- Mar 14 2013
The Sum of Its Parts
If you’ve ever watched ambitious contestants on Top Chef get the boot over a poorly executed soup, you’ll understand the delicate alchemy that goes into making laab, the minced meat salad invented in Laos and perfected in the Isaan region of northern Thailand.
Sure you’ve mastered pate en croute. You know your way around a knife and your puff pastry levitates, but can you achieve the sublime with an inexact* handful of herbs and spices?
Made from pork, chicken, duck, beef or even mushroom, this simple salad of incredibly nuanced flavors and textures explains in a single mouthful why Thai food is so damned beguiling.
Mint leaves, lime, chilis, palm sugar, red onion, fish sauce, roasted rice powder - unremarkable ingredients made magic by their proximity to one another.
The above version called laab tord uses fried rather than ground chicken which suits me just fine.
*Anyone you gives you a finely calibrated laab recipe is doing it wrong.