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Lunch / Dinner

Mexican Beef Larb Tacos

Transport the taqueria to southeast Asia with this take on the Laotian dish called larb — a minced meat salad seasoned with chiles and fresh herbs — it’s basically a taco filling in disguise. Start by using authentic Mexican ingredients, like tomatillos. And instead of serving the meat in a lettuce leaf, which is traditional with larb, serve it right in a tortilla.

These tacos are not complicated. Just be sure to seek out tomatillos that are firm and bright green for the best flavor. Remove their papery husks and stems, then rinse them well — they have a waxy, sticky skin.


4 servings

Total Time

20 minutes

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Test Kitchen Tip

Tomatillos are often mistaken for green tomatoes, and though they’re in the same nightshade family, they’re botanically closer to a gooseberry.


For the larb, heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a skillet over medium. Add onion and garlic; cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.

Add sirloin and tomatillos, increase heat to medium-high, and cook, crushing with a potato masher, until sirloin is cooked through, 5 minutes.

Stir in lime juice and cook until absorbed. Off heat, stir in cilantro, scallions, and serrano. Season larb with salt and pepper.

For the salad, combine romaine and radishes; toss with vinegar and 2 Tbsp. oil, then season with salt.

Divide larb among tortillas and top with salad.


Tomatillos add a bright citrus element to the tacos. Cook them with the sirloin so they break down.


So the cilantro, scallions, and serrano stay fresh, stir them into the larb once it’s cooked.


To give the romaine and radishes some added flavor, toss them with a little vinegar, oil, and salt.

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