Larb – Horrid name, delicious treat

I clipped this recipe out of the New York Times sometime in the last few months and thought it would be a tasty appetizer at the beach. And it was!

It’s quick and easy. Just serve with cucumber spears and lettuce cups, or if you’re not that fancy, just a few rounds of cucumber and a bed of lettuce will do. It’s light and refreshing, salty and sweet and crispy and everything all at once.

Chicken Larb

2 T roasted rice powder*
4 frozen boneless chicken breasts, slightly defrosted
1 small Thai chili pepper, seeded and minced
3-4 tsp fish sauce
juice of four limes
1/4 c minced red onion
2 T chopped cilantro
4 scallions, white and green parts sliced thin
Garnish: lettuce cups and cucumber spears

Mince the chicken breasts up into very small pieces. Easiest if the chicken is still a little frozen.
Cook the chicken in a medium saute pan in about 2T of water until just cooked through. Pour off any excess water.
Toss the chicken with the remaining ingredients.

*Roasted rice powder is available at Asian grocers. I wasn’t able to locate it easily, so opted to make my own. You’ll need raw sticky rice – about 1/4 c. – and a spice grinder. If you don’t have a spice grinder, a mortar and pestle and a willing husband work just fine. Toast the rice in a dry skillet until just golden and then grind to a coarse powder. This takes awhile, but so worth it! It’s the secret ingredient in larb.

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