Tag Archives: chicken

Laos Larb Kai (Chicken Salad)

I have made the point of naming this Laos’ Larb Kai because it came to my attention while we were travelling in Laos, that the delicious meat salad called larb, did in fact originate in Laos not Thailand as many believe.

I have always enjoyed larb at the Thai restaurants in Adelaide, and in Thailand itself. I wasn’t surprised to see it on the menu in Laos, but I assumed, incorrectly, that the idea had derived from Thailand not the other way around. In fact, it is regarded as the national dish of Laos – unofficially.

This spicy meat salad is served at room temperature with sticky rice or salad vegetables.

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Ingredients

3 Tbs of uncooked sticky rice (Optional)
300g of chicken mince
3-4 asian shallots, finely sliced
2-3 stalks of spring onion, finely sliced (optional)
1 long red chilli, finely chopped
a handful each of mint and coriander* chopped
1 Tbs chilli flakes
The juice of one lime
1 Tbs fish sauce
1/2 Tbs brown sugar

How I make my larb….

First step is to toast the rice. I say optional for the rice because I have made it many times without the rice when I just wanted to make a quick meal. The toasted rice just adds texture.

To toast the rice, I just heated a wok on low heat without oil and added the rice. I continued to stir the rice until it browned and started to smell like popcorn about 10-15mins.

After I let the rice cool a little, I ground it in a mortal with pestle to a powder and set it aside.

For the salad dressing I mixed the juice of one lime with the fish sauce and brown sugar and set aside.

For the larb I added a little oil to my wok and fried up the chicken mince, breaking up any big lumps as I went. I removed the chicken from the heat and let it cool for a few minutes. This is when I prepared my vegetables (cucumber and beans) with which I was going to serve with the larb.

Once I was ready to serve I added the shallot, spring onion, and chilli flakes to the chicken in the wok and stirred it well (without heat). I then tossed in the mint, coriander, chopped red chilli and mixed well. I added the dressing next giving the salad a mix, before finally adding three tablespoons of the rice powder.

TIP: add the rice powder gradually as is will depend on the texture you want – I added one tablespoon gave the salad a good toss and did a taste test, before repeat that same process twice more.

Serve with rice or lettuce cups, or as I did with sliced cucumber and green beans.

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This spicy meat salad is made with chicken and fresh herbs.

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Tom Kha Gai

Sawadee Ka!

Tom Kha Gai, aka Thai Chicken Coconut Soup, is one of my absolute favourites! Now that we are back in Phuket I thought it was about time I made it. I first discovered this soup when Dwayne and I visited Phuket in 2007. I gotta say, I was a little reserved about trying a coconut soup… it didn’t look that appetising, but it was delicious! So flavoursome in fact, that I sat there tasting it and deciphering the flavours so I would be able to make it myself when I got back home. I think my tastebuds did a good job of recognising the ingredients and my Tom Kha Gai is delicious….. if I do say so myself! However, I don’t have a recipe to share with you as I cook it by taste every time I make it, and I forgot to write it down as I cooked it this time for the blog… doh! But I do remember what goes in it and what I did so I will explain it the best I can.

Tom Kha Gai
Tom Kha Gai

This is what I did….

I heated 1 cup of chicken stock and added about 8 kaffir lime leaves bruised and ripped apart, two sticks of lemon grass – the hard part remove and the inner white part bashed with a mallet; a couple of crushed garlic cloves, a 2cm piece of galangal, thinly sliced, a 2cm piece of ginger, thinly sliced and some chopped chilli.

I simmered it for 1/2 hour, then I added some chopped chicken and simmered for 10 minutes before adding the coconut milk (approx 250ml) and a handful of enoki mushrooms*. I simmered the soup for another 5 minutes and then added fish sauce, to taste, and a handful of coriander.

To serve, I ladled the soup into two large deep bowls and garnished with some more chopped coriander.

It is so easy to make and delicious!

Tom Kha Gai
Tom Kha Gai

Notes:

When I make Tom Kha Gai for Dwayne and I, I do not remove the chunks of ginger, galangal etc when I serve it, as this is how I have had it served to me most of the time in Thailand. However, when I have prepared this soup for guests I have strained the soup before I add the coconut milk, chicken, mushrooms, fish sauce and coriander.

*Shitake, or oyster mushrooms are more often used in Tom Kha Gai but enoki mushrooms were what I had at the time.

Enjoy!

Why don’t you pin this recipe so you will always know where to find it!

Tom Kha Gai - Thai Chicken Coconut Soup