Monday, July 11, 2011

Ground Turkey Laap

We're gonna be in Laos for a couple of weeks this summer and I only tried Laotian food for the first time a few weeks ago. I don't really know much about it yet, but am looking forward to eating plenty of it.

Laap is a popular ground meat salad in Laos. It sounds like it is typically made with duck, but this recipe from Food & Wine uses ground turkey. Its packed with mint, lime, and lemongrass and just tastes like southeast Asia. Its really healthy and a nice spin on your typical lettuce wrap.

Ground Turkey Laap
Recipe from

1 tablespoon long-grain white rice (not cooked)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pound ground turkey
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons chicken stock or low-sodium broth 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon
Asian fish sauce (About 4 tablespoons or to taste.)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (I used the juice from 1 lime.)
2 large stalks of lemongrass—tender pale inner core only, minced
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 medium shallot, thinly sliced and separated into rings
1/2 cup chopped cilantro (I used 1/4 cup)
1/2 cup chopped mint  (I used 1/4 cup)
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (I used about 3/4)
Small romaine or Belgian endive leaves, cooked brown rice and lime wedges, for serving

  1. In a small skillet, toast the rice over high heat, shaking the skillet a few times, until the rice is golden brown, about 3 minutes. Transfer the rice to a spice grinder and let cool completely. Grind the rice to a powder.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the oil. Add the turkey and cook over moderately high heat, breaking up the meat evenly, until no pink remains, about 4 minutes. Add the stock and cook, stirring, until bubbling. Remove from the heat and stir in the fish sauce. Season with salt and black pepper and stir in the lime juice. Let stand for 5 minutes, then stir in the lemongrass, scallions, shallot rings, cilantro, mint, crushed red pepper and rice powder.
  3. Arrange the lettuce and lime wedges on a platter. Spoon the laap on top and serve.
*We ate our laap lettuce wraps with a side of the quinoa salad I made earlier. Really good together.