Why Larb Pizza?
Chefs like to be told what to do.
There's no Dominant/submissive relationship more pronounced than that of chef and guest.
Well, actually – taxi drivers come close.
When the guest says "I want …………<insert whatever>" we're expected to leap to it and start tossing pans around maniacally.
So that's what we do.
A friend and guest called David jetted in to Danang, and inquired as to the timeframe on his larb pizza.
We don't actually HAVE a larb pizza.
We'd discussed this previously however, and neither of us are shy when it comes to trying out new (culinary) things.
We also both love the vibrant flavours of larb – an unforgettable Thai salad from the North Eastern Isaan region.
David said he was looking for something that defined larb with all of the classic flavours, in a gourmet pizza style.
Needing a little inspiration, we started to mentally construct such a monstrosity whilst 'enjoying'' a bottle of Mango Absolut.
For those of you who are grimacing in horror, we also made an authentic Thai larb the following day as part of a non-fusion Thai feast.
That's my next post, so you'll be put out of your misery with photos and recipes of real Thai food there.
We decided to go with a coriander pesto base, some larb-style pork mince, shredded kaffir lime leaf, plus loads of fresh mint, ground roasted rice and toasted chilli.
For the record, the first try was OK, but version 2.0 a day later was an absolute cracker. Really delicious.
With a day's prior notice, I'm happy to make one for you if you visit me at Pullman Danang Beach Resort for lunch or dinner.
Coriander pesto recipe
3ea kaffir lime leaves
100g coriander stalks and leaves
7ml Thai fish sauce
15g ground roasted jasmine rice
2g Freshly (coarse) ground black pepper corns
80ml Oil, peanut or plain. Sunflower, safflower, canola, palm etc.
- Chop garlic and coriander roughly. Finely shred kaffir lime leaf then chop finely across.
- Pound garlic, kaffir lime, black pepper and coriander in mortar and pestle with the ground roasted rice.
- Stir in fish sauce to taste, then enough oil to make a spreadable pesto
Larb pizza ingredients
70g shredded mozzarella
150g pork mince (lightly cooked in a steel pan with Thai fish sauce + knorr pork granules)
7 ea Toasted dry red chilli – 1 teaspoon ground or chopped for the pizza and 5-6 whole ones for garnish
8 ea Red shallots
5 ea kaffir lime leaves, finely shredded
1 cup fresh mint leaves, washed, dried and chilled (about 20g picked or get 80g bunch & clean it)
20g ground roasted rice – about 1 tablespoon
200g pizza dough (we use sourdough wheat and rye pizza dough. It's really good!)
Larb pizza method
- Roll the pizza dough out thinly (3-4mm) and spread with coriander pesto.
- Sprinkle with the toasted red chilli. It's totally up to you as to how much you use.
- Sprinkle the shredded mozzarella evenly over the pizza and then top with the lightly cooked lean minced pork.
- Cook the pizza in a pizza oven, OR at 240 degrees C on a pizza stone or preheated bricks in the oven. 5-7 minutes should do it.
Check that the bottom is crispy, with a nice brown colour.If flaccid or pale, leave it in some more, or use a hotter oven.
A bit of bottom heat is essential. (Talking about pizza cookery here. We've moved away from the D/s aspect now)
After the pizza comes out:
Slice the shallots freshly and thinly. Pre sliced shallots or onions taste awful. Sprinkle over the cooked pizza.
Sprinkle finely shredded kaffir lime leaf over. This gives an incredible flavour.
Sprinkle with half of the ground roasted rice, then garnish liberally with lots of fresh mint leaves.
Sprinkle remaining ground roasted rice on the mint leaves.
Garnish with remaining whole toasted dry red chillies.
Voila! A great tasting fusion gourmet pizza.
Apologies to the Italians, the Thais, probably MPW and the rest of the traditionalist/conformist set in advance.
But it was bloody delicious.