Turkey Thai Larb

Turkey Thai Larb

Turkey Thai Larb
Serve with Jasmine rice and Thai spiced slaw- I love Thai food for it's freshness of ingredients and the different spices come together so beautifully. Larb is a Thai salad but it is meat based. it is a staple of Thai Isaan food and is found at all Thai American restaurants. Traditionally each bite is eaten with a scoop of sticky Thai rice but since this may an ingredient most of would not have access to I have substituted fragrant jasmine rice. It is also usually made with ground or minced pork but there are versions made with chicken or duck. I like to have this recipe in my home file as I sometimes crave Thai but prefer to control the ingredients and save myself some money since it is so easy to make.
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    • 1cup uncooked white rice
    • large shallot, coarsely chopped
    • 3/4teaspoon sea salt, divided
    • 3/4cup fresh cilantro, divided, extra for garnish if desired
    • Juice of 2 limes, divided
    • 2tablespoon lemon grass stalks, thinly sliced *
    • 1/2tablespoon red chile flakes**
    • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
    • 1" nub of fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
    • 2teaspoon fish sauce*
    • 1tablespoon peanut oil (or canola or grape seed)
    • 1pound ground dark turkey meat
    • 4cup shredded cabbage (or cole slaw mix)
    • 1cup shredded carrots
    • 1 cucumber, peeled and julienne sliced
    • 1 red pepper, julienne sliced
    • 2tablespoon rice wine vinegar
    • 1tablespoon lime juice
    • 1tablespoon orange juice
    • 2tablespoon honey
    • 1/2cup fresh basil leaves, extra for garnish if desired
    • 2tablespoon fish sauce*
    • 1tablespoon brown sugar or coconut sugar
    • 1tablespoon Sriracha sauce
    1. Cook the rice according to package directions. Keep warm and set aside.
    2. Prepare the marinade: Combine the shallot, 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, 2 tablespoons lime juice and the following 5 ingredients (through fish sauce) in a food processor or small blender like a magic bullet. Blend until ingredients are combined well.
    3. Heat peanut oil in a large saute pan or wok over medium-high heat. Add in the ground turkey and 1 tablespoon lime juice and cook for about 1 minute. Add in the marinade, stirring well and saute another 5 minutes until ground turkey is cooked. Keep warm while you prepare the dipping sauce and slaw.
    4. To prepare the slaw: Combine the cabbage and the following 3 ingredients (through red pepper slices) in a large serving bowl. In a small blender, add the rice wine vinegar, 1/2 cup fresh cilantro and the following 4 ingredients (through fresh basil) and blend until smooth. Pour the dressing onto the slaw mixture and toss to combine. Taste and adjust for salt and/or honey.
    5. To prepare the Sriracha fish sauce: In a small bowl combine 1/4 cup lime juice, 2 tablespoons fish sauce and the following 2 ingredients (through Sriracha sauce).
    6. To serve: Divide rice evenly on plates and divide turkey mixture evenly on top of the rice. Serve with a side of slaw and the Sriracha fish sauce as a condiment to the larb.
    Recipe Notes

    * I sometimes use a pureed (paste) version of the lemongrass stalks, which I find in the refrigerated section of the produce section. The brand I use is Gourmet Garden. In this recipe I'll use 1-2 tablespoons of the paste in place of the fresh stalks.

    ** Thai larb rarely uses fresh chilies, and instead uses dry ground chili flakes, known as prik bon, to give it some color and heat. 1/2 tablespoon will be spicy. I use red pepper flakes and tone down the heat (1 teaspoon for my family suits them fine).

    Larb is typically made with ground pork so feel free to substitute the turkey with pork if you prefer the traditional version.

    Larb is also made with khao kua, toasted ground Thai sticky rice which gives the dish a slightly crunchy nutty taste. I have omitted it for times sake but if you would like to add this in here is the method:

    Heat a saute pan on low heat, add in the uncooked Thai sticky rice (no oil). Stir continuously, like you’re roasting peanuts. Toast the rice until it turns from white to golden yellow, almost to the point where it looks like brown wheat. It will also be very fragrant and smell almost like popcorn (about 15 minutes or so).

    Once the rice is finished toasting, and has cooled off a bit, put it into your food processor and blend until the rice turns into a coarse powder. Put your toasted sticky rice powder in a bowl aside. Add about a tablespoon of this rice powder at the same time as the marinade mixture.

    You can also add in some fresh mint to the marinade, a classic Thai ingredient, as well as serve some as garnish.

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