Chef Yia Vang’s Isaan Laab with Sauteed Mustard Greens
Seared ground beef with fresh bright flavors of lemongrass and cilantro tossed in Hmong laab spices, served with rice and garlicky mustard greens.
Isaan is in the northeastern part of Thailand where food is a bit warm, hearty and filling. Laab is a traditional Thai dish made of minced meat and combined with aromatic spices, vegetables, herbs and citrus. Chef Yia’s version perfectly highlights our summer’s bounty of fresh produce in this quick and flavor-laden dish.
Cooking vegetables in small pieces into meat preparations can extend the amount of food we get and increase the health of the meal easily! Its a great way to add more vegetables to your diet with a lot of flavor and comfort!
Cut or slice at a diagonal angle; if meat, cut across the direction of the grain
Cook quickly in a small amount of fat over high heat; literally “to jump”
Cook a leafy vegetable briefly until it has softened and lost its shape
To slice into thin strips about the size of matchsticks
- 1.5 cup short grain brown rice
- 2 oz toasted rice powder
- 1 fl oz fish sauce
- 2 tsp Laab spice mix
- 8 each Thai basil leaves
- 2 each Thai chilies
- 12 sprig cilantro
- 6 each garlic cloves
- 2 stems culantro
- 1 each lemongrass stalk
- 2 each carrots
- 4 each mint leafs
- 6 each green onions
- 1 each lime
- 6 oz mustard greens
- 1 pound ground beef
From Your Home
Olive or canola oil
What You Need
2 Medium saute pans
Medium pot with lid
Mise en place
Read through the entire recipe before getting started. Wash and dry all produce. Remove & discard root ends from green onions. Bias slice white bulb, and thinly slice green tops; keep separate. Remove top and peel from carrot and discard; then, square to create a flat surface and julienne. Thinly slice half garlic then, mince remaining half. Tear Thai basil, culantro, cilantro and mint leaves into 1” pieces. Remove top from Thai chili and thinly slice. Trim the bottom 2” and top 2” from lemongrass and discard. Cut middle portion into thin slices.
Cook the rice
Place brown rice in a strainer and rinse under cold running water until the water comes out clear. Place rice, 1¼ cups water in medium pot over medium heat. Bring to boil; cover and reduce heat to low. Cook 20-25 min until tender. Fluff with fork. While rice is cooking, begin sautéing the aromatics (Step #3).
Note: If the rice has absorbed the water but isn’t fully cooked after 20-25 min; add ¼ cup water, cover and cook for 8-10 min longer.
Saute the aromatics
Heat 1 tbsp. oil in medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add green onion bottoms (white bulb parts), minced garlic, and carrots, cook 1-2 min until sizzling. Add lemongrass, Thai chilies and a pinch of salt and pepper.
Note: Use as little or as much Thai chilies as you like depending on your heat/spice preference.
Finish Issan Laab
Add 1 Tbsp. oil, ground beef and Laab mix, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium and cook 7-10 min, breaking beef apart with a spoon until fully cooked. Add fish sauce and sauté another 2-3 min until all liquid has been cooked out. Remove from heat and add toasted rice flour. Cover and set aside.
USDA recommends cooking beef to an internal temperature of 145ºF.
Saute mustard greens
Heat 1 tsp. oil in a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add sliced garlic, and mustard greens, a pinch of salt and pepper. Sauté until lightly wilted and remove from heat, about 1-2 min. Set aside.
Plate your dish
Add culantro, cilantro, Thai basil, mint and green onion tops to Isaan laab and squeeze lime on top. Divide rice between two bowls, top with Isaan laab and serve with garlic-mustard greens. Enjoy!