Laab is a lukewarm salad of minced meat and is commonly regarded as the unofficial national dish of Laos. As well in the northeast of Thailand, the dish is very popular, so that you can find numerous different forms of preparation and variations with chicken, pork and fish but also vegetarian variants with mushrooms.
In addition to the short preparation time Laab is characterized by its fresh taste. An essential ingredient is the spicy smokey aroma of roasted rice, combined with fresh herbs such as mint.
Usually the dish is served lukewarm with a portion of sticky rice and enjoyed together with family and friends.
Ingredients for four portions:
- 600 g minced pork (alternatively minced meat from poultry)
- two to three red onions
- two spring onions
- three to four Thai Bird Eye chili (alternatively, of course, other types of chili can be used, depending on the desired sharpness)
- 4-5 stems of fresh mint
- 1 tsp chili flakes
- 1 tbsp roasted ground rice
- 1 tbsp Pla Raa of Ros Zäp
- 2 tbsp fisch sauce
- 1 tsp palm sugar (alternatively brown sugar)
- the juice of one to two limes
First the roasted rice is produced. For this purpose, the rice is roasted in a wok or in a pan until it is browned. In order to get a uniform color and not burn, the rice has to be stirred constantly. Subsequently, the browned rice is ground in a mixer to coarse-grained powder and can be initially set aside for later use.
Next, heat about 1 ½ cups of water in a wok or a medium sized pot. When the water begins to boil, the minced meat is added and cooked with constant stirring and set aside to cool. Once the meat has cooled slightly, add the sliced onions, the chopped chillies, the roasted rice and the chilli flakes. The sharpness should be dosed according to personal taste.
Then the dish is seasoned with Pla Raa, fish sauce and the juice of lime. This creates a wonderfully fresh salty-sour taste that is finally completed with the roughly chopped mint. When using chicken meat, a little bit oil can be added. To serve this tasty meat salad is in a bowl filled with sticky rice and crisp raw vegetables added as a side dish.