There are probably 100´s of recipes for Larb Beef online, each one different and unique in their own way. In Laos, nearly every household has their own recipe. I remember at family gatherings, we always used to wait for my Uncle “Loung Tihn” to arrive so he could mix the Larb.
Here is our own version of Larb Beef, that is made to order.
You will need the following basic ingredients.
Beef Fillet (we use Tenderloin, about 100g)
The quantities of the remaining ingredients vary according to personal taste…
Coriander (include a little of the stalk)
Wedge of Lime
Ground Toasted Sticky Rice (check out Manivan´s instructional video on how to make Ground Toasted Sticky Rice)
Diced Red Pepper
Diced Green Pepper
Shredded Lime Leaves
(Not pictured) Shallot Oil cut with Garlic Oil (90%-10%)
The Beef should be fresh and cool.
Dice the Beef by hand, never by machine, by first cutting long even “matchsticks” and then into small cubes.
Set aside in a cool place whilst you finish the other ingredients.
Slice the Shallots, Mint, Coriander and Chillies.
Place all the sliced and diced ingredients in to a mixing bowl. We use a bowl sitting in an Ice Bath to keep the ingredients cool.
Add the Fish Sauce and Shallot Oil. Mix again.
Add the Lime Juice. You will see that the Oil has given the Beef a “shine”, it will also lend a pleasant aroma of Roasted Shallots with just a tiny hint of Roasted Garlic. Mix again.
Finally add the Ground Toasted Sticky Rice. Season to taste by adding more Fish Sauce and Lime Juice if necessary. We don’t use Sugar in our Larb, however, if you want to, you can.
Serve immediately otherwise the lime juice will change the colour of the Beef. Garnish with a few Seasonal Leaves.
We found that adding flavoured Oils gave the dish more “body” and made it more acceptable to Western palates. It bounded the meat together much like the raw egg yolk does in a classic “Steak Tartare”. We use Tenderloin because it doesn’t have fat and has less sinew than other cuts, however, you can use most cuts of Beef for this dish, Rump is a good alternative.
If you remove the Shallot Oil mixture and add Padek Liquid, you basically have the traditional recipe for Laotian Beef Larb. Only sometimes do we add the pungent liquid of Padek, and that’s when we eat it…