Beef Larb: Recipe from Minneapolis’ Hai Hai Restaurant

 In ALIVE, Food

1/4 cup sweet/sticky rice (dry), or 1 tbsp toasted rice powder
1 lb cooked ground beef, raw
1 tbsp oil
3 tbsp lemongrass, minced
2 small shallots, thinly sliced rings 1-2 red Thai chilis, thinly sliced rings 6 basil leaves
6 cilantro sprigs, leaves and thin stems from upper half only
6 mint leaves
Raw cucumber slices, green cabbage wedges, radish slices or other raw vegetables (for serving)
Shrimp chips (optional)

Larb Dressing:
3 tbsp Thai fish sauce
3 tbsp lime juice (freshly squeezed) 1.5 tbsp white sugar

Whisk larb dressing ingredients until sugar is dissolved. Set aside.
2. Toast dry sweet rice in a pan on medium heat until amber or golden brown in color. Stir and toss, so sides are evenly colored. Do not burn. Pulse in a spice grinder until it is a coarse powder, or grind with mortar and pestle (skip this whole step if you are buying premade toasted rice powder—though making it is much more delicious).
3. Cook ground beef in oil over medium heat without browning too much. Stir to break up large chunks. When cooked completely, let it cool in the pan for a couple of minutes, then transfer to a mixing bowl.
4. Mix warm ground beef with dressing, lemongrass, shallots, Thai chilis and 2/3 of each of the herbs, torn into small pieces.
5. Put the larb on a plate or in a bowl. Sprinkle some toasted rice powder on top and garnish with remaining torn herbs. Enjoy larb warm by scooping it up with sliced cucumber, cabbage wedges, other raw veggies and/or shrimp chips.

Recipe courtesy of Hai Hai’s Christina Nguyen and Birk Grudem. Image courtesy of Attilio D’Agostino.

This story originally appeared in ALIVE Volume 18, Issue 1, available now online. You can order a print copy here or pick one up at these locations.

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