Limey Low-Carb Larb
Larb is a is a type of Thai salad, featuring ground meat in addition to greens. The minced pork is seasoned with funky fish sauce, chilis, red pepper flakes, a healthy dose of lime juice, and fresh herbs. In this low carb version, macadamia nuts replace the traditional toasted sticky rice to give it some crunchy texture.
2 lbs ground pork (veggie variation: Trader Joe's Beefless Ground Beef does just as well in this dish)
2 shallots (very thinly sliced into rounds, a mandoline is helpful here)
1 overflowing cup of cilantro
½ cup torn mint leaves
3 tbsp fish sauce
½ cup lime juice (approx. 5 limes: 4½ juiced, half a lime to be sliced for serving)
½ tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp of grated ginger
1 tsp sugar
2 thai chiles
1 tsp red pepper flakes
4 scallions, thinly sliced
Sea salt and pepper to taste
Lettuce for the cups: Best options are bibb, little gem, belgian endive, green leaf, or any combination of.
Combine the pork, soy sauce, sesame oil, salt and pepper in a bowl and knead until mixed. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the scallions, fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, bird’s eye chile, red pepper flakes, half the shallots, half the mint and half the cilantro. Set aside.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Using a slotted spoon, add the pork, breaking meat apart with the back of a wooden spoon or spatula. Cook until meat is no longer pink, but not browned, about 5 to 6 minutes.
While the pork is cooking, make the crispy scallions by heating a tsp of cooking oil and crisping the scallions over medium heat for approx. 4 minutes.
Remove pork from heat and allow to cool for a couple of minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the pork to the bowl with the chile-herb mixture, add the chopped macadamias and stir together until combined. Season with kosher salt to taste.
Top with remaining herbs and serve alongside lettuce cups and lime wedges.
BONUS: I particularly enjoyed a bowl of leftovers with an over easy egg on top, as pictured below.
Make it veggie with beefless ground beef, such as Trader Joe's.
Not afraid of carbs? This dish is amazing on top of any kind of rice. Additionally, you can toast some rice, grind it, and add it to the dish for crunchy texture instead of the macadamia nuts.