I Love Finger-Foods: Beef Laab & Sticky Rice


This Week for Dinner has saved my life. Jane Maynard‘s fabulous food blog has been a great source of culinary motivation. She posts her menu every week, and encourages readers to post their menus in the comments section. It’s brilliant because it’s a great way to get yummy dinner ideas whether you’re in a food rut or not!

I was so good with my weekly menu for nearly two months, but I’ve seriously slacked off. For the last two, maybe three weeks we’ve either gone out to eat, had sandwiches, or had family over (cooking for us, or with us). So, my menu planning has taken the back burner. Now that life is settling down a bit, I’d like to say that I’m back on board planning menus and making thoughtful, fast and healthy meals; but it might take me a while.

Last night was great motivation to start cooking because we were scheduled to have the missionaries over for dinner. Since one of the missionaries has Celiac disease, anything with wheat or soy is right out. Hmmmm. . . I have ground beef, mint, cilantro, onion. . . what could I make with that? BEEF LAAB with STICKY RICE!!

I found pretty simple recipes here, and here, and mashed the two together; it was delicious and fresh. This recipe is a great summer dish.

Beef Laab
(serves 2 really hungry missionaries or 6 people)

  • 3 lbs. lean ground beef (you can use a not-so-lean beef or ground chicken, turkey, pork, etc)
  • 1 cup rice, roasted and ground in food processor*
  • 2-3 Tbs. ground Thai chilis (depending on how spicy you want it)
  • 1/4 c. sweet Thai chili sauce (optional)
  • 1/4 c. fish sauce
  • 1 cup thinly sliced shallots (I used torpedo onions because they were on hand)
  • 1 cup diced green onions
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1 bunch mint, chopped
  • 2-3 limes, juiced
  • head of cabbage or iceberg lettuce
  • sticky jasmine rice

If you have lean beef, cook beef in a little bit of water. If you bought the 80/20 ground beef like I did, don’t cook it in water and drain fat halfway through. Add ground rice, chilis, chili sauce and fish sauce. After meat is fully cooked, add shallots, green onions, cilantro and mint and simmer for a bit. Remove from heat. Add lime juice. Serve with sticky rice and cabbage.

*to roast rice, just put rice in a frying pan (no oil, butter, NOTHIN’), and let them toast for a couple of minutes. Be sure to stir rice around with a wooden spoon or spatula so rice doesn’t burn and DO NOT leave rice in the pan unattended. It toasts quickly!

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    1. Angie says:

      I love that website! What a great idea.

      Btw, I have links on my site to blogs about gluten-free food. They’re all written by women with Celiac Disease, and the recipes are so amazing. Even if you don’t have Celiac, they are really healthy and yummy dishes. And most of them are super simple.

      Btw this recipe looks delicious. I’m going to try it out next week.

    2. Maria says:

      You probably saw this recipe for Salade Nicoise in the Chronicle last week. It’s really easy and it’s another hearty and healthy summer meal. The recipe looks long but you should definitely use the vacuum packed beets from Trader Joe’s and don’t bother to peel the potatoes. When the salad is finished it’s beautiful.http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/07/22/FDCA11MJOF.DTL

    3. Ronda says:

      Looks good Melissa! I love your posts on your cooking skills it gets me motivated to actually cook! Love it!! When will you be here in SLC? Giveme a call we could do dinner or something! Hope to see you soon! And even though it is late notice but Happy Anniversary!!

    4. Scott says:

      Melissa – I am glad to see you love Thai food. I do too. Laab is great, but Nam tok (beef waterfalls) is even better. There are some great Thai recipes on thaitable.com. It’s a really easy website to use and has some easy recipes that are great. If you want any other Thai food tips, tell me or Marcelle — we make it often since I am part Thai.

    5. sandrar says:

      Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. :) Cheers! Sandra. R.

    6. Jessika says:

      Your recipes look really good!

      – Jessika : Celiac Speaks – Personal Notes

    7. Cool ideas here, thanks. I honestly took the plunge and got me some chickens last week! Now I have more eggs than I know what to do with!. You might be interested in these egg recipes.

    8. I’m so worried about the direction our love ones are heading in nowadays. Watching Jamie Olivers food revolution tv program scared the thingies out of me. I suggest we all start cooking some healthy recipes like these at home if we’re going to fix this horrible situation. The ones on that site seem pretty easy, I tried last night and it’s the first time my family has eaten well in ages, I just feel wonderful.

    9. You have mentioned very intriguing details! PS. really good internet site. “We’re all human and we all goof. Do things that may be wrong, but do something.” by Newt Gingrich..

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