I was extremely excited for this week – Thai cuisine is by far my favourite foods out there. I would eat it all the time if I could – and if the Thai restaurants near my house were any good, well lets just say that thai takeout would be on the menu FAR more often!
Looking through my cookbooks, I didn’t want to make something I already knew how to do, such as curries, despite there being many new ones I wanted to try. So I decided to make something I have never had before: Larb Gai. A friend of mine from my old work used to order this salad every time we ate Thai for lunch and I was constantly perplexed – why would you go for the salad when you can have a delicious curry?
Well, now I understand. This little recipe packs a lot of flavour, is pretty good for you (particularly as far as Thai food goes) and really easy to throw together. I’m really glad I tried this out – and I am sure I will be making a lot of this in the future!
Recipe: Larb Gai (Spicy Chicken Salad)
Cookbook: AWW Beginners Thai
Spicy chicken salad – larb gai
2 tablespoons long grain rice
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped lemongrass
2 fresh small red thai chillies, seeded, chopped finely
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh galangal (I used ginger)
750g chicken mince
1 Lebanese cucumber, seeded, thinly sliced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
100g bean sprouts
½ cup loosely packed fresh Thai basil leaves
1 cup loosely packed fresh coriander leaves
4 large iceberg lettuce leaves
1/3 cup lime juice
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons kecap manis
2 tablespoons peanut oil
2 teaspoons grated palm sugar
½ teaspoon sambal oelek (a Thai chilli sauce)
- Heat dry wok, stir fry rice until lightly browned. Blend or process rice until it resembles fine breadcrumbs
- Heat oil in same wok, stir fry lemongrass, chilli, garlic and galangal until fragrant. Remove from wok. Stir fry chicken, in batches, until changed in colour and cooked through.
- Return chicken and lemongrass mixture to wok with about 1/3 of the dressing. Stir fry for 5 minutes or until mixture thickens slightly.
- Place remaining dressing in large bowl with chicken, cucumber, onion, sprouts and herbs. Toss gently to combine. Place lettuce leaves on serving plates, divide larb salad amongst leaves, sprinkle with rice.
- Combine all ingredients in a screw top jar, shake well.