Los Angeles River Backyard Carp Larb

Time1 hour
YieldsServes 6 to 8
L.A. River carp larb prepared on a backyard grill by Kris Yenbamroong, chef and owner of Night + Market.
(Jerry Hsu / For The Times)

Preheat a grill to medium-high heat. We suggest using Pok Pok brand Thaan Thai charcoal logs, which are similar to Japanese binchotan.


Wrap the carp fillets in the banana leaves, securing each packet with kitchen twine. Grill, flipping now and then, until cooked through, about 30 minutes.


Remove the fish from the grill and unwrap it. When it’s cool enough to handle, use a fork and your hands to separate the bones from the flesh. These fish are bony. Be thorough.


Once you have about two cups of meat, place it in the center of a large cutting board and cover it with the minced galangal. Use a cleaver to chop this pile into a rough paste. This will take a couple of minutes.


Move the mixture to a large bowl, stir in the sugar and fish sauce and mix. Next, add the seasonings in this order and with a quick toss after each addition: chile powder, lemongrass, red onion, cilantro, mint, green onions, sawtooth, nam pla ra, lime juice and toasted rice powder. Serve with a wedge of green cabbage, sliced cucumber and sticky rice. Have about five bites, then leave the bowl curbside for the coyotes.

Adapted from “Night + Market” by Kris Yenbamroong