The other day, I had a recipe fail- an attempt at potstickers; that turned into a delicious dinner – This riff on pork larb. It’s always a bummer when a recipe doesn’t work out, but when it turns into dinner, the sting of defeat is not quite as bad.
Pork Larb inspired stir fry with sesame cucumber salad – the fastest weeknight meal you’ll
This dish, made with ground meat (pork in this case, but you could use beef, chicken, duck or lamb, or just about any ground meat you’ve got on hand) is similar to larb, which is a Laotian minced meat salad that is also a staple on most Thai restaurant menus. It’s wonderful served over rice or cauliflower rice, in lettuce cups or over greens, or in a bowl with the cucumber salad piled on top.
Traditionally, a main component of Larb is ground rice powder. When I originally created this recipe, I was pretty much off grains entirely, so left that out for the sake of keeping it paleo. Now that I’m more of an eater of everything, I look forward to finding an authentic recipe for larb and trying it out.
This version is more of a pork larb inspired stir fry; it is super flavorful and versatile and is the perfect weeknight easy meal.
When should you make this dish? Well, it takes about 20 minutes, maybe 30 if you’re pokey in the kitchen, so is perfect as a quick weeknight meal. It’s also wonderful as an appetizer, especially if you plan on following it with other better-than-take-out favorites, such as: Thai Chicken Skewers with Peanut-Free Satay Sauce, Sesame Zucchini Noodles, Orange-Ginger Beef Stir-Fry or Pad Thai.Print
for the cucumber salad:
- 1 English cucumber, peeled and very thinly sliced
- 1 medium shallot, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon coconut aminos
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon coconut sugar
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
for the pork:
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1/2 cup minced scallions (6–8 scallions)
- 1 tablespoon coconut aminos or tamari
- 1 teaspoon fish sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup cashews, peanuts, or macadamia nuts
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil or other cooking oil
- juice of one lime, plus lime wedges for serving, if desired
- small handful of mint leaves, minced
- Place the sliced cucumbers in a fine mesh strainer placed over a bowl and toss with a good pinch of salt. Place in the fridge.
- Combine the shallot, coconut aminos, sesame oil, fish sauce, and coconut sugar in a medium mixing bowl. Set aside.
- In a large skillet over medium-low heat, toast the sesame seeds until they are light golden brown and fragrant. Remove from the pan and set aside in a small bowl. Add the cashews to the pan and repeat; toast them until golden and fragrant and then remove to a small bowl. (skip this step if your sesame seeds or nuts are already toasted)
- In a large bowl, combine the ground pork, scallions, coconut aminos, fish sauce, red pepper flakes and half the toasted nuts.
- Heat the same large skillet over medium-high heat and add the cooking oil. Once hot, add the pork and break it up with a spatula. Stir occasionally but give it a chance to brown as well. Sauté until cooked through, about 5 minutes.
- Squeeze in the lime, and transfer to a platter and sprinkle with the toasted nuts and remaining minced nuts
- To finish the cucumber salad, rinse the cucumbers and add to the bowl with the coconut aminos mixture. Stir in half the sesame seeds and sprinkle the remainder on top.
- Serve the pork over rice or cauliflower rice, in lettuce cups, over greens, or in a bowl with the cucumber salad.
Keywords: pork larb
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