In Thailand salads are not very popular, but some of the salads that are, in Thai cusine, are exceptionally good and very delectable. The wonderful balance of the four flavors in Thai salads is unique and which is why, Thai salad like Laab gai has become world famous.
Laab gai is a spicy and sour meat salad which is prepared by mixing ground chicken with various condiments and vegetables and also with a special ingredient called jasmine rice powder. So, follow these simple steps to get a taste of this delectable salad right at your home.
Difficulty Level: Easy
Servings Per Recipe: 3-4
Preparation Time Required: 10 minutes
Cooking Time Required: 15-20 minutes
1 stirring spoon
1 skillet or saucepan
1 large strainer
1 mortar and pestle
1 lb. of ground chicken
1 stalk of lemon grass
½ cup of chopped sawtooth coriander
4 tablespoons of fish sauce
3 tablespoons of roasted jasmine rice (grounded)
1 teaspoon of galangal powder
6 large cloves of garlic, minced
Juice of 2 lemons
2 small red onions, thinly sliced
½ cup of tightly packed fresh mint leaves, chopped
2-3 dried Thai red chilies, crushed
1 shallot, thinly sliced
Salt, to taste
Method Of Cooking
1. Heat a wok on medium heat and once the wok starts steaming, add-in the jasmine rice. Toast the rice for 2-3 minutes until it turns brown and then turn off the heat. Transfer the toasted rice to a mortar and grind it roughly with a pestle to get a smooth powder. Once done, put the grounded rice powder into a strainer and shake the strainer gently to collect the ground rice powder below in a bowl and to separate out the rice peels. Once you are done preparing the rice powder, set it aside in a bowl.
2. Again light up the flame and set it on low. Remove the stocks of red chilies and then crush them with a pestle and mortar. Once done, add the crushed red chilies to the hot wok and toast for 5-10 seconds or until the chili turns into a slightly brown color and a little aromatic. But do not overcook the chilies or else they will burn and will liberate a strong choking smoke. Once the crushed red peppers are toasted, transfer them to a plate and keep aside.
3. Next, remove the wok from the heat and place a skillet or saucepan. Add some water to the skillet and let it come to a boil. Once the water starts boiling, throw-in the ground chicken and cook it for a few minutes or until the water turns murky. As soon as the water turns murky and the chicken becomes considerably soft, fish out the chicken from the water with the help of a strainer and then discard the excess water.
4. Once the chicken is thoroughly cooked, transfer it to a bowl and set it aside to cool down. Wait until the chicken cools down and in the meantime, you can chop the vegetables. For that, chop the shallots, sawtooth coriander and the lemon grass pretty thinly and then extract out the juice from the lemons. Then slice up the onion and the mince the garlic cloves to finish chopping up the vegetables.
5. Once the chicken is cooled enough to handle, add the toasted rice powder, toasted crushed red pepper, lemon juice and the galangal powder. Toss and mix all the added ingredients with the chicken and then add the chopped scallions, minced garlic, sawtooth coriander, shallots, chopped basil, onions, salt, fish sauce and the chopped lemon grass. Toss the chicken to mix all the things together and then serve the chicken salad over a large cabbage leaf with rice or cooked vegetables.