Yes, it’s true! Not EVERYTHING I cook these days is Italian! In fact, I think I need to take a break from pasta for a while (we’ll see how long that lasts). Last week I was chatting in the kitchen with my roommate, KKD, watching her prepare a huge plate of larb for her and her boyfriend for dinner. She told me that she had pulled the recipe from Cooking Light, but made some changes to make it more spicy and flavorful. KKD and I both agree that while Cooking Light offers great ideas for healthy alternatives, their recipes are somewhat simple and often bland, requiring necessary tweaking to make the tastes more complex. So the recipe that I am about to share with you is KKD’s very own rendition of a Laos classic, which I recreated last night.
Turkey Larb (serves 4)
- Coconut oil cooking spray (can be found at TJ’s)
- 1 bunch of scallions, chopped
- 1 jalapeño, finely chopped
- 1 lb ground turkey breast
- 1 cup of mint leaves
- 1 cup of cilantro leaves
- 2-3 TB of Sriracha (to taste)
- 2 TB soy sauce
- 1 tsp fish sauce
- 2 small English cucumbers, diced
- juice of 1 lime
- 8 cabbage leaves
Coat a large nonstick skillet with coconut oil cooking spray and heat over a medium-high flame. Add the scallions and jalapeño and sauté for about 5 minutes, or until softened. Add the turkey to the pan and cook until beginning to brown, breaking it up with the back of a wooden spoon.
Once the turkey is cooked, transfer the contents of the pan into a large food processor. Add Sriracha, soy sauce and fish sauce then pulse to combine. Taste for seasoning, then transfer the meat back to the pan over a low-medium flame and continue to sauté for a few more minutes.
Meanwhile, chop the mint and cilantro in a mini food processor. In a large serving bowl, combine the turkey, herbs, cucumber and lime juice and toss to combine. Serve with cabbage leaves, lime wedges and more Sriracha!
I paired this meal with the newly released 2012 JAQK Cellars Charmed Sauvignon Blanc from Russian River Valley. There are notes of grapefruit and lemon grass on the nose, and a crisp yet smooth palate with a long and mellow finish. This wine went well with the dish because it offset the spiciness in the meat. This dish would also pair well with a Viognier or Dry Riesling – anything crisp with hints of citrus and honey. But I just happen to be particular fond of Sauvignon Blanc from Russian River Valley – especially if it’s a Craig MacLean wine!