Chicken Larb is one of my favorite dishes to cook. It's really easy, fast (about 30 min), and super savory. Plus, it has two can't-go-wrong ingredients: fish sauce and lime juice. Put fish sauce and lime juice on anything and it tastes soooo good.
- 1/2 pound Vermicelli rice stick pasta (about half a package)
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- 1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil
- 2 tablespoons Asian sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
- 1 jalapeño pepper, seeds and ribs removed, minced
- 1 1/2 pounds ground chicken
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup Asian fish sauce (nam pla or nuoc mam)
- 4 scallions including green tops, chopped
- 1 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint
- 1/4 cup lime juice (from about 3 limes), plus 1 lime, cut into wedges, for serving
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Spread almonds on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes, until fragrant and golden brown. Remove the nuts from the pan, let cool, then chop.
2. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the pasta until just done, about 4 minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water, and drain thoroughly. Blot dry with paper towels. Toss the pasta with 1 tablespoon of the sesame oil.
3. In a large frying pan, heat the vegetable or canola oil over moderately high heat. Add half the jalapeño, the ginger, chicken, and salt. Cook the meat, stirring frequently, until brown and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the remaining tablespoon sesame oil, the fish sauce, scallions, mint, and lime juice.
4. Put the pasta on plates and top with the chicken salad. Sprinkle with the remaining minced jalapeño and the chopped almonds and serve with the lime wedges.
SUBSITITIONS: This dish also tastes great with ground lamb or ground beef
LEFTOVERS: I like to boil a few rice stick papers, then roll up spring rolls using the rice noodles, larb, fresh mint leaves, and shredded carrots. Tastes great dipped in peanut sauce or hoisin sauce.