This is a favorite and easy recipe that features the sharp, fresh-green taste of the mint I grow in my herb garden. It can be made with lamb or pork. My recipe probably defies traditional larb-making rules because of the nuts sprinkled on top, but to me they balance the Thai flavors I love. —Lisa Peterson
crushed red pepper flakes (or more, if desired)
fresh lime juice (or the juice of 1 large lime)
toasted rice powder*
large Boston lettuce leaves, washed, dried
chopped scallions (use some of the green)
chopped salted roasted peanuts (cashews or macadamias can be substituted)
1. In a small bowl toss together the beef, pepper flakes, nam pla and lime juice. Cook over medium heat until no redness appears in the meat (about 7 minutes). Stir in rice powder, shallots, cilantro and mint; keep warm
2. On each serving plate arrange 4 lettuce leaves. Divide beef over the lettuce, sprinkle with scallions and peanuts. Serve immediately.
*Rice powder is a cinch to make: toast ¼ cup brown rice in a small fry pan over medium-high heat until the grains turn golden brown. Cool a few minutes; grind in a spice grinder.