Author Topic: Isaan Laab Versus Northern Laab, are they different?  (Read 3385 times)

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dirtydog

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Isaan Laab Versus Northern Laab, are they different?
« on: January 01, 2011, 11:33:40 AM »
Here's an article from villagevoice.com about a Thai restaurant in New York City.

Northern Larb vs. Isaan Larb at Lotus of Siam, NYC
By Robert Sietsema

Larb (also transliterated "Laab" and "Laap") is doubtlessly one of the best-known dishes from the Isaan region in northeast Thailand, which lies adjacent to Laos and Cambodia. On home ground, the salad is made with duck, pork, or river fish, or even dried fish, but it has long appeared on NYC Siamese menus made with pork, or more often, chicken.


Whatever the salad is made with, the central ingredient in ground and cooked form is the center of attention, tasting strongly of lime and sometimes even more strongly of the short colorful chiles that give Thai food much of its heat. Fresh mint and kaffir lime leaves are also frequent additions. Great versions of pork larb enliven the menus of such local restaurants as Pam Real Thai Food, Sripraphai, Khao Sarn II, and Chao Thai, and Kin Shop does a fine version made with duck, the fist in town to do so.

Now Lotus of Siam appears on lower Fifth Avenue, offering a pair of larbs, confusing everyone, including me. The one called "Issan Larb" is made with ground pork heavily laden with lime juice and faintly flavored with chopped scallions. The salad is more refreshing than hot. The other version is called "Northern Larb," and it seems, at least on first taste, to be more like what we thought Isaan Larb was.

Unaccountably, on the occasion of these photographs, when the waiter brought us our Northern Larb, it was made with ground chicken (the menu says pork), but the flavor was fantastic, pungent with herbs and faintly gingery, but without the slightest tartness. Weird!



Continued here

So all you Isaan experts, have they got it all wrong :)
 

sicho

  • Guest
Re: Isaan Laab Versus Northern Laab, are they different?
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2011, 11:45:51 AM »
In the case of Isaan dishes, I eat what looks good and smells good if the meat is cooked. I don't worry about the name. The food critic chappie seems to have his head up his butt looking for something to write. I bet he's a nightmare at home with anal little ways. The restaurant chain, as is so common in the Land of Make Believe, is probably more concerned with sales than accuracy. Most of their customers wouldn't know or care about the difference between North and Isaan and most would probably assume it's the same thing.

In other words, it matters not except to a food critic who's worried about keeping his job.
 

dirtydog

  • Guest
Re: Isaan Laab Versus Northern Laab, are they different?
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2011, 11:58:29 AM »
I'm guessing the Isaan laab is actually "Yam" as in yam nuea, plenty of lime juice in that, where as laab doesn't have so much. maybe they just don't like the word "Yam"?
Although neither have ginger in.
 

dirtydog

  • Guest
Re: Isaan Laab Versus Northern Laab, are they different?
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2011, 12:02:43 PM »
Yam Nuea.




Yam Krung.



Laab Moo



Laab Gai

 

sicho

  • Guest
Re: Isaan Laab Versus Northern Laab, are they different?
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2011, 02:13:17 PM »
According to a little book I have, Laab, or Laap, is and Isaan dish of Lao origin. No Northern dish by the same name is listed. But what the hell does it matter if you can pull in the ignorant punters? They don't really care if they are being mislead. It's a bit like Hollywood movie and history.
 

Offline Baby Farts

Re: Isaan Laab Versus Northern Laab, are they different?
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2011, 05:02:34 PM »
Correct, Laab is of Laotian origin.  Both Laab and Yam are two of my favorite dishes.
 

 



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