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Susan Jung's recipes

Video: Home cooking with Susan Jung - delicious Thai duck larb

Larb is a great dish for summer because the hot-sour-salt-sweet flavours are refreshing and not too heavy

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 29 July, 2015, 10:40am
UPDATED : Thursday, 30 June, 2016, 3:41pm

Many people think of larb as a minced meat salad, but the main ingredient can also be seafood, beancurd or mushrooms. 

Sawtooth coriander (which is also known as culantro or long coriander) is a herb that tastes like fresh coriander leaves. Toasted rice powder thickens the sauce slightly while also adding a subtle crunch. You can buy the sawtooth coriander, toasted rice powder and fried shallots in shops specialising in Southeast Asian ingredients.

WATCH Susan Jung make Thai duck larb

2 large duck breasts, about 800 grams in total

10 fresh lime leaves

A few fresh or dried whole chillies

3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

About 15ml fish sauce

About 15 grams toasted rice powder

About 5 grams dried chilli flakes

3-5 leaves sawtooth coriander, cut into 5mm pieces

6 spring onions, white and pale green part only, cut into 5cm pieces

A small handful of fresh mint leaves

About 30ml fresh lime juice

25 grams fried shallots

About 200ml cooking oil

To serve:

Fresh vegetables such as small lettuce leaves, small round eggplant, and long beans

Lime wedges

Remove the skin from the duck breasts. Slice the skin into thin strips, then mince the meat (either by putting it through a meat grinder, or by finely chopping it with a sharp knife).

Put the cooking oil into a wok set over a medium-high flame. When the oil is hot, add the lime leaves and fry them until they darken slightly. Drain them on paper towels. If using dried chillies, fry them until they darken slightly, then drain on paper towels.

Pour the oil out of the wok into a bowl. Place the wok over a medium flame. Add the duck skin and stir constantly until the fat has rendered out and the skin is lightly browned and crisp. Remove the duck skin from the  wok and drain on paper towels.

Pour off all but about 20ml of the duck fat from the wok. Place the wok over a high flame then add the garlic and let it sizzle briefly. Add the duck meat and break it up with a spatula, then stir in the fish sauce, toasted rice powder and chilli flakes. Stir-fry the ingredients until the duck meat is cooked. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally to release the steam.

Just before serving, stir in the sawtooth coriander, spring onions, mint leaves and lime juice. Add most of the lime leaves, fresh or whole dried chillies and fried shallots, leaving behind some of each ingredient for the garnishes. Mix thoroughly, then spoon the larb onto a serving plate. Add the reserved lime leaves, chillies and fried shallots, then serve with the raw vegetables and lime wedges.