“Your diet is a bank account. Good food choices are good investments.”― Bethenny Frankel
I would cook with butter every day if I could (thank God for French cooking!). Luckily, I have a husband who reins me in. When Peter wants to be more “healthy,” he always asks for this dish, Thai Larb. It is refreshing, crunchy, filling and somehow light as well. I should mention right now: This is definitely not an authentic Laotian or Thai larb, which is one of the world’s great foods. It is, however, exactly what I want to make on a weeknight: easy and bursting with flavor. Served with steamed rice, quick-pickled onions, and a tangle of herbs, humble ground turkey becomes a dinner Peter craves often. Start here, and you’ll be eating in half an hour.
I choose ground turkey as my protein base for this recipe, mostly because I don’t often have an excuse to eat ground turkey. A little darker than ground chicken, I find the meat holds a lot of flavor, doesn’t tend to be mushy, and browns nicely in a hot pan. Of course, you can substitute many proteins for this recipe, ground chicken, pork, beef, even shrimp! This recipe is simply a great weeknight equation for a quick healthy dinner. Don’t be afraid to play with the recipe!
As I mentioned in a previous post, gochujang sauce is a staple in my fridge. Gochujang sauce is a Korean fermented red chile sauce with mild heat and depth of flavor. Atkinsons’ Market caries the Mother In Laws brand, my personal favorite. We add it to soups, stir fries, noodle recipes, and use it as a dipping sauce as well. Try the Mother In Law’s Garlic Fermented Chile Paste and play around with it in your kitchen. As soon as Peter & I finish one jar, I buy another. I wouldn’t be caught without it in my fridge! You can see from the photo below that Peter loves it.
- ½ red onion
- 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
- 2-3 servings of white rice, such as jasmine long grain
- 1 Tbsp neutral vegetable oil or grape see oil
- 1 lb ground turkey or protein of choice
- 3 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
- 3 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1 Fresno or Serrano chile, seeds & stem removed, thinly sliced
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp fish sauce
- Gochujang sauce to taste, preferably Mother In Law’s Garlic Fermented Chile Paste
- 1 Tbsp brown sugar
- Flaky sea salt, freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1 head Bibb or butterleaf lettuce
- 1 lime
- fresh herbs such as cilantro, basil, or mint
Ground Turkey Thai Larb
30 Minute Cook Time
- Thinly slice half a red onion and place in a small bowl with rice vinegar. Let it hang out in the fridge until you’re ready to eat.
- Steam white rice to package instructions.
- While the rice is cooking, heat vegetable oil in a skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add ground turkey, garlic cloves, sliced scallions (whites and greens), and sliced chile. Season with a little salt and pepper and cook until turkey is cooked through and browned.
- Stir in soy sauce, fish sauce, a spoonful of gochujang sauce or other hot sauce (like sriracha), and brown sugar, cooking until the liquid is almost completely reduced. Remove from heat and set aside.
- To prep the lettuce cups, tear Bibb or butter lettuce leaves from head and keep intact. Wash lettuce and arrange on a platter. Slice limes into wedges. Tear herbs & add to platter.
- Serve the larb with rice, lettuce leaves, lime wedges, quick-pickled onions, more gochujang sauce, and torn herbs like cilantro, basil, and mint. Eat with your hands & enjoy!