All I can really glean from this recipe is that we come up with really good ideas when we’re drunk. So, one hot day recently, we were making larb and drinking a questionable amount of a tasty IPA (like you do), and then one of us—of course I can’t remember who—came up with the idea that instead of sticking to the plan and making salad, that we were actually craving burgers. Sure, it might have been the alcohol talking, but tell me, when you’re sloshed, what are you more inclined to eat: salad or a burger? Yeah. That’s what I thought you’d say. Glad we are all being honest here.
Of course it was written in the stars that we had some leftover coconut milk in the fridge that we could transform into an amazing peanut sauce, and thus, the larb burger was born. After the incident, we made it three times in two weeks. We just couldn’t get it off our minds, and we also constructed some additions to spruce it up. What we’ve ended up with, we felt we really needed to share on the blog.
For those of you who don’t know what larb is, it is ground chicken salad blended with Thai aromatics and chili, dressed in lime and fish sauce, then traditionally served on big leaves of lettuce. What we’ve done is form the ground chicken with aromatics into patties, then seared (or grilled) them up. We serve them on huge lettuce leaves, then smother those bitches in homemade peanut sauce. The burger is then topped with a fresh slaw dressed in lime, a juicy slice of mango, and crispy fried shallots. Wrap up burger. Put in face.
- 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 1 shallot, thickly sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- 6–8 kaffir lime leaves
- 1 stalk lemongrass, roughly chopped
- 1 tbs. fish sauce
- 2-inch piece of ginger or galangal, peeled, roughly chopped
- ripe mango, peeled sliced
- 2 small shallots, thinly sliced
- green leaf lettuce
- ½ 15-oz can coconut milk.
- ½ cup creamy peanut butter
- 2 tsp. fish sauce
- ½ tsp. chili paste (or Sriracha)
- 2 tsp. palm sugar simple syrup
- ⅓ cup water
- 1 cup cabbage, shredded
- ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
- ¼ cup mint, chopped
- Juice of 1 lime
- ½ tsp. fish sauce
In a food processor, pulse shallot, garlic, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, fish sauce, and ginger or galangal until minced, scraping sides as needed. Add chicken and process until chicken is ground up and the aromatics are evenly distributed. Set aside to rest.
In a small skillet, heat coconut milk, peanut butter, fish sauce, chili paste, and palm sugar simple syrup over low heat. Stir constantly until warmed through and it starts to thicken and eventually congeal. Remove from heat. Gently stir in water until a smooth paste. Set aside.
Heat a large skillet to medium high heat and coat with oil. Form 6 patties from the chicken mixture and cook until done (160°F), about 5–7 minutes a side. Remove burgers from heat and set aside to rest. In the same pan, add a little more oil and toss in the sliced shallots. Fry until golden and crispy. Set aside on a plate to cool and crisp up.
In a small bowl, combine cabbage, cilantro, mint, lime juice, and fish sauce. Set aside.
Serve burgers immediately topped with peanut sauce, mango, slaw, and shallots.
Yields 6 burgers.