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Healthy Food

North-Eastern Style Betel Leaf Laab Burger

Story

Laab is local food in the Northern Thai and Isan region, stretching as far as Laos and Xishuangbanna. It is prepared by sourcing meat, offal, and skin, chopping thoroughly them, and mixing with seasonings. There are various types of meat used for Larb, such as chicken, duck, beef, buffalo, fish, pork, and bird meat. Larb dishes are popularly eaten with sticky rice and Northern and Northeastern versions differ in both ingredients and cooking methods.

Northeastern or ‘E-Sarn’ Larb is a dish prepared using minced meat, seasoned with fish sauce, lime, and sprinkled with roasted rice, chili powder, mint leaves, spring onions, and shallots. Both cooked and raw meat can be used, and it’s commonly eaten with local vegetables such as cucumber, acacia shoot, Indian Trumpet Flower, olive shoot, star fruit, bael fruit, neem shoot, etc.

Northern Laab or Laab Mueang (Larb Lanna) is a popular food that people from the Yuan and Tai Lue tribes eat regularly. These two tribes are closely related in terms of language, history, and traditions. Chili Laab, also known as Nam Prik Laab, consists of spices that are roasted until cooked, especially the Sichuan pepper which is the main seasoning ingredient for this dish and the one that lends it most of its unique flavor.

Health Benefits

‘North-Eastern Style Betel Leaf Laab Burger’ is a burger based on a rural Thai favorite. The bun is replaced by sticky rice and the pork patties are seasoned with herbs and spices of Larb. It’s convenient and easy to eat while retaining all the great flavors of Larb.

  • ‘Lime’ helps fight free radicals, reduces inflammation, and repairs damaged cells from infection. It also inhibits the growth of the virus.*
  • ‘Shallot’ helps prevent allergies, is an anti-inflammatory and protects against bacteria and viruses.**
  • ‘Culantro’ helps in relieving flu symptoms.***
  • ‘Chili flakes’ help relieve flu symptoms and reduce mucus and phlegm.****
  • ‘Tomatoes’ are an antioxidant.*****
    ‘Cucumber’ helps maintain immune levels in good condition.******
  • ‘Betel leaf’ helps stimulate blood circulation and inhibit the growth of bacteria.*******

Ingredients

  • minced pork 150 gr
  • chili powder 2 gr
  • ground toasted rice kernel powder 3 gr
  • fish sauce 10 gr
  • lime juice 5 gr
  • shallot 5 gr
  • coriander sawtooth 2 gr
  • spring onion 2 gr
  • kaffir lime leaf 1 gr
  • burger bun 1 no
  • betel leaf 5 gr
  • cucumber (sliced) 20 gr
  • tomato (sliced) 20 gr

Directions

Season the minced pork with chili powder, roasted rice kernels and spring onion.

Form the pork mix into patties.

Heat oil in a pan, place the patties in the pan and fry until cooked to your desired level.

Combine the spring onion, shallots, culantro, kaffir lime leaves, toasted rice kernel powder and season with fish sauce, chili flakes and lime. Mix all ingredients thoroughly and spread lightly atop the patties.

Serve in a bun garnished with tomato, cucumber and betel leaves.

Reference
* Hemilä H, Chalker E. Vitamin C for preventing and treating the common cold. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2013, 1. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD000980.pub4
Asst. Prof. Dr. Ekkarat Bamrungphut, Herbs and Phytochemicals Herbal Information Office, Faculty of Pharmacy Mahidol University – www.medplant.mahidol.ac.th
** Russo M, Spagnuolo C, Tedesco, The flavonoid quercetin in disease prevention and therapy: facts and fancies. Biochem Pharmacol. 2012;83(1):6-15.
*** Honeychurch P.N, 1980. Caribbean Wild Plants and Their Uses.
**** Vonne D., Ofelia G., Guillermo O., José P., & Tzayhrí G. (2014). Determination of Capsaicin, Ascorbic Acid, Total Phenolic Compounds and Antioxidant Activity of Capsicum annuum L. var. serrano by Mid Infrared Spectroscopy (Mid-FTIR) and Chemometric Analysis. Journal of the Korean Society for Applied Biological Chemistry, 57(1): 133-142.
***** Wimon Srisuk. Department of Food Chemistry Faculty of Pharmacy Mahidol University Articles disseminate knowledge to the public. How to eat tomatoes to get high lycopene. https://pharmacy.mahidol.ac.th/th/knowledge/article
****** Suthathip Pamornprawat, Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (EN), Institute of Thai Traditional Medicine, Office of the Health Promotion Foundation (ThaiHealth)
******* Kan Wongsariya, Mallika Chomnawang, Plu and hidden benefits, herbal information brochure Faculty of Pharmacy Mahidol University Year 26, Issue 3, April 2009. Pages 3-10.
Gruenwald J, Brendler T, et al(eds.) PDF for herbal medicines(2 nd Edition) New Jersey: Medical Economic Company, 2000: 858pp.