Lunchbreak: Turn your leftover hamburgers into a Thai Salad

Midday News
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Tony Quartaro, Culinary Director of Limelight Catering

Limelight Catering

2000 N. Racine
Chicago, IL 60614


Thai Beef Laarb Salad

2 tbsp Brown Rice, uncooked, dry (optional)

1 tsp Chili Powder

1 tsp Chili Flakes

1/3 cup Fish Sauce (or Coconut Aminos)

3 tsp Sugar

¼ cup Water

4 cups Ground Beef – leftover from grilling, crumbled fine

3 tbsp Cooking Oil

1 cup Mint, picked leaves, packed, & chopped

2 cups Cilantro, picked leaves, packed & chopped

12 slices Fresh Finger Chile or Fresno Chile

1 Red Onion, julienned thin

4 Lime zests and juice

4 leaves Romaine or Baby Green Lettuce

2 Sliced Persian Cucumbers

2 cups Green Beans, raw, cut into 1.5″ segments


Toast Brown Rice in a pan and tossing until fragrant, 2 minutes.

Add chili Powder and chili Flakes to the pan, toss while the pan is still warm to bloom the flavors.

Transfer to a spice grinder and process until fine.

Combine onion with lime juice & zest and sliced finger chiles in a bowl, allow to macerate while preparing the rest of the recipe.

Warm a non-stick or cast-iron skillet over medium-low heat for 2-3 minutes.

While warming, crumble cooked beef patties into a mixing bowl by hand.

In a separate bowl, combine fish sauce, sugar and water.

Add beef to pan with oil, as needed to coat.

Warm beef to at least 155 degrees.

Add the fish sauce, water and sugar mixture. Stir to combine and allow to cook into the beef for two minutes, or until the liquid has evaporated.

Allow the beef to cool, until it stops steaming, and add onion/lime/finger chile mixture, cilantro and mint, and then the rice/chili flake/chili powder mixture.

Mix in bowl or pan to combine – serve on top of rice or Romaine/lettuce, garnished with raw sliced cucumbers and raw green beans.


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