Larb Quesadillas

I’m a huge fan of larb. Often referred to as laab, larb, laap, or lahp, it is a minced meat dish that can utilize chicken, pork, beef, or heck, even shrimp for all I know. The real key to larb is the combination of the ingredients that really make this dish shine. You get fresh herbs, toasted rice, and shallots, chilies, and lime that when brought together gets you wanting more, and more. Larb could possibly be one of my favorite dishes to eat along with Thai sticky rice.  My kids are a big fans of larb as well, and when I make it for them, I typically leave out the fresh chilies and serve them on the side. This past week I made a fairly big batch of larb and had plenty of leftovers. That’s when it came to me, well it came to me as I was looking at the leftover larb and grated cheddar cheese in the refrigerator that I would make a larb quesadilla. It was awesome.

Larb Quesadilla

Get started by making your favorite larb.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 lb of ground chicken
  • 2 shallots, minced (approximately 3 tbsp)
  • 1/2 cup of fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • 1/3 cup of toasted rice powder
  • 2-5 Thai chile peppers, minced
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp palm sugar, or regular sugar
  • 1/2 cup roasted peanuts (optional)
  • 1 whole lime, juiced
  • 2 flour tortillas
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, grated

Begin by adding the oil to a large skillet and warm it to a medium, high heat. Once the oil is heated, add the ground chicken and begin cooking until it is fully cooked. This is will take about 10 to 15 minutes.

During this time, prepare the remaining ingredients. If you have never toasted rice before, add about 1/2 cup of rice to a dry skillet. Bring it to medium heat, and give it a good shake about every 2-3 minutes. Your goal is to brown the rice, and once brown, add it to a coffee grinder to make into a course powder.

Once the chicken is fully cooked, make sure you break it all up with a wooden spoon as you do not want any clumps. Drain off any excess water from the chicken, then add the chicken to a mixing bowl.

Add in all of the remaining ingredients, and give it a good mix. If you are serving kids, I would suggest removing the chile peppers from this recipe, or divide the mixture before adding the chile peppers. I would recommend 1-2 chile peppers for the mild at heart, and 3-4 chile peppers for those that love the heat. Regardless if it is one chile or four, the balance is perfect.

How to make a larb quesadilla

To make the quesadilla, add a flour tortilla to the bottom of a skillet, and keep on medium heat.

Add 1/2 cup of the cheddar cheese to the tortilla. Add about 1 cup of the larb on top of the cheese. Top with remaining cheese, and place the second tortilla on top. Lightly press. Cook for a few minutes, or until the tortilla lightly chars. You should be able to smell it, if not, lift with a spatula to check. Flip over, and cook on the remaining side, for another few minutes.

Remove, and slice, or eat whole, you’re call.

This larb quesadilla was was ridiculously good. It had everything you love in a classic quesadilla, but elevated with great Thai flavors. Give this one a shot, and let me know what you think. Hope you enjoy!

Larb Quesadillas
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 lb of ground chicken
  • 2 shallots, minced (approximately 3 tbsp)
  • ½ cup of fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • ⅓ cup of toasted rice powder
  • 2-5 Thai chile peppers, minced
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • ½ tbsp palm sugar, or regular sugar
  • ½ cup roasted peanuts (optional)
  • 1 whole lime, juiced
  • 2 flour tortillas
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
Instructions
  1. Begin by adding the oil to a large skillet and warm it to a medium, high heat. Once the oil is heated, add the ground chicken and begin cooking until it is fully cooked. This is will take about 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. During this time, prepare the remaining ingredients. If you have never toasted rice before, add about ½ cup of rice to a dry skillet. Bring it to medium heat, and give it a good shake about every 2-3 minutes. Your goal is to brown the rice, and once brown, add it to a coffee grinder to make into a course powder.
  3. Once the chicken is fully cooked, make sure you break it all up with a wooden spoon as you do not want any clumps. Drain off any excess water from the chicken, then add the chicken to a mixing bowl.
  4. Add in all of the remaining ingredients, and give it a good mix. If you are serving kids, I would suggest removing the chile peppers from this recipe, or divide the mixture before adding the chile peppers. I would recommend 1-2 chile peppers for the mild at heart, and 3-4 chile peppers for those that love the heat. Regardless if it is one chile or four, the balance is perfect.
  5. To make the quesadilla, add a flour tortilla to the bottom of a skillet, and keep on medium heat.
  6. Add ½ cup of the cheddar cheese to the tortilla. Add about 1 cup of the larb on top of the cheese. Top with remaining cheese, and place the second tortilla on top. Lightly press. Cook for a few minutes, or until the tortilla lightly chars. You should be able to smell it, if not, lift with a spatula to check. Flip over, and cook on the remaining side, for another few minutes.
  7. Remove, and slice, or eat whole, you’re call.

 

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5 thoughts on “Larb Quesadillas

  1. Look so delicious. We had larb with sticky rice and papaya salad multiple times when we were traveling in Laos from north to south. We have learned that Larb so popular in Laos and among the Lao-speaking people in northeastern Thailand. Larb is considered as a national dish of Laos.

    1. Hi Pat – you are absolutely right. I’ve had so many variations of larb, and it truly is probably one of my favorite dishes. I always serve it with sticky rice, and make som tam to go along with it. Love it.

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