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Authentic Larb Som Moo – Laos Sour Pork Sausage Salad

Learn how to make delicious authentic Laos Fermented Sour Pork Salad called Larb Som Moo. It’s a healthy, low carb meal that you can make on a busy weeknight.

Larb Som Moo is one of the easiest dishes you can make when you are craving a quick Lao meal after work. There’s no cooking involved at all, it’s just making sure that you have all the ingredients ready to go.

In this post, I’m going to talk all about Laos Som Moo and share with you my recipe on making this tangy, delicious dish.

All About Laos Sour Pork Som Moo Larb Salad

Larb Som Moo Salad combines two very popular dishes and ingredients into one amazingly flavorful, fresh salad. Laos Larb is a flavorful, delicious minced meat salad that is normally made with pork, chicken, or beef. Som Moo is a tangy, sour pork sausage that is cooked through self-fermentation.

Combining these two dishes makes for a wonderful, delectable meat salad. In general, larb minced meat salad is often served with khao niew, sticky rice.

som moo larb sour pork salad

What does Som Moo Larb Salad taste like?

Som Moo Larb Salad melds together spicy, sour, sweet, and bitter in one deliciously exotic flavorful punch with the unique chewiness of som moo.

The wonderful herbs that are added along with the crunch of toasted rice powder provides a somewhat nutty flavor to this salad. The lime and Som Moo brings out the sour tones, the rice powder provided the crunch and nuttiness, and the spearmint provides that extra level of herb freshness that makes it a light dish! 

The herbs along with the uniqueness of Som Moo provides a combination of flavors and textures you won’t find in a lot of dishes.

som moo larb sour pork salad

What are other names for Som Moo Larb?

Translations between languages with different scripts can cause multiple phonetic spellings. You’ll see this Laos sour pork salad referred to as:

  • Som Moo Larb
  • Som Mou Lahb
  • Som Moo Larp
  • Sum Mou Larb
  • Lahp Som Mouh
  • Lahm Naem Som Mou
  • Nam Som Moo

In English, this multi-level flavorful dish is often referenced by other names including:

  • Fermented Pork Salad
  • Laos Pickled Pork Salad
  • Laos Sour Sausage Salad
  • Lao Sour Pickled Pork Salad

Som means sour. Moo means pork or pig. Larb refers to the dish and also means Luck in Laos.

How do you pronounce Som Moo Larb salad?

Som is pronounced like sum, as it the sum of two numbers. Moo is pronounced exactly how you make the sound of what a cow says. Larb rhymes with the word lop as in “lop off a section.”

How is Laos Som Moo Larb Minced Meat salad made?

You take premade Som Moo, either commercially made kind or homemade Som Moo and tear it into bite sized pieces. Herbs, lime, and toasted rice powder are added to make the salad.

som moo larb sour pork salad

Where did Som Moo Larb originate from?

While Som Moo originated from Vietnam, Larb is a dish that originated from Laos. As the cultures collided, Larb was then adapted to use Som Moo as a protein meat to make Larb.

som moo larb sour pork salad

When is Som Moo larb served?

Som Moo Larb can be served anytime for any meal. However, it is often seen at Lao gatherings like New Years, weddings, and large family gatherings.

What You Need at the Asian Grocer

Laos Fermented Pork Sausage

It’s normally packaged in plastic like the image shown below. There is a Vietnamese version of this called, Naem, as well.

Som Moo Laos Sour Pork Sausage - Fermented Pickled Naem

Mint

While you can buy mint at the local market, Asian markets have a generous bunch available compared to the 3-4 stems you get at American markets in plastic packaging.

som moo larb sour pork salad

Pac Peow (also known as Hot Mint)

This is what takes larb to the next level. This herb is absolutely delicious with Larb. Find it to make it right, or don’t make it at all! This goes by several names depending on the type of Asian market you go to. It can be seen with packaging labeled Vietnamese Rau Ram, Vietnamese Coriander, or Pac Peow.

som moo larb sour pork salad

Toasted Rice Powder (Khao Khua)

You can purchase the package or you can make khao khua right at home!

som moo larb sour pork salad

Thai Bird’s Eye Chiles

I personally think these are spicier than serrano peppers. You’re going to chop them up to add directly into the salad. Use sparingly if you can’t handle spice.

som moo larb sour pork salad

Red Pepper Flakes

Red pepper flakes and other spices can be found for dirt cheap at Asian markets. You’re going to need some of this to level up the spice.

som moo larb sour pork salad

Tips and Tricks Before Making Lao Som Moo Larb

Tear Up the Som Moo Into Bite Sized Pieces

In general, larb is made with minced meat. So you’ll want to be able to pick up the Som Moo salad with a ball of sticky rice. Small bite sized pieces of Som Moo will allow you to eat sticky rice in one mouthful.

Have Sticky Rice Prepared

If you are wanting to make sticky rice, just know that it requires an overnight soak period. Sticky rice is normally eaten with most Lao larb dishes. Make sure you have some prepared beforehand. 

How to Make Authentic Laos Sour Pork Som Moo Larb Salad Recipe

Ingredients for Making Laos Som Moo Larb Salad Recipe

  • 3 – 5 oz packages of Som Moo
  • 10 stems of mint, picked
  • 10 stems of hot mint, picked
  • 10 stems of cilantro, chopped
  • 6 green onions, chopped
  • ½ lime, wedged
  • 2 tablespoons of toasted rice powder
  • 1 tablespoon of fish sauce, optional to taste
  • 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes, optional to taste
  • 6 Thai bird’s eye chilies, optional to taste

som moo larb sour pork salad

Instructions on How to Make Som Moo Larb Salad Recipe

Wash and dry all the herbs. Pro tip: Use a salad spinner to completely dry some of the herbs to get the moisture off of them. Pick the leaves off of the mint and hot mint. Chop. Set aside.

som moo larb sour pork salad

Chop the green onion and cilantro. Set aside.

Tear the Som Moo into bite sized pieces. Add it into a large bowl.

som moo larb sour pork salad

Add in the chopped mint, hot mint, green onion, and cilantro. Mix well.

som moo larb sour pork salad

Add in the toasted rice powder. This is what MAKES larb. It’s the bold, nutty flavor combined with the lime that makes the Lao larb traditional dish delicious.

som moo larb sour pork salad

Squeeze in the lime to taste.

som moo larb sour pork salad

Add in fish sauce, red pepper flakes, and bird’s eye chiles. Mix well.

som moo larb sour pork salad

som moo larb sour pork salad

Serve fresh with sticky rice.

som moo larb sour pork salad

Preserving Laos Som Moo Larb Salad

Som Moo Larb Salad can be preserved for up to 4 days depending on the age of the Som Moo. Just put in an airtight container stored in the refrigerator.

som moo larb sour pork salad

Frequently Asked Questions About Som Moo Larb Salad

What kind of meat is Som Moo Larb Meat Salad?

Som Moo Larb Meat Salad is made using lean pork that has been fermented over a 2-3 day period that also includes shredded pork skin.

Is Larb Som Moo safe to eat?

Som Moo Larb is made with raw lean pork meat that cooks through self-ripened fermentation. For some homecooks, there is concern regarding this process. The fermentation process for the Som Moo produces lactic acid, which allows the emat to cook and make it safe to eat. Read more about Som Moo and the fermentation process here.

som moo larb sour pork salad naem

Is Som Moo Larb healthy to heat?

Som Moo Larb has no carbs and has only 250 calories per 3 ounce serving.

Often, Som Moo Larb Salad is served with sticky rice, so you can omit the sticky rice to avoid the carbohydrates and load up on more Som Moo.

Summary About Laos Pickled Sour Pork Larb Salad

Som Moo Larb is a dish that you’ll have to try at least once. It’s a dish that is tangy, bitter, sweet, and fresh in one mouthful. The Som Moo provides the dish with a springy, chewy texture with the crunch of the toasted rice powder, and the freshness of the mint, hot mint, and cilantro.

som moo larb sour pork salad

If you are looking for a new adventure in the kitchen, this is an easy and health one that you can make right at home!

som moo larb sour pork salad

som moo larb sour pork salad

Authentic Larb Som Moo - Laos Sour Pork Sausage Salad

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Larb Som Moo Salad combines two very popular dishes and ingredients into one amazingly flavorful, fresh salad. Laos Larb is a flavorful, delicious minced meat salad that is normally made with pork, chicken, or beef. Som Moo is a tangy, sour pork sausage that is cooked through self-fermentation.

Ingredients

  • 3 - 5 oz packages of Som Moo
  • 10 stems of mint, picked
  • 10 stems of hot mint, picked
  • 10 stems of cilantro, chopped
  • 6 green onions, chopped
  • ½ lime, wedged
  • 2 tablespoons of toasted rice powder
  • 1 tablespoon of fish sauce, optional to taste
  • 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes, optional to taste
  • 6 Thai bird's eye chilies, optional to taste

Instructions

  1. Wash and dry all the herbs. Pick the leaves off of the mint and hot mint. Chop. Set aside.
  2. Chop the green onion and cilantro. Set aside.
  3. Tear the Som Moo into bite sized pieces. Add it into a large bowl.
  4. Add in the chopped mint, hot mint, green onion, and cilantro. Mix well.
  5. Add in the toasted rice powder and squeeze in the lime to taste.
  6. Add in fish sauce, red pepper flakes, and bird's eye chiles. Mix well.
  7. Serve fresh.

Notes

Som Moo Larb Salad can be preserved for up to 4 days depending on the age of the Som Moo. Just put in an airtight container stored in the refrigerator.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 183Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 50mgSodium: 397mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 1gSugar: 5gProtein: 16g

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Authentic Laos Fermented Sour Pork Sausage - Som Moo
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