lime
- Pinch salt
- 1 tspn soy sauce
- 1/2 tspn salt
- 1 tbspn groundnut oil (peanut oil)
- 2 tspn sesame oil
- 2 shallots – finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic – minced
- 2 tbspn galangal – minced
- 1 stalk lemongrass – finely chopped
- 300g pack quorn mince
- 3 tbspn coriander – chopped
- 3 tbspn mint – chopped
- Lettuce leaves to serve (optional)
- Chopped roasted peanuts (optional)
Using a mortar and pestle grind up 3 of the chillies and add in the palm sugar. Grind until it makes a smooth paste then combine in a bowl with the lime juice, soy sauce, and salt. Leave to once side.
Now make the rice powder. Heat a dry frypan and pop in the rice. Cook the rice until its golden brown. Keep it moving and keep a close eye on it. Once it starts to cook it changes colour very quickly.
Once the rice is cooked leave it to one side to cool. Then, using a mortar and pestle grind the rice into a fine powder and pop it through a sieve to remove any big grains. This can take a while but is well worth the effort. I usually pop the big grains back into the mortar and pestle and keep going until Im left with just the fine powder.
You can store the powder in an airtight container for a few months. It can be used on salads and in dishes to add a lovely nutty flavour and can also be used as a thickener.
Heat the ground nut and sesame oil in a wok and add in the sliced shallots, garlic, galangal, lemongrass and remaining chillies (2). Stir fry for around 2-3 minutes until the shallots start to look translucent and it smells lovely and fragrant. Add in the Quorn, lower heat slightly and cook for approx 10 minutes – until the Quorn is browned and has soaked up the oil and flavour of the other ingredients. Keep it moving in the wok as you want to get an even cook and the flavour to go through it all. Once cooked leave this covered until you are ready to serve. I like to cook this early and leave it sit to continue to allow the flavours to develop. This can be made several hours or even the night before if you want and it will be fine….
When you are ready to serve stir the juice/palm sugar mix and rice powder into the Quorn and cook for a minute or two. Remove from the heat and stir in the chopped coriander and mint. Serve the larb in lettuce leaves sprinkled with the chopped roasted peanuts. Pop a few more chopped chillies on top for extra heat if you want.