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Chicken Larb Bowl with Coconut Rice

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Gaby says, “You’ve never seen two girls attack a chicken larb situation like me and my friend Mink. It’s a traditional Thai salad that just hits all the flavor spots—spicy, meaty, herby, pickle-y. So I had to figure out how to re-create it at home, down to the sticky, sweet coconut rice.”

Serves 4

for the quick pickles:

2 Persian cucumbers, thinly sliced

½ red onion, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

for the chicken:

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

5 ounces kale, deveined and chopped

1 pound ground chicken

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

6 scallions, white and light green parts, thinly sliced

2 to 3 tablespoons soy sauce

1 to 2 tablespoons sambal oelek

1 tablespoon brown sugar

for the rice:

2 cups water

1 cup coconut milk

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon kosher salt

2 cups jasmine rice

zest and juice of 1 lime

to garnish:

fresh mint leaves

fresh basil leaves

fresh cilantro leaves

To make the quick pickles:

1. In a small bowl, toss the cucumbers, red onion, and vinegar. Set aside to marinate while you cook the chicken.

To make the chicken:

1. In a large, heavy-bottomed skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the kale and cook until wilted, 5 to 6 minutes. Season with salt and carefully transfer to a medium bowl.

2. Add the ground chicken to the same skillet and cook, breaking it apart with the back of a wooden spoon and stirring frequently until no pink remains, 8 to 10 minutes.

3. Add the garlic and scallions and cook for 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add the soy sauce, sambal oelek, and brown sugar and stir to combine. Return the cooked kale to the skillet and stir to combine. Season with salt and reduce the heat to low until ready to serve.

To make the rice:

1. Combine the water, coconut milk, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan and heat over medium-high heat until the mixture starts to simmer. Add the rice and bring back to a low simmer. Cover the pot, reduce the heat to low, and cook undisturbed for about 15 minutes, until all the liquid has been absorbed.

2. Turn off the heat and let the rice steam for another 5 to 10 minutes, until fully cooked and soft. Uncover, fluff, and toss in the lime zest and juice.

To assemble:

1. Divide the rice among 4 bowls, followed by the chicken and kale, pickles, and plenty of fresh mint, basil, and cilantro. Serve immediately.

From What’s Gaby Cooking by Gaby Dalkin, published by Abrams Books, c 2018
Photos by Matt Armendariz

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