My Mother’s Chicken Larb

February 1, 2012 was the 10th Annual National Wear Red Day, supporting the American Heart Association’s fight against heart disease in women. Both my mother and one of my best friends, Pam are survivors of heart disease. In honor of my mother and Pam, I am wearing red and sharing with you a heart healthy recipe, My Mother’s Chicken Larb.  This Thai appetizer is a healthy and easy to prepare finger food for Super Bowl Sunday!

Note: The authentic Thai recipe includes chopped cilantro and mint which you may want to add.  I like to keep it simple and use as few ingredients as possible so I usually omit these 2 ingredients.

Pam’s story:

My first video walking you through how to prepare My Mother’s Chicken Larb:

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoon toasted raw rice
  • 1 pound of ground chicken
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • chicken broth*
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce*
  • 4 tablespoons of sliced scallion/green onion (both the green and white parts)
  • 1 teaspoon of grated galangal
  • ½ cup finely chopped onion (I prefer a milder white onion but my mother uses a red onion)
  • 2 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
  • red pepper flakes to taste (I like 1/2 teaspoon)
  • 1 finely diced sweet red bell pepper
  • iceberg lettuce, rinsed and leaves separated

* NOTE: If you are a gluten-free diet, ensure that the ingredients you are using are gluten-free.

Directions:

Toast raw rice in oven until lightly brown.  Place in plastic bag and break the rice grains with a mallet.  Set aside.

Cook chicken over medium heat with just enough oil to coat the plan.  Separate the chicken  meat into small pieces while cooking.  If the chicken appears to be dry, add a splash of chicken broth to moisten.

Add the lime juice, sugar, fish sauce, scallions, galangal, chopped onion, garlic and red pepper flake.  Cook for 5 additional minutes.

Turn off heat and combine red bell pepper.

Place spoonful of larb onto iceberg lettuce leaves and sprinkle with toasted rice.

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Galangal is relative of ginger and used in Thai cooking. It’s flavor is different and peppery compared to common ginger, therefore you do not want to replace ginger for galangal. Whole Foods often carries galangal. Slice the outer tough skin and then grate finely.

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Cook the chicken over medium heat until just done. Break up the chicken and add chicken broth if the meat appears dry.

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Kale Chips

Salted kale chips make a healthy and satisfying alternative to potato chips. I was introduced to kale chips at a water stop during “America’s Most Beautiful Bike Ride” in Lake Tahoe this year.  I was near the end of my 72 mile ride and craving salt.  A wonderful volunteer kindly shared his dehydrated salted kale chips.  They were so good I went back for 3 more helpings!  So I attempted to make them at home. I didn’t have a dehydrator so I tried crisping the kale up in the oven.  I ended up with these delicate and crispy treats!  I have a cramping issue so I am trying to take in a little more salt prior to my races or longer rides.

For more nutritional information on kale, check out this article:

http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/the-truth-about-kale

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of Kale (I used Dinosaur Kale in the photo)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Kosher/sea salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 250F.

Separate kale leaves, rinse and dry thoroughly with a paper towel.  I recommend you leave the kale spread out in a single layer on paper towels to air dry even after you pat it dry.  Remove the ribs and cut the kale leaves into thirds.  The leaves will shrink when baked.  Toss in enough olive oil to lightly coat the leaves, about one tablespoon.  Use your hands to gently massage the oil onto the leaves.  Sprinkled with salt.  Place in single layer on a baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes in the oven at 250F.  Using your fingers, gently flip over the leaves and continue to bake for another 15 minutes.  It shouldn’t be too hot to handle and you will be rewarded for the gentle loving touch with delicate, crispy kale.

Store in an airtight container to retain the crispness, however you won’t need to store them for long.  They are a salty addiction and will be gobbled up quickly.