The Other Laab You Didn’t Know About

Must Try

  • In a small bowl, combine the laab spice mix, chili flakes, fish sauce and water and stir to dissolve the spices.

    1½ Tablespoons laab spice mix, 2 teaspoons roasted chili flakes, 1½ Tablespoons fish sauce, 1 ½ Tablespoons water

  • In a medium mixing bowl, insert the ground pork and flatten it in the bowl, then pour the spice mixture over the pork and knead it with your hands until well combined. Add the chopped liver (if using) and knead gently just until mixed.

    1 lb ground pork, 4 oz pork liver

  • Make fried garlic and garlic oil. In a small pot, add 3 tablespoon of the oil and one small bit of chopped garlic and set it over medium high heat. Once the garlic starts to bubble, add the rest of the garlic and turn the heat down to medium low, adding more oil as needed to keep the garlic barely submerged. Keep frying, stirring frequently, until the garlic is golden (not brown) and the bubbling subsides, about 5 minutes. Drain the garlic with a metal sieve, reserving the garlic oil.

    3-4 Tablespoons neutral oil, 5 cloves garlic

  • In a wok over medium high heat, add about 2 tablespoon of garlic oil (keep leftover oil in the fridge, it’s good on everything), then add the shallots, lemongrass, and galangal, and fry until the lemongrass starts to brown.

    ¼ cup shallots, 1 stalk lemongrass, 5 thin slices galangal

  • Turn the heat up to high and add the pork and keep stirring and smashing it to break up the lumps. Keep going until fully cooked; there should be a little bit of liquid left in the pan but not a ton. Taste and adjust more seasoning with fish sauce as needed.

  • Turn off the heat, then stir in cilantro, green onions,and rau ram.

    5 springs cilantro, 1 green onion, 10-15 leaves Vietnamese coriander (rau ram)

  • Plate, top with fried garlic, fried shallots, and mint, and place extra fresh herbs on the side. Serve with sticky rice, fresh veggies, and crispy pork rind.

    Sticky rice, Fresh crunchy vegetables such as Asian cabbage, carrot, cucumber and long benas, Crispy pork rind, ½ cup mint leaves

  • How to eat: this dish is typically eaten by hand, and I recommend watching the video tutorial at the end to see how it’s done! But basically you take a small amount of sticky rice and ball it up into a tight ball. Then “dip” the rice ball into the laab and use your fingers to “pinch” the laab onto the sticky rice – then into your mouth. Follow it up with veg and/or crispy pork rind!

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