Last night we had another gathering of our dinner group. The theme was Thai food, and I volunteered to bring an appetizer. I love to eat Thai food, but I rarely attempt to make it. Sometimes the ingredients are hard to find and sometimes the recipes seem overly complicated. But after asking for some help on the Slow Travel food forum, I was steered toward this Larb recipe on Epicurious. No, it's not lard, it's larb and it's delicious.
I was recently turned onto this dish by my neighbors and dear friends during a wine tasting and take out Thai food dinner. It's basically a meat salad. It can be chicken, pork, beef or whatever. The key point is that it's marinated in lime juice, fish sauce and other typical Thai flavors. Of course it turns out that it's actually a Cambodian dish, but it is popular in Thailand. It makes a perfect start to Thai dinner. So that's what I decided to bring to last night's dinner.
Now I have to say that I broke one of my rules to never do something for a dinner party that I've never tried before. But the Epicurious recipe didn't let me down. I did make a couple of subsitutions. I ran out of limes for the lime juice and juiced a couple of my meyer lemons to make up the 2/3 cup of juice in the dressing. I also left out the lemongrass because I didn't have time to track it down. I added the zest of one of the meyer lemons to make up for it. And finally I used cabbage instead of the Boston lettuce because cabbage is what they used at the restaurant where we had it. The substitutions all worked and it tasted delicious. We had a wonderful dinner with our friends, and it sounds like this recipe will be passed around and used again. It's a keeper!