Thai Pork Larb

The very first meal delivery company that I tried was Plated and this is one of the best dishes ever. No, I didn’t know what Larb was as I was beginning my journey down the Asian dish road and needed all the help I could get, thankfully  the recipe card educated me and for those of you who don’t know I will quote directly : Larb is a Southeast Asian meat salad seasoned with herbs and spices. Here, pork, pineapple and baby spinach are served atop crisp butter lettuce leaves, making this one of our kitchen’s most flavorful dinners. Charred haricots verts- slimmer French green beans- lend this dish an irresistible smoky flavor.

I am going to start with their ingredients list and their steps before I tell you what I did differently.

Ingredients:

  • 2 shallots
  • 1 lime
  • 8 oz cubed pineapple
  • 10 oz haricots verts
  • 10 oz ground pork
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 1 head butter lettuce
  • 1/4 oz fresh basil
  • 1/8 oz fresh mint
  • 1/8 fresh cilantro
  • Siracha hot sauce, optional
  1. Peel shallots, slice one into thin rings and mince the other. Halve the lime. Thinly slice the pineapple. Chop the mint, basil and cilantro roughly. Trim the ends of the beans.
  2. Fry the shallot rings for about 3 minutes in a bit of oil until crispy and place on a paper towel to drain.
  3. Brown the pork in the pan with the shallot oil, season with the juice of half the lime, salt and pepper. 6-8 minutes
  4. Season Pork Larb. Add the fish sauce, spinach, minced shallot, pineapple, the herbs, the juice of the other half of the lime to a bowl and stir to combine. Once the salad is mixed well add the pork and mix well. Set aside.
  5. Char haricots verts. Wipe the pan you cooked the pork in clean and add 1/2 tablespoon of oil over medium high heat. Once the oil is shimmering add the beans in a single layer and cook without moving until lightly charred, about 3 minutes, then stir and cook for about 2 more minutes until just tender. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Plate. Spoon the larb into the butter lettuce cups and garnish with the fried shallot and the beans on the side.

 

Now for what I did. I got the shallot crispy and kept the oil in the pan to brown the pork in but I added the fish sauce, the lime juice and I smooshed up a few of the pineapple chunks to get some juice and about half of the pineapple along with the salt and pepper. I like to give the seasonings time to cook into the meat, not just sit on top of it. I used the griddle to char the beans because I had a lot more than would fit in the pan at once. I let them to char for closer to 5 minutes but I think that was just my heat setting, and when I stirred them for the finish I salted, added some granulated garlic and a couple of grinds of black pepper. For the spinach I tossed it in a bowl with half of the pineapple, salt, pepper, garlic and more fish sauce then I added it to the pan with the pork and the other pineapple that got a little soft and sexy in the cooking and tossed it around over low heat until the spinach was just beginning to wilt. I added more fish sauce after tasting it, the pineapple was a bit more forward than I was looking for. I put the hot sauce on mine but the hubs doesn’t really do the spicy so he skipped it.

This wouldn’t have to be a pork dish, the flavors would go well with beef or the meat could be replaced with tofu or mushrooms. Cilantro lime rice would go well or just a plain jasmine rice seasoned with some seaweed and sesame oil. Thai chilis could be added to ramp the spice level up. Mango would be a tasty fruit sub. I think that is all I have to offer as far as switching things out!

Thanks ya’ll!! Happy cooking!

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