Bun Larb





Brian is home and we are having so much fun playing with food. Because of his extensive travel, he is a wealth of knowledge about Asian ingredients, flavors combinations, and ingredients. Korean, Thai, and Japanese dishes are more deeply understood by a person who has eaten them in their country of origin, rather than tasted only in their American adaptations.

There are two recipes with which we have been preoccupied. Bun cha, is a Vietnamese dish consisting of grilled pork patties with rice vermicelli. Larb is a Lao meat salad which is popular in Thailand.

Because I am less committed to authenticity than my son, I feel free to pick his brain and come up with hybrids that are usually delicious, though conceptually corrupt.

I hope you enjoy this delicious bastardization.





Bun Larb

Serves 4

1 lb ground pork or turkey
2 tbs raw rice
1/4 cup plus 2 tbs. chicken stock
2 tsp cornstarch
1 tbs fish sauce or soy sauce
1 large shallot, peeled, cut into rings
1 med spicy chili, minced
2 tbs raw cane sugar or brown sugar
1 lime, zested

8 oz rice vermicelli, cooked according to package directions, rinsed in cold water
Whole butter or leaf lettuce leaves, washed and dried

Garnishes: lime wedges, cilantro, mint, cucumber, radishes, peanuts, daikon salad (matchstick daikon and carrot with rice wine vinegar and sesame oil), extra fish sauce or soy sauce

Toast the rice in a microwave for 45 seconds. Alternatively, heat it in a small pan until fragrant. Grind to a powder in a spice grinder or food processor.

Mix the cornstarch and 2 tbs stock in a small bowl.

Heat remaining stock in a 12 inch skillet. Add ground meat and cook, breaking up clumps, until very little pink remains. Add fish or soy sauce, sugar, shallot, chili, lime juice and zest, rice powder, and cornstarch slurry. Cook until the meat is coated in thick sauce.

Serve in lettuce leaves with vermicelli and garnishes.

Wine suggestion: a spicy Reisling or Gewurtztraminer.


This entry was posted in dinner, gluten free, main course, salad, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Bun Larb

  1. Ruth says:

    Dearest Dr. Deb, this looks so very yummy and doable!!! One clarifying question: when you say cornstarch, you do mean the rice powder, right?


  2. perryrcw says:

    Dearest Dr. Deb, thank you for another yummy looking post! One clarifying question: when you say cornstarch, do you mean rice powder?


    • debspots says:

      Thanks so much for the comment; I realize I forgot to mention when to add the rice powder. Fixed now!


      • perryrc says:

        ❤ Great! I see it now! So sorry to continue to pester you, is there a standard amount of cornstarch when making the slurry? Cornstarch is not listed in the ingredient list…

        Liked by 1 person

  3. debspots says:

    My goodness, I am not usually this sloppy, please forgive me; would you consider a small editing job? Fixed again! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • perryrc says:

      Haha! I was really good at annoying my co-workers (before I retired) by spotting and pointing out small issues with their writing. So infamous that my last boss made me review all documents before they were published. It was not a job that I relished since English is not my first language. My own writing is often filled with grammatical and word-usage problems… 😦 Thank you for updating the recipe. I must try it soon!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Judi Price says:

    It sounds absolutely yummy Deb! I do plan to make this in the near future. I always need gluten free recipes, and I love every single ingredient (will use gluten free soy) in this one! Keep them coming!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Allison Mann says:

    Thank you Deb, for the time you take to make these gorgeous posts. Appreciate you. Landscape pics are as joyful as the food pics, soft spot for deer. Not quite sure if the lake water is still frozen there, sending you blooms of daffodils and forsithia and trees in bloom from Atlanta. Spring is a minute away there too. Also, thanks for offering the alternative to fish sauce, yippee!


    • debspots says:

      Dear Allison, Thank you for the lovely comment! Yes, the lake is still frozen and signs of spring are evident only in the longer days…thanks for the blessings of blooms!


  6. raastha says:

    So colorful


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