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EVERY RECIPE FROM THE FIRST 4 SEASONS

No. 69: Sauce Meat as it Rests
Milk Street Bowtie Spicy Beef Salad with Mint and Cilantro (Larb Neua)

Spicy Beef Salad with Mint and Cilantro (Larb Neua)

20 minutes

Spicy Beef Salad with Mint and Cilantro (Larb Neua)

Free

Larb is a minced-meat salad from northern Thailand. Versions abound, but this beef version was inspired by the spicy, tangy Isaan style from the northeast that's also popular in neighboring Laos. Easy-to-make toasted rice powder, called khao kua, is an essential ingredient here—it imparts a unique flavor, absorbs a small amount of the liquid and adds a subtle crunch. 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.

2 tablespoons long-grain jasmine rice
3 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 teaspoons white sugar, divided
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
2 medium shallots, sliced into thin rings
2 Fresno chilies, stemmed and sliced into thin rings
2 teaspoons grapeseed or other neutral oil
1 pound 85 percent lean ground beef
1 cup lightly packed fresh mint, torn
1 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves
Ingredients
  • 2

    tablespoons long-grain jasmine rice

  • 3

    tablespoons lime juice

  • 2

    tablespoons fish sauce

  • 2

    teaspoons white sugar, divided

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • 2

    medium shallots, sliced into thin rings

  • 2

    Fresno chilies, stemmed and sliced into thin rings

  • 2

    teaspoons grapeseed or other neutral oil

  • 1

    pound 85 percent lean ground beef

  • 1

    cup lightly packed fresh mint, torn

  • 1

    cup lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves

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Mains

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Spicy Beef Salad with Mint and Cilantro (Larb Neua)

Get Ready to Cook

4

Servings

20 minutes

Tip

Don't use extra-lean ground beef. A little fat keeps the meat moist, adds flavor and balances the acidity of the dressing.

Ingredients
  • 2

    tablespoons long-grain jasmine rice

  • 3

    tablespoons lime juice

  • 2

    tablespoons fish sauce

  • 2

    teaspoons white sugar, divided

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • 2

    medium shallots, sliced into thin rings

  • 2

    Fresno chilies, stemmed and sliced into thin rings

  • 2

    teaspoons grapeseed or other neutral oil

  • 1

    pound 85 percent lean ground beef

  • 1

    cup lightly packed fresh mint, torn

  • 1

    cup lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves

Step 1 of 4

Toast Rice

2
tablespoons long-grain jasmine rice

In a 12-inch skillet over medium-low, toast the rice, stirring often, until browned and fragrant, 6 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and let cool, about 10 minutes; set the skillet aside.

Step 2 of 4

Combine Ingredients

3
tablespoons lime juice
2
tablespoons fish sauce
1
teaspoon white sugar
1
teaspoon kosher salt
½
teaspoon ground black pepper
2
medium shallots, sliced into thin rings
2
Fresno chilies, stemmed and sliced into thin rings

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the lime juice, fish sauce, 1 teaspoon of sugar, 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Stir in the shallots and chilies. Let stand for at least 10 minutes or up to 20 minutes while you prepare the rest of the dish.

Step 3 of 4

Pulverize Rice

Using a spice grinder or mortar and pestle, pulverize the toasted rice to a coarse powder. Return the powder to the bowl and set aside.

Step 4 of 4

Cook Beef

2
teaspoons grapeseed or other neutral oil
1
pound 85 percent lean ground beef
1
teaspoons white sugar
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
1
cup lightly packed fresh mint, torn
1
cup lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves

In the same skillet over medium-high, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the beef, the remaining 1 teaspoon sugar and ½ teaspoon salt and cook, breaking the meat into very small bits, until no longer pink, 4 to 5 minutes.


Immediately add the beef and any juices to the shallot-chili mixture, along with the mint, cilantro and half of the rice powder, then toss to combine. Let stand for 5 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper, then transfer to a serving platter and sprinkle with the remaining rice powder.

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Spicy Beef Salad with Mint and Cilantro (Larb Neua)

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