Larb Lettuce Cups
Larb is one of my faaaavorite dishes! It’s Laotian in origin, but some Thai and Vietnamese restaurants have it on the menu as well. I had no idea how easy this was to make! There are a lot of flavors that compliment each other well in this recipe – the sourness from the lime, umami from the fish sauce , and brightness from all of the fresh herbs.
The only ingredient that you may have some issues finding at a reg’la grocery store is the toasted rice powder. But don’t fret, you can order it online or just make it yourself – see the notes at the end of the recipe for instructions.
As far as the protein goes – use what you like. Any lean, ground meat would be great in this recipe. I’ve had it with ground turkey and ground beef and it was fantastic.
One serving is about 3/4 cup and contains
8 g fat
12 g carbs
21 g protein
See more nutritional info below the recipe!
- 1 tsp vegetable oil
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1lb ground pork (93% fat free; see notes)
- 1 tbsp long grain rice, toasted and ground OR toasted rice powder (see notes)
- 1/2 tbsp Thai chili flakes (more/less to taste, see notes)
- 1 lime, juiced, more to taste
- 1 tsp fish sauce
- 2-3 small shallots, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)
- 3 stalks green onion, sliced (about 1/4 cup)
- 1/4 Thai basil leaves, torn
- 1/4 cup torn mint leaves, torn
- 1/4 cup cilantro leaves, torn
- butter lettuce leaves, for serving
- In a skillet over medium heat, heat the vegetable oil. Add in the garlic and cook just until it begins to brown a bit, about a minute. Add in the sugar and cook another few seconds. Add in the ground pork and turn the heat up to medium high. Break the meat up into small pieces using a wooden spoon and cook until no pink remains. Add in toasted rice powder, chili flakes, juice from 1 lime and the fish sauce. Stir in the shallots.
- Remove the pan from the heat and add in green onion, Thai basil, mint and cilantro, reserving a bit of each of the herbs for garnish, if you like. Mix together and taste - adjust seasonings (fish sauce, lime juice, salt, pepper, chili) as desired. I like this dish quite sour, so I tend to add a little more lime juice and another little splash of fish sauce.
- Place about 1/4 cup of the larb into each lettuce cup and garnish with herbs.
- One serving = 3/4 cup of larb, enough for about 3 lettuce cups.
Thai Chili Flakes - these aren't the same as the chili flakes you get to sprinkle on top of your pizza - it's more a dehydrated, ground chili. I'm using the Korean kind, use what you can find or omit completely.
Ground Pork - You can pretty much substitute any kind of ground meat in this recipe and it'll be deeeeelicious. I've also done this with lean ground turkey with great results.
Nutritional information is estimated based on the recipe above. Any modifications to the recipe are not reflected in the estimations.