- 1 lemongrass heart, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, grated
- 1 T coriander, chopped
- 1 T mint, chopped
- 6 spring onions, chopped
- 1 small red chilli, chopped, plus extra to garnish (optional)
- 2 T coconut oil
- 500 g pork mince, at room temperature
- 1⁄2 cup salted, roasted peanuts, coarsely ground
- 1⁄2 cup chicken stock
- Fish sauce or salt, to taste
- 1 cos or butter lettuce, leaves separated, for serving
- Steamed jasmine rice, for serving
- Basil, mint, coriander, to garnish
- For the dressing, whisk:
- 3 T fresh lime juice
- 2 T fish sauce
- 1 T dark brown sugar
Pound the lemongrass and garlic. Mix with the herbs, onion and chilli and pound or process to make a paste.
Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the pork and fry over a moderate heat, stirring to break up any lumps. Cook for 6–8 minutes, or until the meat changes colour. Stir in the lemongrass paste and half the ground peanuts. Cook over a gentle heat, stirring, for a further 5 minutes. Add the chicken stock and cook, stirring, for a further 5 minutes. Add salt or fish sauce to taste.
Turn into a bowl and sprinkle with the remaining peanuts. Garnish with herbs and chilli if you like it hot.
To serve, spoon the larb into lettuce leaves, add sprigs of herbs and spoon over the dressing. Serve the rice on the side.
Cook's note: This Asian dish, originating in Laos, is really a salad using flavoured minced meat, chicken or fish, cooked or sometimes barely cooked, or even raw. Traditionally, raw rice is fried and ground for crunchiness but peanuts make a good substitute.