Friday, August 21, 2009

Paleo Pork Larb

So what the heck is Larb, you ask? Larb is the unofficial national dish of Laos and it is also popular in Northeastern Thailand. I discovered it at the Thai Kitchen a few years back, when I was attempting to steer clear of the more 'weighty' noodle dishes, while still fostering my love of all things Asian. You can get it with beef, chicken, pork, even fish...the main thing is the meat is ground. And mixed with those amazing flavors that I love SO SO MUCH that I sometimes wonder if I wasn't actually conceived when my parents were on vacation in Thailand!

When I was making that awesome Paleo chili last night, I browned both pounds of ground pork together, even though I only used half for the chili. When I do that I tend to use spices that will compliment most of what I eat. You can see exactly what I used in the chili recipe! So after it was cooked and cooled down, into a bag it went and I threw it out in the fridge with it's compatriots, bags of grilled pork, sirloin, and chicken. I could NOT survive without my prepped meat! I don't care if you're not even eating paleo...if you're super busy, especially if you have kids, and you want to eat healthy, make sure you have pre-cooked stuff at your beck and call so you always, always, always have something for dinner!

This is my version of Larb. Obviously no fish sauce or toasted rice (or the chopped peanuts that you sometimes see instead). But you won't miss it! I promise! I mean, it's so damn good that I'm sitting here writing the blog while I eat it, because I wanted to make sure to get it down while it's still fresh in my mind!

Paleo Pork Larb

If you're not lucky enough to have a bag of meat ready and waiting, you'll need to start by browning about 1 pound of ground pork (or chicken or hamburger or whatever you want!). Use the red onion and the spices just like when we made the chili here: (I will figure out how to do links another day, when I have more time!) This will give you enough meat to make Larb for 4 people or 4 lunches...or get creative and find something else to do with it. I'd offer to share what I do with the rest of the meat, but this Larb is so unbelievably choice, that I believe it's what's for lunch tomorrow also! If you're going for the decorative element, read down a bit and make sure you mix up the dressing and dress the greens before making the top look pretty!

Then get a nice bowl and fill it up with shredded napa cabbage, shredded red cabbage, chopped mint, tons of chopped cilantro, thinly sliced red onions, tomato wedges and cucumber slices. If you want to impress company, take the minute it took to artistically arrange the cucs and tomatoes. Ridiculously easy, but has big crowd appeal! : -)

Whisk together lime juice, garlic, ground ginger, salt, tumeric (I just love it! it finds it's way into lots of recipes that don't necessarily call for it), and crushed red pepper. For my one salad, I used the juice of 1 lime, about 1 Tbs crushed garlic, 1 tsp each ginger, tumeric, and red pepper, and a couple turns of the salt mill.

Once the dressing is mixed, pour the majority over your greens and toss. Add about 4-6 oz of your cooked pork in a nice round mound smack dab in the middle of your greens. Surround with pretty tomatoes and cucumbers if they're not already mixed into your salad. Drizzle the remaining dressing over the meat. Sprinkle with finely chopped almonds.

TO. DIE. FOR. !!!!!! If you make it, let me know how you like it!


  1. Jen, I made this using Boca (veggie) burger which I find you can make taste like about anything you want using the right spices. It was delish... thanks for turning me on to tumeric... I hadn't used it before, but now it seems it ends up in everything! Kim

  2. Yeah! A tumeric convert! Tumeric actually has so many health benefits, that it's actually sold in capsule form as a supplement. It has amazing anti-inflammatory capacities and has been found to inhibit the growth of breast cancer in mice, among other things. Go check out this list of the 20 health benefits in tumeric and you'll be using it even more!