Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Lemongrass and Chilli Larb with Mint Salad

Alex and I are currently researching our family tree.  It's been and still is a very interesting activity not only for me but for Alex also.  We are trying to do both sides of her heritage so she has something to pass on when she is older to the future generations.  I had already started my family - the Davies' and the Lewis' - which has taken me back many generations.  

My blood line is definitely British - a combination of Welsh and English with no real surprises except the odd skeleton or ten in the closest.  However my children believe that I must have a hint of Asian, Mexican or Indian somewhere in history due to the food that I always cook.  Apparently "always" cook which was said in an interesting tone LOL!  To be totally honest, if I traced back and found another nationality I would be truly impressed.

When pregnant on both children I didn't really have any weird and wonderful cravings unlike many ladies - however I did eat Beef Vindaloo Curry (and mind you the hotter the better) like it was going out of fashion.  Every week hubby came home armed with a takeaway from our favourite Indian even detouring on his way home if he wasn't in that area.  Strangely my mother also ate lots of curry when she was pregnant on both my sister and I?  Obviously it runs in the family although I don't think my sister did this.  What cravings did you or your partner have?

Anyhow it's no secret that I really enjoy flavoursome foods and cooking with fresh produce, herbs and spices is my passion.  If I can make it rather than using prepacked packet or jar ingredients I am actually in my element.  Plus it's rewarding making things and experiencing all the flavours coming together.  So many countries have cuisines that truly make your taste buds tingle and your tummy just wanting more.  Thai food has that effect on me - I love the zesty sweetness, saltiness and hotness that comes with combining all the ingredients.  It's all wonderfully balanced and gives you so many flavour experiences in one mouthful.

This Lemongrass and Chilli Larb did exactly that.  Jam packed with lemongrass, garlic, chilli, fish sauce, lime and sugar each mouthful was a flavour explosion.  Served with a crunchy mint salad I was definitely reminded of my time spent in Singapore and of course, of when we go to dine in our favourite restaurant in Springvale and Clayton.  The freshness of the salad complimented the flavours of the Larb.  It's no wonder the Asian cuisines incorporate fresh herbs and salads into most of their meals - it's something that I really enjoy and indulge in quite often.

Once again another simple weeknight wonder that will get your family thinking you have been to a cooking school or that you should be on My Kitchen Rules.  Give it a go and let me know what you and your family think.... 

Lemongrass and Chilli Larb with Mint Salad
(Recipe adapted from Taste.com)

Serves: 6
SmartPoints per Serve: 10 

1/2 cup white rice
cooking spray
1 fresh mint leaves
1 red onion, cut into thin wedges
250 grams bean sprouts, trimmed
1 kilogram lean beef mince
2 teaspoons oil 
1 1/2 lemongrass stalk (white part only), finely chopped
1 tablespoon crushed garlic
4 tablespoons fish sauce
4 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 cup fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped

Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil and cook rice as per packet instructions.  Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, combine mint, onion and bean sprouts in a bowl.   Put in refrigerator until required.

Heat a wok over high heat. Spray with cooking spray.  Add 1/2 the mince. Stir-fry for 5 minutes or until browned. Transfer to a bowl, draining excess fat. Repeat with remaining mince.

Add oil to wok. Stir-fry chilli, lemongrass and garlic for 30 seconds. Return mince to wok with fish sauce, lime juice and sugar. Stir-fry for 3 minutes. Add coriander. Cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat.

Serve mince with rice and mint salad.

No comments: