Pork salad! If these two words make you perk up at your desk, please read on.
[But before I begin, an apology first to anyone who has used the "Contact Me" form in the past couple of months. It had been broken for a while before a vigilant reader got a hold of me through Facebook and I realized this error. (And I've always wondered, when using contact forms myself on other websites over the years, if messages just disappeared into a black hole because of coding errors.) So I got rid of the form, but still want to hear from you guys! From now on, just email me at appetiteforchina (at) gmail (dot) com with any questions or comments.]
Now on to the salad. I first learned how to make larb mu (also spelled laap mu, larb moo, laap moo, etc.) from my friend Sandra, who taught cooking classes with me at the Hutong in Beijing. When we met, she already had already built an impressive globetrotting life, having lived and worked (mostly for NGOs) in Haiti, Vietnam, Taiwan, and mainland China, with Afghanistan soon to follow. In her spare time she made a habit of sniffing out the best local restaurants and street food wherever she was, and developed a ravenous curiosity for ingredients and techniques. Lucky for me, she had also spent a good amount of time traveling in Thailand and Laos, where this salad comes from (it originated in Laos and spread to Northern Thailand). After Sandra taught her Thai cooking class at the Hutong and made 4 pounds' worth of larb mu, I couldn't stop talking about the salad for weeks.
Over the years it's become an standby for whenever I crave Northern Thai food and want it fast.Read More