Ignore the word “larb”. I have no idea why the word larb sounds gross. Does it remind me of “larvae”? It doesn’t really help that larb kind of looks like larvae… But omg, I swear it is delicious. Tangy, spicy, and filling, I am so glad I tried making it at home! I think it will be making a regular appearance on my weekly menus.
BUT FIRST. My weekly menu!
Monday– Bibimbap: yeah yeah I know that was Monday last week. But seriously, why would I mess with a good thing? I am going to keep eating cauliflower rice, pre-packaged seasoned sauteed vegetables with pre-marinated ribeye until H-Mart stops selling it to me. So easy and delicious! I feel really bad for people who don’t have access to this 😦 Sorry…
Tuesday– Steak with chimichurri sauce, pressure cooked sweet potato, roasted broccoli
Wednesday– Korean kalbi (marinated short ribs) and kimchee fried cauliflower rice
Thursday– I insist on helping my sister register at Bed Bath and Beyond. The best part of being maid of honor is getting to do all the fun wedding stuff again and spending tons of time with my sister. We are going to eat Red Robins salads.
Friday– Lettuce wrapped burgers
Saturday– Shrimp Mango Cobb Salad (another restaurant salad copycat!)
Sunday– Ugh thinking seven days in advance gives me a headache. Maybe a soup or a roast?
So the thai chicken larb gai was really good for dinner but even better as leftovers or a quick snack. I was really surprised at how good it tasted cold. Maybe even better cold! I was even more surprised as to how nicely the chicken sat in the cabbage cups so I could just grab and go.
The savoy cabbage was one of the coolest discoveries I have ever made. My friend Andrea who was our school nurse at Federal Way High School made us dinner one night for a girls’ night and it was the first time I realized I love cabbage. Ever since I have been looking for different ways to eat it. Of course, Andrea the healthy, marathon running nurse made us this healthy meal and I brought a bottle of wine and a Southern Caramel butter cake… Clearly that was a year ago. Although who am I kidding? I am completely planning on baking this weekend. Ryan’s family is coming over for dinner on Saturday and when I serve a salad for dinner, I feel the need to compensate with cake for dessert. Also, I am meeting my former boss and forever mentor Richard for coffee on Saturday morning and I know he has had a rough two weeks. SO that means we get to eat whole wheat cranberry biscotti with our Americanos that morning.
Now that I have survived my full month of eating healthy, I figure I have to let myself have a tiny bit of treats so I don’t feel deprived and crash and burn. I usually just go crazy after a month and gain it all back so I am going to try to be different this time around. I used to take a giant cheat day after finishing a month of healthy eating. Like Little Caesar’s pizza, chocolate cake, McDonalds, and ice cream. All in one day. Maybe even as one meal. This time, I took it easy. I ordered a salad during a girls’ lunch, but had a glass of wine…or three. On Sunday, I didn’t eat rice, but I had another glass of wine. Yes, yes, I know my weakness. Yesterday, I accepted a free cookie at work, but didn’t eat the croissant sandwich and had my low-carb protein bar instead. I also have kept up the workouts even though I SO was not in the mood yesterday. I am SURPRISINGLY getting into yoga. I found Tara Stiles on YouTube and I like her “stile”. Get it? She moves faster than most so I don’t get bored and she mostly does 10 minute videos. I have done this for about a week and I almost hate to admit it because I used to despise yoga, but I can tell I am stronger in my core. I can hold poses now that I was flopping around with a week ago. Nowhere near even attempting an intermediate workout again though. I gave one a try over the weekend and at one point just had to sit on the mat and watch completely slack jaw because there was no frickin way.
So back to the recipe!
This is another one of those recipes where I am surprised that recipes call for sugar at all in the meat. I played around with a couple recipes so that I could omit refined white sugar. I haven’t compared it to others as this was my first time making larb at home, but it was delicious and my husband and I both loved it. I don’t think being “sweeter” would have made it taste better. It is supposed to be a bit tangy and spicy.
Chicken Larb Gai (Chicken Cabbage Cups)
I love alliterations
- 2 tsp cornstarch/arrowroot powder
- 2 tbsp water
- 5 tbsp lime juice (3 large limes)
- 3 tbsp fish sauce
- 2 TB honey
- 2 tbsp EVOO
- 2 tbsp fresh ginger, grated or very finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 lemon grass stalk, white and very pale green part only, finely chopped
- 4-5 birds eye chili (thai chili), deseeded and finely chopped (if you don’t like spicy, adjust to 2 chilis
- 2 lb chicken breast, finely ground or minced (I used my food processor)
- 1 red onion, finely sliced
- 1/2 cup cilantro
- 1/2 cup mint leaves
- 3 tbsp crushed peanuts (optional)
- 1/2 head of savoy cabbage,separated into leaves to serve
- In a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch and water. Add lime juice, fish sauce, and honey. Set aside.
- In the food processor bowl, add chicken breast and pulse until the chicken pieces are about rice grain sized.
- Heat a large wok pan or frying pan to medium heat with a couple drizzles of EVOO. Add minced garlic, finely chopped or grated ginger, and lemon grass. Saute for about a minute, not allowing the garlic to burn.
- Add chicken to the pan and cook evenly. Breaking up the chicken and stirring well.
- Once the chicken is cooked, add the sauce and stir well, thickening up the chicken.
- Turn off the heat and add the red onion, cilantro, and mint. Stir well. If you have chopped peanuts, throw them in as well.
- Scoop the chicken onto the cabbage leaves and serve with mint or cilantro garnish and lime wedges!