Thai Chicken Larb
on Jun 07, 2023, Updated Jan 24, 2024
Thai Chicken Larb
This Thai chicken larb recipe, Larb Gai, is one of the most addicting, and delicious dishes to make for dinner. It is filled with acid, it’s spicy, it’s sweet, and it packs a punch. Not to mention, it is so refreshing, especially served alongside cucumbers and cabbage leaves.
When we traveled to Thailand a few years ago, this (amongst like SO many other staples), was something we ate so often, in so many different varieties. Larb can be made with tons of different protein and vegetables.
TAKE A LOOK some other varieties of larb likeLAMBand CAULIFLOWER. You can also use ingredients such as ground pork, beef, ground turkey and even mushrooms as the base of your larb. If you’re looking for another chicken recipe, check out our Thai Basil Chicken, as well!
What is chicken larb?
Larb gai is a Southeast Asian dish of ground chicken (often with other proteins, too) tossed with assorted herbs like mint, cilantro and green onions and fish sauce. Larb is a popular Laos and Isan dish, also sometimes spelled “Laab” or “Lop”.
What ingredients do you need to make this chicken larb recipe?
Ground chicken: Pounded pretty finely ground chicken makes the base of this dish. I think this is the most time consuming part as I like to take my mine to make sure they’re not any big chicken chunks. You also want to be careful to not overdo it either, since you don’t want the chicken to burn, too!
Fresh herbs: Such as fresh mint leaves, green onions and cilantro. This duo is the absolute delight to the dish that adds crunch and freshness. IT is SO good.
Lime juice: Loads of lime juice is squeezed into the chicken, making this light and bright and super acidic.
Fish sauce: To balance out all of that acid, and to add a deep flavor of umami. Fish sauce is added and tossed in with the mixture.
Chili: We are using Thai chili flakes here. But you can also use any type of chillies you can get your hands on (whole or ground), a thicker chili paste or sambal oelek as other alternatives.
Toasted rice powder: This is KEY to larb, and it makes ALL the difference. It provides this nuttiness, umami-like flavor that is just epic.
Shallots: We are using Thai shallots here, which are my personal favorite, but regular shallots will work just a well. Again, another layer of crunch to this recipe. You can also use red onion here as well.
Cabbage lettuce wraps, romaine lettuce leaves: To serve with the larb. Another element of freshness and crunch.
*Not to mention, this larb is a really great prep ahead recipe for lunch! IT keeps really well in the fridge, or at room temp if you’re on the go.
Steps to make this Thai larb gai recipe
Cook your ground chicken
Start by grilling your ground chicken in a pan, break up all the pieces so it’s pretty fine. You want this to be cooked all the way through and get a little crispy. Let sit and grill, about 10-15 minutes.
Make your rice powder
Toast your rice powder for about 15 minutes and let cool for a couple of minutes (you can do this in a dry skillet until it’s toasted, about 10-15 minutes). Place your rice powder in a pestle and mortar and start to ground and grind the the rice powder for about another 15-20 minutes until its a powder.
Assemble your larb
Add in the rice powder with the larb and a little bit of chili flakes. Add your sugar, fish sauce, lime and stir.
Then finish with your shallots, and give it a good toss.
Turn off heat and add in your herbs
Next, turn off the heat and add your green onions and cilantro. After that, add the mint in a mix (do the mint last because it gets bruised pretty easily from the heat)
Serve with lime wedges, cucumbers, cabbage and/or jasmine rice (or sticky rice).
More dinner recipes you’ll love!
- Calabrian Chili Tomato Lobster Pasta
- Adobo Grilled Steak with Chimichurri
- Sesame Noodles with Mushrooms
- Honey Braised Gochujang Chicken and Chickpeas
If you do make this Thai Chicken Larb recipe (first of all, thank you!!), be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Don’t forget to tag me on Instagram and through social media so I can be sure to see what you’re making! If you’d like to stay in touch and get the latest to your inbox, sign up for our Newsletter here as well!
Updated from September 2020
Watch How To Make This Recipe
Thai Chicken Larb
- 1 pound ground chicken
- 2 tablespoons rice powder, (see more below)
- 1 tablespoon chili powder, (adjust more or less depending on your spice level)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, and wedges for serving, about 2-3 limes
- 1 bundle cilantro, roughly torn
- 1-2 green onions, roughly sliced
- 1 bundle mint, stems removed, roughly torn
- 2 small shallots, thinly sliced
- 1 head of green cabbage, for serving
- 1-2 cucumbers, for serving
- Start by grilling your ground chicken in a pan, break up all the pieces so it's pretty fine. You want this to be cooked all the way through and get a little crispy. Let sit and grill, about 10-15 minutes.
- While your chicken is cooking, toast your rice in a dry skillet for about 15 minutes and let cool for a couple of minutes (you can do this in a dry skillet until it's toasted, about 10-15 minutes). Place your rice powder in a pestle and mortar and start to ground and grind the the rice powder for about another 15-20 minutes until its a powder.
- Add in the rice powder with the larb and a little bit of chili flakes. Add your sugar, fish sauce, lime and stir.
- Then finish with your shallots, and give it a good toss.
- Next, turn off the heat and add your green onions and cilantro. After that, add the mint in a mix (do the mint last because it gets bruised pretty easily from the heat)
- Serve with lime wedges, cucumbers, cabbage and/or jasmine rice (or sticky rice).