Beef Larb is a 30-minute dish that has all of the great flavors you know and love from Thai food. It’s brimming with fresh herbs, and the beef is drenched in the best savory sauce. For a filling meal, serve the beef over coconut lime rice.
- 1 and 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil (or olive oil)
- 1 tablespoon finely minced garlic ~3-4 cloves
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger ~1 inch piece
- 1 cup thinly sliced green onions white and green parts (~4-6 onions)
- 1 pound lean (90/10) ground beef
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1/4 cup regular, all purpose, (not light) soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons lime juice and 1 teaspoon zest zest (~1 large lime)
- 1 tablespoon Sambal Oelek (ground chili paste) (See Note 1)
- 1 teaspoon white sugar
- 1 and 1/2 to 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- Fine sea salt and pepper
- 1 cup chopped fresh herbs (I use/recommend a combo of cilantro, mint, and basil (See Note 2)
- Optional: 2-3 Persian cucumbers or 1 English cucumber, additional lime wedges (for serving), fish sauce
- Coconut Lime Rice (optional)
- 1 cup basmati rice
- 1 and 1/2 cups (1 can) full fat coconut milk
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 large lime (~1 teaspoon zest and 2 tablespoons juice)
COCONUT BASMATI RICE: Begin with the rice (if making). 1 cup basmati rice, 1.5 cups full-fat coconut milk, 1/2 cup water, and 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste). Place over high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to low and cover the rice once it has begun to boil. Simmer for 13-18 minutes, or until the liquid has been absorbed. Remove from heat, cover, and set aside for 10-15 minutes; if you rush it, it will be sticky! Fluff the rice with a fork, then add the lime zest and juice. Stir well and divide evenly among plates.
SAUCE: Combine 1 teaspoon cornstarch and 1/4 cup soy sauce in a small bowl. Whisk in the 2 tablespoons lime juice, 1 teaspoon lime zest, 1 tablespoon Sambal Oelek (See Note 1), 1 teaspoon white sugar, and 1 and 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar until smooth. I use 2 tablespoons, but add slowly to taste. Season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper (leave out salt if you’re concerned about soy sauce saltiness; you can always add more at the end). Set aside after whisking with a fork until smooth.
BEEF: In a large cast iron skillet, melt 1 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil over medium high heat. When the oil begins to shimmer, add 1 tablespoon minced garlic, 1 tablespoon minced ginger, and 1 cup thinly sliced green onions. 3-4 minutes, or until fragrant and tender. Increase the heat to high and add the ground beef to the center of the pan, pushing the vegetables to the edges of the pan. Allow for 30 seconds without moving, then flip to the other side and allow for another 30 seconds. Season the beef to taste with salt and pepper (I add a tiny pinch of each). Then, using a wooden spoon, break up the beef and cook until it is no longer pink on the inside and completely cooked through. Remove any accumulated grease from the pan and add the 2 cups diced zucchini. 3-4 minutes, stir until softened Turn the heat down to medium-low. Whisk the sauce again with a fork, then pour it over the beef and cook for another 1-3 minutes, or until the beef is glossy and the sauce has thickened and coated everything. Adjust any of the sauce ingredients to taste; flavors should really “sing,” so add more lime juice or salt until they do. If desired, you can also add some fish sauce here (more authentic Thai flavor). Take the pan off the heat and stir in the 1 cup coarsely chopped herbs. Gently mix everything together.
SERVE: Toss the coconut basmati rice with equal amounts of beef. Top with sliced Persian cucumber and lime wedges if desired. Enjoy right away.
The Sambal Oelek adds a lot of flavor and is quite spicy. If you are sensitive to heat, start with 1 teaspoon of the sauce and work your way up. You can also substitute Sriracha sauce for the chili sauce (Note that a lot of the flavor in this dish does come from the Sambal Oelek).
The herbs add so much flavor to this dish; however, if you prefer, use a combination of two of the herbs instead of the three suggested. To get 1 cup of herbs, coarsely chop them and measure them very loosely.
The optional coconut lime rice is not included in the nutrition facts. A serving with rice contains 402 calories.
- Category: Beef
- Method: Beef
- Cuisine: Thailand
- Serving Size: 4 servings
- Calories: 230kcal
- Sugar: 4g
- Sodium: 168mg
- Fat: 7g
- Carbohydrates: 14g
- Fiber: 2g
- Protein: 27g
- Cholesterol: 68mg
Keywords: Beef larb recipe, thai beef larb recipe, beef recipe, beef larb