My husband and I have a favorite restaurant and it has been our weekly date night place for many years. Needless to say, we have a small number of favorite things that we regularly order. I recently decided that my next great cooking adventure would be mastering the art of Asian cooking. I got two new woks for my birthday, one a heavy cast iron wok, and the other a lighter weight carbon steel wok. After a bit of study, I also purchased a number of special spices, condiments, and ingredients and I am now deep in new territory!

I’ll start sharing some of my successes on and hope you’ll enjoy venturing into this exciting type of cooking, too! Let’s begin with one of my personal favorites, Lahp. I went in search of a version of Lahp (also called Larb) that closely matched the version at my local Thai restaurant. I found one at I followed it closely but altered it a wee bit for both my personal tastes and also the availability of ingredients. The result was outstanding!


1 TBSP. toasted rice powder (this can be purchased or you can make your own)
1 TBSP vegetable oil
1 pound lean ground beef
1/4 TSP sugar
1 TBSP fish sauce (I recommend Red Boat brand)
juice of 1 lime
2 shallots, sliced
3 green onions, sliced, both white and green parts
1 small white onion, cut in half and sliced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 cup fresh mint
dried red chilis, optional, for added spice
Cooked jasmine or sticky rice
2-3 cups spring mix lettuce
Sliced cucumber

Place wok over high heat and add the vegetable oil. When oil is smoking hot, add the ground beef. Cook the beef, breaking it up and cooking until no longer pink. Add the toasted rice powder, sugar, fish sauce, and lime juice. Mix into the beef and cook for a minute or so. Add the onion, green onions, and shallots (and red chilis if using) and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables begin to soften. Add the cilantro and mint. Continue to cook until the herbs have wilted.

To serve, make a bed of the spring lettuce mix and top with lahp. Serve with a side of rice and garnish with cucumbers.

Lahp seems to have many variations. Play with the ingredients and spices until you find your happy place!


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