Larb Gai, a Thai minced chicken salad is one of my favourite sweet, salty and sour style dishes. Pork, or firm tofu for a vegetarian version, can also be used – just add soy sauce (or tamari as a gluten-free option) instead of fish sauce in the recipe.
No matter how much I enjoy pouring hours of tender loving care into a meal for friends or family, there are times when throwing something together in less than 15 minutes is my only option.
Think weeknights with homework and after school activities, or the times when you are so tired after work all you want to do is pick up the phone and order some second rate take away… Stop! Don’t do it!
Why? Well, if you are a big Thai food fan, you might be surprised that one of the country’s best known dishes, Larb Gai or minced chicken salad can be ready to eat in little to no time.
Of course, if you are familiar with the dish, I won’t have to tell you how wonderfully aromatic and flavourful it is. Every mouthful is a fresh burst of sweet, and salty and sour. The benefit of making this dish at home is the fact that you can adjust the spice level to your own liking. It is a great way to introduce kids to other cuisines too – simply season the dish with chilli at the table.
So tell me, what is your favourite takeaway dish that you often like to recreate at home?
PS and a few updates: I know I have been posting a lot of savoury dishes of late. Apologies to the sweet tooths, I have good news: there are some delicious no-sugar sweet posts coming your way soon. There’s chocolate cake and my new take on Nutella. A tasty frozen yoghurt recipe, oh, and an ice-cream maker giveaway… stay tuned this month for more details!
- 1 tbsp peanut (or olive) oil
- 500g (1.2lb) organic minced chicken
- 2 fresh kaffir lime leaves, sliced
- 3-4 small dried red chillies
- ½ red onion, sliced thinly
- 2 springs spring onions, chopped finely
- ¼ cup all natural (organic) chicken stock
- 1 tbsp corn flour
- 3 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tsp sugar
- juice of 1 lime
- Cos lettuce leaves
- Fresh mint leaves
- Extra chilli flakes
- Heat oil in a large pan or wok over high heat.
- Add chicken mince and brown, stirring with a wooden spoon to break up bigger chunks for about a minute or so.
- Add dried chilli, kaffir lime leaves, sliced onion and spring onions. Stir and cook for another two minutes or so.
- In the meantime, mix together the stock, corn flour, fish sauce, sugar and lime juice in a jug.
- Pour marinade into the chicken and cook on medium high heat for a further 3-4 minutes, or until the stock has reduced and the chicken is nicely coated with the resulting “glaze”.
- Turn of the heat, transfer into a bowl and serve.
- Serve chicken alongside cos lettuce leaves and fresh mint leaves. Spoon chicken mixture into leaves (sprinkle with extra chilli, if desired) and top with some mint leaves.