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Chef Yia Vang’s Isaan Laab

He's Back! Chef Yia Vang of Union Kitchen MN and Chef Camp created these amazing Hmong inspired Isaan Laab for you to experience in your kitchen! Order this recipe to receive an exclusive video of Chef Yia’s techniques and tips!

  • Seared ground beef with fresh bright flavors of lemongrass and cilantro tossed in Hmong laab spices, served with rice and garlicky mustard greens.
  • Learn more about Union Kitchen and Chef Camp in our interview: Yia Vang Interview
Difficulty: Medium
This dish is Gluten-Free
Calories: 741 Fat: 22g Carbs: 62g Protein: 28g

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.

Ingredients
Sushi rice
Toasted rice flour
Fish sauce
Laab mix
Thai basil
Thai chili
Cilantro
Culantro
Garlic
Lemongrass
Carrot
Mint
Green Onions
Mustard greens
Grass fed ground beef
Featured Ingredient Partners:
Mustard greens, Mint, Green onions: Hmong American Farmers Association (HAFA) - St. Paul, MN

Cooking terms for this recipe

Bias slice Cutting or slicing on a diagonal angle
Toast To lightly heat grains in a sauté pan or pot until they are lightly toasted and aromatic.
Wilt To become soft through heat, loss of water.

Cooking Instructions

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Step 1: MISE EN PLACE

Read though the entire recipe before getting started. Wash and dry all produce. Remove root ends from green onions and discard; then, bias slice. Remove stem and peel from carrot and discard; then, cut in half and slice into ¼” half moons. Mince or grate garlic. Tare Thai basil leaves into fourths. Tare mint leaves into fourths. Remove top from Thai chili; then, mince. Remove cilantro leaves from stem and discard; then, rough chop. Lighly break lemongrass using (insert how Yia breaks it here). Remove bottom inch from mustard greens and discard; then, cut leaves into 1” pieces. Remove ground beef from package.

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Step 2: COOK THE RICE

Place sushi rice, 1¼ cups water and a pinch of salt and pepper in medium pot over medium heat. Bring to boil; cover and reduce heat to low. Cook 15-20 min until tender. Fluff with fork. While rice is cooking, begin toasting the spices (Step #3). Note: If the rice has absorbed the water but isn’t fully cooked after 15-20 min; add ¼ cup water, cover and cook for 8-10 min longer.

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Step 3: TOAST THE SPICES

Place toasted rice flour in a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat. Toast stirring ocassionally 1-2 min until light brown; then, add laab mix and toast another 15-30 sec.

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Step 4: FINISH THE LAAB

Add 1 Tbsp. oil, ground beef, lemongrass, culantro, Thai chilies, carrot and fish sauce to the toasted spices. Reduce heat to medium Cook 7-10 min, breaking beef apart with a spoon until fully cooked; then, add cilantro, Thai basil, green onions, and mint and sauté another 2-3 min. Cover and set aside. Note: Use as little or as much Thai Chilies as you like depending on your preference. USDA recommends cooking beef to an internal temperature of 165ºF.

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Step 5: SAUTE THE GREENS

Heat 1 tsp. oil in a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add garlic, sauté 1-2 min until softened. Add mustard greens and a pinch of salt and pepper. Sauté until lightly wilted and remove from heat, about 1 min.

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Step 6: PLATE YOUR DISH

Divide rice between two bowls, top with Isaan Laab and serve with garlic-mustard greens. Enjoy!