Thai-inspired Venison Laab
- 1kg venison mince
- cumin 15g coriander seeds, ground
- 15g cumin, ground
- 10g chili powder
- 4 lemongrass stalks, peeled down to the white stems and finely sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, pureed (or, finely diced)
- 2 tsp of honey
- 2 tsp of rice powder
- 50g black Thai rice
- 300ml sunflower oil
Laab is a traditional Thai dish made of finely diced or, in this case, minced meat, cooked over a low heat with a multitude of aromatic spices, fish sauce, and palm sugar. When making this in the UK it is hard to find a sustainable source of palm sugar or fish sauce, however, local honey and soya sauce make excellent substitutes. Venison also adds a depth of flavour and a British spin on this classic Thai dish.
- To make the rice powder – place a metal sieve over a heat proof glass bowl, in a high sided saucepan bring the oil up to its boiling point (190C degrees). Carefully pour the rice into the oil and then almost immediately pour the oil and rice into the metal sieve. Blend the rice to a powder using a blender or a food processor and set aside the oil for other uses.
- Heat a high-sided pan or wok over a low/medium heat and add a small coating of oil.
- Add the garlic and cook for a couple of minutes before adding the venison mince. Using the back of a metal spoon, or a wok spoon, press the venison into the pan to break up the mince and cook evenly.
- Once the venison mince has browned, add the spices, and cook for five minutes until the spices become more aromatic. For the best result we like to add the spices in batches - this seems to build a depth of flavour.
- Add a splash of soy sauce and cook for a further five minutes before adding the honey.
- Add the lemongrass and rice powder to the pan and mix in. Season using soy sauce to taste, serve with black Thai rice and gem lettuce leaves, and garnish with a sprinkling of rice powder.