Also known as laab and laap, this recipe for spicy Laotian beef salad is packed with flavour thanks to a plethora of Asian herbs, a good hit of chilli and a dash of the pungent fermented fish sauce called padaek. Larb is usually served with steamy hot sticky rice as a main dish or as an appetiser.
• 250 gpiece beef fillet
• 250 gcooked tripe, thinly sliced
• 2 tspthinly sliced red birdseye chillies, plus extra chillies to serve
• 2 tspdried red chilli flakes
• ½ cuptoasted sticky rice, pounded until finely ground (see Note), plus extra sticky rice to serve
• 1 tbspvery finely sliced kaffir lime leaves
• ½ cupthinly sliced spring onions
• 1 cupcoarsely chopped mint leaves, plus extra to serve
• ½ cupcoarsely chopped coriander
• 1 tbspshredded phak phaew (see Note)
• sliced cucumber, to serve
• 2 tbspfish sauce, plus extra to serve
• 1 tbspchicken seasoning
• 1 tbspfinely chopped galangal
• 2 tbsplemon juice, plus extra to serve
• 2 tspsalt
• 1 tbsppadaek (fermented fish sauce), plus extra to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Resting time 5 minutes
Marinating time 30 minutes
Place the beef in a bowl. To marinate, add the fish sauce and chicken seasoning. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Add the remaining marinade ingredients and combine well.
Cook the beef on a charcoal grill, turning regularly, for 8 minutes, or until medium–rare. (Cooking time will vary according to thickness of the meat and heat of the grill.) Remove and stand for 5 minutes before thinly slicing. Place the beef in a large bowl and add the tripe, fresh and dried chillies, ground toasted sticky rice, kaffir lime leaves, spring onion, mint, coriander and phak phaew.
Adjust the seasoning with extra padaek, fish sauce and lemon juice. Serve with the cucumber, extra chillies, mint and sticky rice.
• To toast the sticky rice, place in a dry wok and stir over medium heat until dark golden, then pound to a fine powder. Manivone likes to toast and grind her sticky rice freshly for each batch of larb.
• Phak phaew is also known as polygonum or Vietnamese mint and has a peppery flavour.