A perfect mid-week dinner option, this Thai-inspired dish is fresh, healthy and fast. I particularly love how all the flavours come together — spicy, salty, sour and sweet — and the peanuts give a satisfying crunch. It’s also one of my favourite meals to spike with some of the more uncommon fresh Asian herbs like Vietnamese mint and Thai basil, if you can find them. Traditionally this is served with lashings of red chilli, but you can tone it down to suit your heat threshold. Add rice for a more substantial main meal, or spoon into lettuce cups for Asian ‘tacos’.
Makes: 4 serves
Takes: 5 minutes to prep; 15 minutes to cook
Paleo | Dairy-free | Gluten-free
500g lean pork (or chicken) mince
1⁄4 cup fish sauce
5cm piece fresh ginger, cut into matchsticks
150ml chicken stock
1 long fresh red chilli, deseeded and cut into Matchsticks
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup fresh mint leaves
1 cup fresh basil leaves
1⁄2 cup fresh coriander leaves
2 baby cos lettuces, leaves separated
2 tablespoons salted peanuts, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
1 1⁄2 cups Vietnamese mint leaves or Thai basil Leaves (optional)
lime wedge to serve
Method: Place the pork or chicken mince, soy sauce and ginger in a wok or large frying pan over a medium heat and cook for 5 minutes, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon until the meat has browned and cooked through. (It might stick at first, but keep stirring.) Add the chicken stock, chilli and sugar and cook until most of the liquid has reduced. Take the pan off the heat and add the lime juice, soy sauce, red onion and most of the mint, basil and coriander to the warm mince mixture. Gently fold through, allowing the herbs to wilt. Taste and add more lime juice, soy sauce and fish sauce if necessary. Divide between lettuce cups and scatter with peanuts, toasted sesame seeds and the remaining herbs. Serve with lime wedges.
Variation: To make it paleo, leave out the soy sauce or substitute it for coconut aminos. Sprinkle the larb with flaked almonds instead of peanuts.