Larb gai (spicy chicken salad)

Not for the faint-hearted.

  • 45 mins cooking
  • Serves 4
  • Print
Larb is a spicy salad based on minced chicken, beef or pork. It's popular in Vietnam and Thailand, and regarded as the national dish of Laos.


Larb gai (spicy chicken salad)
  • 2 tablespoon long-grain white rice
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh lemon grass
  • 2 fresh small red thai chillies, seeded, chopped finely
  • 2 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh galangal
  • 750 gram chicken mince
  • 1 lebanese cucumber (130g), seeded, sliced thinly
  • 1 small_piece red onion (100g), sliced thinly
  • 100 gram bean sprouts
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh thai basil leaves
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh coriander leaves
  • 4 large_piece iceberg lettuce leaves
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) lime juice
  • 2 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoon kecap manis
  • 2 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 2 teaspoon grated palm sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sambal oelek


Larb gai (spicy chicken salad)
  • 1
    Place ingredients for dressing in screw-top jar; shake well.
  • 2
    Heat dry wok; stir-fry rice until lightly browned. Blend or process (or crush using mortar and pestle) rice until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  • 3
    Heat oil in same wok; stir-fry lemon grass, chilli, garlic and galangal until fragrant. Remove from wok. Stir-fry chicken, in batches, until changed in colour and cooked through.
  • 4
    Return chicken and lemon grass mixture to wok with about one-third of the dressing; stir-fry about 5 minutes or until mixture thickens slightly.
  • 5
    Place remaining dressing in large bowl with chicken, cucumber, onion, sprouts and herbs; toss gently to combine. Place lettuce leaves on serving plates; divide larb salad among leaves, sprinkle with ground rice.


Although we used sambal oelek, you can use hot vietnamese chilli paste or, for less heat, a mild sweet thai chilli sauce.

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