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Recipe from: Colonel Ian F. Khuntilanont-Philpott
|I am very fond of laab in all its forms, and duck seems to escpecially lend itself to this style of cooking, which can be both simple and elegant.|
I recently watched a neighbor cook this and I am strongly tempted to start with an explanation of how you make the dish "from scratch", but decided that I didn't care to be accused of putting people off their food. Suffice it to say that the duck for this dish should be exceedingly fresh.
How fresh? Well ideally it should have been walking around a couple of hours ago.
Take your duck, and cut it into portions, reserving the meatier portions for this dish and then bone the carcass out and use the bones to make good strong stock. Though you only need a little stock, you can use the rest to make soup — a nice mildy seasoned vegetable soup makes an excellent adjunct to the laab incidentally.
1 cup minced duck meat
2 tablespoons of lime juice
2 tablespoons of fish sauce
3 tablespoons of duck stock
1 teaspoon of prik phom (powdered red chili)
2 tablespoons shallots, very finely sliced
2 tablespoons lemon grass, bruised, and very finely sliced
1 tabelspoon of bai magkroot (kaffir lime leaves), shredded
2 tablespoons of spring onion/green onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon of prik ki nu (green birdseye chilis), thinly sliced
1 tablespoon of prik ki nu daeng (red birdseye chilis), thinly sliced.
In a dry wok or skillet, carefully toast 2 or 3 tablespoons of long grained (uncooked) rice, until light brown, then allow it to cool and grind to a coarse powder.
Take the duck meat and chop/mince it to a fairly fine consistency (you can use a food processor or meat grinder, but this tends to reduce it to a paste - it is better if you can manage it to cut it very fine. Thais chop with two cleavers at once, but a single very sharp knife will do.)
Put the minced duck in a small bowl and allow to marinade in the lime juice and fish sauce for about an hour.
In a hot wok or skillet, briefly stir fry the meat until it is just cooked, then remove to a mixing bowl, and combine with the other ingredients, using about one tablespoon of the toasted rice. Taste and if necesary adjust the seasonings.
Serve on a bed of lettuce leaves, garnishing with mint and lime leaves, and putting cucumber slices, water chestnuts and radishes (or slices of fresh white radish [mouli]) around the plate. Add small dishes of sliced red and green chilis, and the usual Thai table condiments.
Note that traditionally laab is a very hot dish. You can virtually add as much powdered chili, and sliced fresh chilis as your palatte can stand. Do bear in mind however that it is easier to add spice at the table than remove it, so please prepare the dish to a reasonable degree of heat and rely on the diners adding spice as desired.
I visited a family in the country, near Uthumphon Phisai in Sisaket, and they prepared Laab Ped for lunch. The ducks were killed and their necks cut to drain the blood into a bowl. They were dipped in boiling water and plucked. The duck meat was carefully cut from the bones and chopped fine. The bones still had a little meat on them. They were stir-fried with soy sauce and given to chew on while the laab was being prepared. Shortly after the laab was served, the grandfather took the bowl of fresh duck blood and poured it over the laab until it was a bright red mixture. I prefer laab ped without the fresh duck blood, but the family I was visiting absolutely loved it with the blood!
|In addition to rice, it is very common to receive a plate of fresh vegetables to eat with the lab. In this photo, there are slices of cucumber, bai horapa (Thai Sweet Basil), phak chi farang (Sawtooth Coriander), fresh green beans and cabbage.|