Jan 25

Thai Ground Pork & Bean Thread Noodle Salad


Larb Moo Ground Pork Bean Thread Noodle Salad6




I am doing reaaally well on the salad topic, huh? It’s only been a week since I started and I have already churned out quite a variety to choose from. I have got something for everybody ~ so far I’ve covered the vegetarians, the chicken breast lovers, I’ve got tartare of salmon for the more adventurous of eaters, Asian salads and now a ground pork one with glass noodles. In the near future I hope to bring you other salads made with beef, lamb, crab, fresh fruit and possibly even tofu. I say ‘possibly’ because I don’t know if I can commit to it. It is quite a feat finding silken tofu here in the Netherlands.



The regular Asian diet does not usually consist of a lot of cold, raw salads. I think we Asians prefer a hot meal in our bellies over any cold salad anyday. That is not to say we don’t appreciate the odd cold appetizer every once in a while … among my favourites are the Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls , Japanese seaweed salad, chilled baby octopus, chilled jellyfish salad and spicy mung bean salad. Incredible flavours all, but today I shall be focusing on a ground pork variety … inspiration: Thailand. In Thailand this ground pork dish is known as “larb moo” and it is eaten as a cold dish in the summer months of northern Thailand.



You know, for a person who’s lived eighteen years of her life in Malaysia, you’d think I’d have been to the Kingdom of Thailand by now … but no. I have neither been to Bangkok city, nor any of Thailand’s famous islands. Is that a sad thing? I think it is, coz now that I live like ten thousand miles from home I actually want to go there. I’ve been to Cambodia at least, and Bali … so that’s a couple of southeast Asian travel destinations covered. For shame, I have to admit that I have done very little travel in and around my own region. I guess you could count Singapore as one place I have been to, considering I lived and worked there for six years … however, I cannot count it as a ‘holiday destination’ since that was where I earned my money to afford all my holidays … holidays that never included Thailand. But I love Thai food. Some I find overly spicy, but many are mild enough for me to enjoy.



Today’s dish is a glass noodle salad with ground pork, fresh herbs and chillies. Nothing too spicy for I removed the seeds from the chilli before adding it to the salad. Traditionally, roasted dried chillies are ground up and added to the mix. If you do want the heat from chillies then chilli flakes will do just fine. Also added to the mix is toasted raw uncooked rice, but more on that subject later.




Larb Moo Ground Pork Bean Thread Noodle Salad3





  • 250 g ground pork
  • 3 bundles bean thread noodles
  • 1 large shallot
  • 2 tbsp toasted rice, ground up fine
  • 1 fresh chilli
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, finely chopped (white part only)
  • ½ cup sliced spring onion
  • ½ cup chopped coriander
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh mint




Start off by dry roasting the rice in a dry frying pan. Similar to roasting pine nuts, hold the pan just off the flame and keep things moving. The rice will eventually get darker and give off a deep nutty aroma. Once the rice is toasted grind them up in a food processor or break the rice old school style using a mortar and pestle. I actually broke my blender during this process (it’s an old machine, and has served me faithfully for seven years) so I resorted to pulverizing the rice with my rolling pin. See, old school.



Larb Moo Ground Pork Bean Thread Noodle Salad2 (640x238)




Now stir-fry the minced pork in a tiny bit of oil until cooked through. Set aside to cool. I added a sneaky bit of ground chilli flakes to the pork for a hint of a kick.


In the meantime, soak the bean thread noodles in some tepid water to soften, then add it to boiling water for 60 seconds. Once the noodles become soft and translucent, they are ready. Shock them immediately in cold water and strain off the excess liquid well. Set the noodles aside.


Now chop up all the fresh herbs, onion and chilli and place them in a bowl. Add the fish sauce and lime juice. If the limes are too acidic, add a teaspoon of sugar to balance it all out. As always, taste taste taste. Toss everything together, along with the noodles and the cooled ground pork. Wrap and chill in the fridge for an hour, then plate up and enjoy.




Larb Moo Ground Pork Bean Thread Noodle Salad4





So light and clean tasting, this salad is very refreshing. Apparently, the Thais typically have this dish along with cold beer in the hot drier months, which makes a lot of sense. The roasted rice gave this dish quite a bit of crunch … just be sure to roast them sufficiently. Otherwise they taste like uncooked rice and that’s not pleasant.




IMG_1273 (800x533) (640x426)




If you have enjoyed this post and would like to try other Thai inspired dishes, you should check out Pad Kaprao (stir fried beef with chillies and basil), Tom Yam soup and Thai fish cakes + cucumber salad. My experience in cooking Thai food is very limited. I don’t even own a cookbook on Thai food, but I shall do my best to bring you as many as I can. I shall steal some ideas on my next visit to my local Thai restaurant. Ha! Well, until next time then … stay tuned for the next salad recipe of the month.




~ Enjoy! ~




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