By The Thai Experience
The first of our trio of delightful starters, the Larb moo is our take on a classic sliced pork salad. The national dish of Laos, the larb is commonly eaten in the eastern regions of Thailand especially Issan areas, where Laos has been a big influence. larb itself means ground meat. A spicy yet citric dish that remains very fresh to the taste. Wrap a spoonful in a small lettuce leaf for added refreshment.
Larb moo (serves 4)
Ground and roasted rice
1 table spoon
3⁄4 table spoon
1⁄2 table spoon
Nahm (classic Thai dressing)
Fresh chilli, sliced
Roasted ground rice
1. The first step is to brine the pork. to do this place the entire pork neck into a bowl and add water until it covers the pork. Weigh the total combined weight and extract the water into a saucepan.
2. Add salt to the pan of water reach a 2% salt solution from the total weight of the pork and water, for example, if it weighed 500g, you add 10g of salt.
3. Add a star anise, a cinnamon stick, 2 or 3 grains of black pepper and citric zest. Bring to a boil and immediately remove from the heat, allow it to cool and then place back in the bowl with the pork and keep for 12 hours minimum (This is called brining).
4. Once brine'd, take out the pork and discard the water. Rinse and tie with a butchers knot to keep the shape.
5. Sear on a warm pan until a crust is formed on the surface.
6. Put in the oven at 160° for 3-4 hours until cooked. Let cool down, and slice thinly (2mm)
7. In a separate bowl combine the fish sauce, lime juice an sugar and stir until fully dissolved. Add the sliced chili and reserve.
8. Slice the onions and mix them with salt, enough to coat the onions. Let them rest for a minute and rinse them in cold water, this will soften the onions.
9. In a large bowl combine the slices of pork, the salty onions, the nam sauce, the roasted rice,the herbs finely chopped, and then grounded chili. Toss and plate. Finish with the roast rice and whole leaves of cilantro and mint.
Vegetarian option: Replace fish sauce with soy sauce and pork with one halved quail egg per person and 2 or 3 strips of egg plant that has been brushed with oil and grilled until soft.