Opal Thai’s Pork Larb

Opal Thai Food's Pork Larb

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  • 2 teaspoons roughly ground toasted rice
  • 1 pound of lean pork (may use ground pork)
  • 1/4 cup of water (may use a broth if you wish)
  • 1/2 cup of finely sliced red onion, shallot, or green onion
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice (about 1 lime, if it’s a juicy one)
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes or gochujang to taste
  • 2 teaspoons palm sugar or brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup of chopped mint
  • 1/4 cup of chopped parsley
  • assorted vegetables for serving: lettuce or cabbage for wrapping, finely shredded cabbage, carrot, red onion, and a few finely sliced radishes
  • additional lime for serving
  • Sticky rice, below


First, make the toasted rice:

In a dry skillet, stirring often, toast a little rice until golden brown over medium-low. Take your time moving it off heat and shaking if it gets too hot, then returning to heat. Cool. Pulverize (but not quite to a powder) in a mortar and pestle, spice grinder or food processor. Alternatively, add to a Ziploc and crush. Any excess keeps in a tightly sealed jar for months.

If not using ground pork cut the pork into cubes and pulse in two batches until finely minced, in the food processor. Add the pork cold to a skillet with about 1/4 cup of water, and stirring occasionally, cook until the meat almost loses all it’s pink color – remove from heat; the residual heat should continue to cook the meat through. Overcooking will result in a dry, rubbery larb.

Toss with the onion, allowing it to wilt just a bit. Add fish sauce, lime, red pepper flakes, and the toasted rice. Add the sugar of choice. Just before serving, gently toss in the mint and parsley.

Serve at room temperature with the vegetables.

Sticky Rice:

Sticky rice is easy, but you’ll need to soak it two to three hours ahead. place a metal sieve over a pan of barely boiling water, cover it with a bowl and cook until done, turning once.  Cook for about 15 – 20 minutes until tender.

Keywords: Asian, Bargain Meal of the Week, Diners Drive Ins and Dives, Laotian, lettuce wraps, Opal's Thai, Pork, Thai, Toasted Rice

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