Dieting, eating healthy, cooking light… Oh how things have changed on 196 flavors since the end of our world tour!
Last fall, before my Micronesian chicken kelaguen, it took me a while to convince Mike to get on the healthy wagon! But that was before!
After my crying tiger beef, I invite you for a second time to the Land of Smiles for this Thai cuisine that I love.
Laab is a Thai salad made from chopped or tiny pieces of protein. Originally from the Issan region, northeast of Thailand but also from Laos, it can be prepared with beef, pork, chicken, duck, shrimp, white fish or tofu for a vegetarian version.
I chose to prepare the chicken version also called laab kai as kai is the Thai word for chicken. This spicy salad can be eaten warm or cold, with sticky rice (kaow niao), cucumber, and a large quantity of herbs.
It is very fragrant, tangy, fat-free and is perfect for the summer. The name of this dish varies: larb, laab, lap, laap, because Thais do not pronounce final consonants.
For size 0 fans and Asian food lovers, you should note that Thais cultivate “the art of a healthy table.” Except for fried recipes, which obviously help with gaining a few hip sizes, Thai cuisine features a majority of healthy recipes.
In Thailand, spicy cuisine is ubiquitous. Thai food is among the spiciest in the world. The real benefit is that spicy food makes you eat slower, which certainly helps losing weight.
A U.S. study has demonstrated that chili peppers help burn calories and fat. Intrigued by the ability of spice to make you sweat, researchers wanted to know more. The research unit of the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition, established the relationship between calorie loss and chili ingestion. They confirmed the diet properties of chili pepper. This study was presented at an annual scientific conference held in California, close to where Mike lives! Diet Starts Tomorrow?
Instead of trying every single diet that the “Diet Industry” come out with every year, why don’t you try the cuisine of the Land of Smile and its peppers. It may be more effective and cheaper!
- 4 chicken thighs , boneless
- 1 bunch cilantro
- 1 bunch Thai basil
- 4 scallions
- 1 small red onion
- 2 sticks lemongrass
- Juice of 1 lime
- ½ cup chicken broth (or 1 bouillon cube diluted in ½ cup water)
- 1 tablespoon nuoc-mâm (fish sauce)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon rice flour , toasted (or toasted rice, ground)
- 2 red hot chili peppers (optional)
- Cooked glutinous rice
- 1 cucumber , sliced
- A few leaves of fresh mint
- Cook the chicken in a large volume of lightly salted boiling water, covered, for 25 minutes over medium heat.
- While the chicken is cooking, chop the cilantro, Thai basil, scallions, red onion, lemongrass, and chilies.
- Chop the chicken very finely.
- Mix everything and add the chicken broth.
- Add the nuoc-mâm, sugar, ground rice, and lime juice.
- Mix well.
- Serve warm with a bowl of khao niao (glutinous rice), mint leaves and cucumber slices.