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Larb (also spelled lahp, laap and laab) is a minced-meat salad from northeastern Thailand and Laos. Toasted rice powder, called khao kua, is an essential ingredient in larb—it imparts a unique flavor, absorbs a small amount of the liquid and adds a subtle crunch. The powder can be purchased in some Asian markets, but it’s easy to make your own, and it will taste fresher, too. Finely ground dark-meat chicken yields the best texture and flavor, and be sure to break apart the meat as it cooks so that there are no large clumps or lumps. Fresh ginger isn’t typical in larb but we like its piquancy and sweetness in combination with the other assertive flavors. Cabbage leaves and sticky rice are the traditional accompaniments, but lettuce leaves and steamed jasmine rice are equally good. If you like, for more spiciness, add another chili or two.
tablespoons jasmine rice
tablespoons lime juice
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