Laap is a savory dish made with ground meat and herbs. It is often found under the salad menu in Thai restaurants, but for me it isn’t a salad – it is a meat dish with a bit more green than usual. The meat can be whatever you want or have on hand (chicken, beef, water buffalo, whatever). I really like it with ground turkey. This recipe is based on notes that my friend Heather scribbled down in a Lao kitchen when we visited Dave’s uncle Jim in Laos years ago.
- 2 inches galangal (can substitute ginger), grated
- 5-10 shallots (5 medium shallots, 10 if they’re teeny), diced
- 3 garlic cloves, diced
- 3-4 stalks lemongrass, remove the outer leaves, cut off and discard the greener ends and the “bulb” end, keeping about 4 inches or so. slice the lemongrass stalk lengthwise and then crossways to make thin half-moons
- 2-3 green chilies, diced
- 20 oz. ground turkey
- 2 Tb sticky/glutinous rice flour (available at Asian groceries, may be able to substitute regular flour)
- 1/4 cup fish sauce (available from Thai and perhaps other Asian grocery stores)
- 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
- 4 scallions, chopped
- 1 bunch mint, chopped
- salt to taste
Place a little oil into a 12 inch saute pan, stir fry the galangal, shallots, garlic, lemongrass, and chilies for a few moments. Add the ground turkey and break it up so that it mixes well with the herbs and starts to cook. Once it has cooked through, add the rice flour to absorb the juices. Take it off the heat. Add the fish sauce, lime juice scallions, mint and salt to taste.
I typically serve this with sticky rice, alongside a Thai curry or tom yum soup. Sticky rice is also known as glutinous rice or sweet rice, and it is available at Asian groceries.
With another dish, this recipe feeds 4.