Thursday, 7 October 2010

Cooking: Laab moo ลาบ หมู

I'm a bit of a geek and often try and work out how things I order in restaurants are cooked. Two dishes over the years have particularly foxed me. It took my five years to develop a theory on how Le Manoir make their poached egg ravioli. I'm not going to try it though; I'd risk proving myself wrong and having another five years of angst.

The second dish that has me very confused is the deep fried avocado and shredded chicken my dad ordered on our trip to the Great Ocean Road back in May. A bread crumb coated avocado shaped ball arrived on a bed of salad. When it was cut open, half was avocado and the other half was shredded chicken. How did they get the shape so perfect? How did it stick together without falling apart? How did they cook all the components evenly? So many unanswered questions...

After the mighty som dum (ลัม ตำ), laab is one of my favourite Thai street stall dishes.  It was not until I read this recipe, that I realised I hadn't got a clue how laab was cooked. I've never heard of poaching mince before and I wouldn't have guessed that was how it was cooked. I'd also wondered how a dish with very little visible chilli could be so fiery. The answer is chilli powder, which I hadn't seen used in Thai cooking before.

Very simple and tasty. I took the laab into work for lunch a couple of days as well as eating it at home one evening.

  • 350 grams minced pork
  • 1 cup chicken broth or water
  • 2 Tbsp mint leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp coriander, coarsely chopped
  • 3 Tbsp green onion, finely chopped
  • ½ cup shallots, finely chopped
  • 3 Tbsp lime juice
  • 2 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 Tbsp grounded roasted rice
  • 1 Tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp sugar
1. Bring the stock to a boil in a pan. Add the mince, breaking it up with a wooden spoon and simmer until it is cooked.

2. When the pork is cooked drain it, and place in a mixing bowl. Combine with all of the other ingredients and mix well.

With the laab I attempted to cook some morning glory from this recipe.


  1. As you know, I am a big laab fan. I will have to try this!!

    I'd like to have it with sticky rice but have failed every time I've tried to cook it. Challenge Ricardo!

  2. @BE - give me mango and sweet sticky rice and I'm in heaven, but generally I prefer steamed rice with most Thai food.

  3. I love my larb raw and super chilli. I'm telling you, you gotta come down to Fairfield one day :D