When I was on vacation in October I was introduced to to the Thai dish Laarb (also called Larb, Laab, and Laap). It’s sweet, sour, spicy and addictive. It can also be labor intensive. I made it once using the traditional recipe given to me by my friend’s brother. I have been craving the flavors of Laarb but due to health issues, I needed to find a way to simplify it plus make it in advance to freeze for later. Meatloaf cooked in muffin tins seemed like the perfect way to accomplish these goals.
I used some refrigerated prepackaged condiments I try to keep on hand instead of mincing fresh ginger, lemongrass, and Thai chilis. Fresh is fantastic if you can get it. I also toasted brown rice flour in a pan on the stove instead of toasting the brown rice first and then pulverizing it in a spice blender. These shortcuts make cooking a little easier for me on the bad days.
I baked the meatloaf in muffin tins but it can certainly be baked in a bread pan or even sautéed on the stovetop (minus the eggs & oatmeal, both of which are bindings for the meatloaf).
3 lbs lean ground beef or turkey
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 stalks green onions, chopped
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup Thai basil leaves, chopped
1/2 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
1/4 cup mint leaves, chopped
1/4 cup toasted brown rice flour
1/4 cup lime juice
3 Tbs fish sauce
3 Tbs Thai garlic chili sauce
3 Tbs agave nectar
1 Tbs lemongrass puree
1 tsp ginger puree or powder
Preheat oven to 350*F. In a medium bowl whisk together eggs, garlic, lime juice, fish sauce, garlic chili sauce, agave, lemongrass, ginger and toasted brown rice flour. In a large bowl, break up the ground meat and pour the egg and spice mixture over it. Add the fresh herbs, green onions and oatmeal. Gently stir it all together until well combined. Brush muffin tins with a light cooking oil. Form the meat mixture into fairly loose packed balls and place in the muffin cups. You should end up with 12 quarter-pound meatloaf muffins. Bake for 20-30 minutes until cooked through. Allow to rest at least 5 minutes before removing from the muffin pan.