The tantalising flavours of Thailand

The wonderfully fresh tasting and tantalising flavours of Thai pork larb make it a versatile and irresistible main or, if served in a lettuce leaf or on a baguette, a pre-dinner nibble with pizzazz, writes Joan Bishop.

As well as vibrant flavours and textures, Thai pork larb is a comforting, creamy concoction that

warms the heart and has a pleasing luscious taste.

Here is my very anglicised version of this dish, which I think tastes amazing - it's quick to assemble and cook and is a great favourite with everyone.



Photo: Christine O'Connor
Photo: Christine O'Connor

Thai pork larb

Serves 4

for lunch or dinner

1 Tbsp sesame oil

1 medium red onion, finely chopped

1 Tbsp crushed ginger

2 tsp lemon grass, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, crushed

œ to 1 tsp crushed chilli from a jar

700g New Zealand pork mince

3 Tbsp smooth peanut butter

3 Tbsp fish sauce

1 Tbsp grated palm sugar , or brown sugar

150 mls coconut milk, I use "light'

3 Tbsp lime juice

Πcup chopped mint leaves

œ cup roasted, salted peanuts, chopped


Heat the oil in a frypan over low heat and cook the onion for 6-7 minutes until softened but not browned.

Add the ginger, lemon grass, garlic, and chilli and stir fry for 2-3 minutes more. Remove from the pan to a plate and set aside.

Heat the frypan to medium-high and add the pork mince and cook, stirring to break up the lumps and until the pork changes colour, about 4-5 minutes . Tip off any liquid.

Return the onion mixture to the frypan, add the peanut butter, fish sauce, palm sugar and continue to cook over low heat about 5 minutes more.

Stir in the coconut milk and cook stirring until heated through and creamily combined. Turn off the heat.

Squeeze over the lime juice, add the chopped mint and toss gently to combine.

Serve sprinkled with chopped peanuts accompanied by rice, noodles or a salad.


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