How many calories are there in that Thai or Lao beef salad called “Larb”, “Laab”, “Larp”, “Laap”, or “Lahb”? The answer is: there are 96 calories per 100 grams of beef larb, so beef larb calories are similar to banana calories. But you didn’t come here just for the dry facts, did you? Let’s take a quick look at what Beef Larb is and how you can make some yourself!
Larb is Delicious Low Calories
Some people like the taste of well-cooked prime-cut beef, but they just cannot handle a great big steaming steak on their plate. Even with a garden salad on the side, its just too much meat. For these people, larb is the answer. Finely chopped (even minced) beef, mint, chilli, and veggies luxuriating in an exotically spiced dressing. You get the lightness of a salad and the full flavour of rare beef in each crunchy yet chewy mouthful. Delicious!
Famous in Laos, Thailand, and Yunnan
Larb is the national dish of Laos and its is found on street corners, sold by vendors throughout southeast Asia. When buying it in its native street environment, you get to specify the ingredients combination to taste. That means you can have it as spicy, meaty, or crunchy as you like. Think of larb as a looser taco, or exotic kebab, minus the wrap. A cupped iceberg lettuce leaf sometimes serves as a containment device for the juicy larb.
You can make Larb with Chicken
Also, duck, pork, fish, or even mushrooms. You can switch the combination up and make a truly unique creation. In southeast Asia, larb comes in a bewildering array of regional and local variants, but all of them have one thing in common: finely sliced or chopped ingredients, mixed. Want to impress your Caesar Salad-expecting guests? Serve the same salad, but chopped up more, add some fish-sauce, then call it Chicken Larb. Instant cosmopolitan cred.
Lao Beef Larb Recipe (How to make any Larb)
Larb is easy to make at home. This recipe is for beef larb, but you can just as easily make pork or chicken larb by swapping the beef with either (or both!). Don’t be afraid to switch things up with this recipe!
- oil spray
- 500g beef mince
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 red chilli, sliced (optional)
- 150g green beans, finely sliced
- 2 cups cabbage, finely sliced
- grated rind of 1 lime
- 2 tbs lime juice
- 3 tbs sweet chilli sauce
- 2 tsp fish sauce
- 4 spring onions, finely sliced
- 1/2 cup fresh coriander, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup mint leaves, finely chopped
- 1 whole iceberg lettuce, separated
- Spray a large non-stick wok or frypan with oil and place on medium to high heat.
- Add mince and brown for 5 minutes.
- Add garlic, chilli and beans; stir-fry for 3 minutes.
- Add cabbage, lime rind and juice, and sauces; mix through and cook for 2 minutes until cabbage softens.
- Remove wok from heat, add spring onions, coriander and mint and toss to combine.
- To serve, place lettuce leaves, and mince mixture onto separate serving plates. Pile cooked mince into a cupped lettuce leaf and coat with a squeeze of lime juice. Roll up into a parcel to eat.
Beef Larb Calories and Nutrition
Beef Larb is relatively low in calories and highly nutritious in most of its many forms. The beef provides protein and minerals whilst the greens deliver essential vitamins and micronutrients. Beef, chicken, and pork larb is usually served with rice or noodles, either on the side or as an addition to the mix, making for a wonderfully balanced healthy meal. Now, why not tally up your own recipe and add it to your personal Calorie Tracker meal database?