Making Laab Gai (Moved from Ontario Board)
I bet you can make better Laab Gai at home, it doesn't have very many ingredients. The trick IMO is to make your own roasted rice powder, as the store-bought stuff is pretty sad. Just toast in an iron skillet and pulverize in a mortar and pestle. Make sure you add enough mint and have fresh sticky rice.
I don't usually make laab, but I use the same method to make a steak salad. Here's a laab recipe, with photos.
acd123 - just experiment a bit. I just use any rice, they might use sticky rice. It has to have a nice roasted, almost nutty flavour. Browner is better IMO.
If you skip the chicken and use a nice piece of rare BBQ-ed steak, sliced thin, you end up with an approximation of another Issan classic, 'Nam Tok Neu-a' (lit. "Waterfall Beef"). The roasted rice absorbs the dressing and sticks to the meat. Great party trick.
I'm just back from working in Thailand and Cambodia for the winter, so I had a few laabs along the way. Duck is my fav.
My tamarind shrimp curry recipe is from a book so I'll send it when I get some time.
Following are two recipes for Laab Gai (one is slightly different than the other).
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, minced in food processor (do not sub ground chicken, it is too fatty!)
1 Tablespoon roasted rice powder
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 spring onions, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped shallots
3 tablespoons chopped mint leaves
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon garlic and red chile paste
thinly sliced cabbage or lettuce, for serving
fresh cilantro stems, for garnish
1. Heat nonstick skillet over medium heat, no oil necessary.
2. Add chicken, stir until cooked through.
3. Remove from heat, drain excess liquid.
4. Add fish sauce and lime juice.
5. Toss all together with cilantro, onion, shallots, mint, cayenne, rice powder, and ground chile/garlic paste.
6. Adjust seasoning to taste.
7. Serve immediately over lettuce leaves or thinly sliced cabbage.
8. Garnish with cilantro sprigs.
Here is another great recipe for Laab Gai: