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a yummy substitute for maccas: chicken larb with lemongrass and coriander

Larb
A couple of months ago I received some rather embarrassing news from my doctor. The results were in from a recent blood test and it showed that that my cholesterol was a little high. My doctor informed me that this was fairly uncommon among people my age and that I needed to get it under control pronto.

Having heard the possible hideous consequences of having high cholesterol (such as heart disease which, apparently, 30% of the population is at risk of) I immediately set about researching ingredients I could easily sneak into my food that would lower it. I had already steeled myself against finding out that most of my favourite foods would have to be cut out of my diet. However I was pleasantly surprised to discover that there are plenty of delicious cholesterol-lowering ingredients out there.

The first one I’ll make mention of: lemongrass. Apart from decreasing levels of cholesterol it is also fantastic for menstrual problems, normalising blood pressure, your immune system…the list goes on. It is also requires very little cooking time to release its exquisite flavour.

The second ingredient is a divisive one: coriander. I have yet to meet a person who has a neutral opinion of this herb; people love it or hate it. If you belong in the latter category you can substitute coriander for mint in the recipe below. Not only does coriander lower your cholesterol, it also has many anti-inflammatory properties.

The following recipe is inspired by Michelle Bridges. It is from her “No Excuses Cookbook” (see full publication details below). It’s also fantastic the next day cold as a salad.

Chicken Larb with Coriander and Lemongrass

Ingredients

1 tsp olive or peanut oil
5oog chicken mince
2 lemongrass stalks, finely chopped
3 little red chillies, finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 bunch coriander, chopped (including stems)
1 Lebanese cucumber, diced
Juice of 1 lime
3 tbs fish sauce

Method

1. Heat the oil in a large wok or frypan. Add the lemongrass, garlic and chilli and stir fry for one minute.

2. Next, add the chicken mince and cook for approximately 5 minutes, or until cooked through. Be sure to stir regularly as chicken mince can be lumpy.

3. Meanwhile combine the lime juice and fish sauce in a bowl.

4. Once the chicken is cooked, add the cucumber, shallots and lime mixture to the pan. Remove from heat and stir through.

5. Serve by itself or with Vermicelli noodle or lettuce cups.

Serves 3 with leftovers

By Emma Robinson

References:
www.indiaparenting.com – “Health benefits of Lemongrass” – accessed 04/03/13
www.indiatimes.com – “Coriander’s Numerous Health Benefits” – accessed 04/03/13
Michelle Bridges. 2012. “The No Excuses Cookbook”. First Published – Penguin Group Australia

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