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Larb Gai Salad Recipe (Thai Minced Chicken Salad)

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Larb gai salad recipe, hands down, the best you’ll ever try! This Thai minced chicken salad is not only quick and easy to make, making it perfect for any weeknight dinner, but it’s also full of authentic flavor and fresh herbs and spices. Tossed in a spicy and tangy fresh lime juice dressing, it pairs wonderfully with Thai sticky rice.

Larb gai salad, served with lettuce and fresh vegetables.

Don’t miss out on my most popular larb recipes: Try a variation with ground pork – Thai pork larb recipe, and Thai ground beef larb. And hey, these Thai ground beef lettuce wraps are the perfect pairing!

What is larb gai

Larb gai is a traditional Thai dish featuring minced chicken tossed with a dressing of fresh lime juice, fish sauce, chili flakes, and fresh herbs like mint and cilantro. This refreshing, spicy, and tangy dish is a staple in Thai cuisine, typically enjoyed with Thai sticky rice.

Thai minced chicken salad

Forget everything you know about salads because this Thai chicken salad recipe is anything but ordinary. Thai salads aren’t just about tossing greens, it’s about creating a perfect flavor balance with the brightest and freshest ingredients you can find.

A Thai woman enjoying larb gai salad wrapped in lettuce, with lime and flower garnishes.

Larb salads are always a crowd-pleaser as you can simply switch up the protein with whatever you fancy, this recipe is super easy to customize. If you’re in the mood for seafood, my shrimp larb recipe is just a click away. For a beef or pork variation, simply swap the ground chicken with your protein of choice. For a version with ground duck, header over to my larb ped recipe.

The best thing about this Thai chicken larb recipe is how effortlessly it comes together. Minimal cooking, maximum flavor. It’s perfect for any home cook and anyone new to Thai cuisine.

Serving Thai larb chicken salad with a wooden spoon on a lettuce wrap.

At the core of any good laab gai are fresh herbs like mint leaves, coriander, green onions, and culantro. The dressing is a mix of fish sauce, fresh lime juice, and a hint of white sugar to balance it all out. Thai chili flakes bring the heat, and feel you to adjust the spice to your liking. Last but not least, a sprinkle of toasted rice powder brings a crunchy texture with a nutty undertone.

Why try this Thai larb gai recipe

  • Healthy and tasteful: Chicken larb is incredibly low in calories but high in protein and full of nutrition and vitamins.
  • Simple ingredients: All ingredients can be found at an Asian grocery store or Asian market.
  • Quick and easy: Thai cooking has never been easier. Simply cook the chicken, drain, and toss it with the rest of the ingredients. You can prep everything ahead and toss it when you’re ready – perfect for meal prep!
  • Authentic: This larb chicken recipe is authentic. Larb was one of the best seller in our former Thai restaurant.
  • Versatile: Serve it as a side dish, as a main with jasmine rice, or as part of a Thai food feast.

Northeastern Thailand (Isan)

Larb, also known as “laab” or “laap,” is a staple in Isan cuisine, Northeastern Thailand. Isan is a region with rice field landscapes where the beauty of nature is reflected in every dish. Think Thai bamboo soup, som tum Thai (green papaya salad), and long bean salad.

Isan’s culinary scene relies heavily on charcoal grilling, with dishes like grilled Thai chicken wings, nam tok moo, and nam tok beef often being prepared at street food stalls.

Close-up of freshly steamed Thai sticky rice in a traditional woven bamboo basket.

Another unique staple is Thai raw beef salad, which might be unusual to some, but it’s a delicacy in the rural region of Thailand. We pair it with Thai sticky rice, and a side of Thai crying tiger steak never disappoints.

Ingredients

Ingredients can be sourced at Asian grocery stores and Asian markets.
The exact measurements are in the recipe card at the end of this post.


Ingredients for larb gai salad labeled: minced chicken, dried chili flakes, water, lime juice, white sugar, fish sauce, toasted rice powder, mint, shallots, coriander, culantro, green onions.
  • Chicken – The key ingredient in this ground chicken recipe. Chicken thighs are recommended for their slightly higher fat content, enhancing the overall juiciness and flavor. Chicken breast is a good alternative.
  • Thai chili flakes – Red chili flakes are essential for a spicy flavor. Customize the heat level to suit your taste.
  • Toasted rice powder – Toasted rice powder (made from toasting glutinous rice) adds a delightful crunch and a unique nutty flavor. I always make my own with a Thai mortar and pestle, but you can easily source it from an Asian grocery store.
  • Fish sauce – Fish sauce adds a salty depth and umami flavor. It’s a staple in Thai cuisine and is a must-have for this salad dressing.
  • White sugar – A sprinkle of white sugar is essential for balancing out the sour, salty, and spicy notes. To replicate the exact flavors of this recipe, use white and not brown sugar or palm sugar.
  • Lime – Fresh lime juice adds a citrusy freshness and a refreshing note. Make sure to use fresh lime juice and not the bottled stuff, it makes a difference!
  • Shallots – Thinly sliced shallots adds a subtle natural sweetness and another layer of flavor. They are a key ingredient in any authentic larb recipe. Substitutable for red onions.
  • Culantro, green onions, coriander, mint – My choice of fresh herbs, feel free to customize.
  • Water – A splash of water is essential in cooking the chicken, ensuring it remains moist and tender as it absorbs the flavors of the dressing.

Short recipe video

How to make larb gai salad

Cooked minced chicken in a wok.

Step 1: Heat a wok or skillet over medium heat. Add 3 tablespoons of water and add the minced chicken to the wok or skillet. Simmer until the chicken is fully cooked through.

Minced chicken in a mixing bowl.

Step 2: Transfer the cooked chicken to a large mixing bowl. Toss with fish sauce, lime juice, dried chili flakes, white sugar, and toasted rice powder.

Larb gai salad prepared in a clear bowl.

Step 3: To the same mixing bowl add shallots, culantro, green onions, coriander, and mint. Gently mix until all the ingredients are well combined and serve immediately.

Kitchen tools

  • Skillet or wok and spatula or wooden spoon for cooking the minced chicken
  • Thai mortar and pestle or food processor to crush toasted rice powder and make homemade chili flakes
  • Cutting board and sharp knife for chopping or mincing the chicken
  • Measuring spoons and cups
  • Mixing bowl for tossing the salad

How to serve Thai chicken salad

Serve your Thai larb gai salad on its own or pair it with Thai sticky rice (khao niao), jasmine rice. Optionally, garnish with freshly chopped green onions. A side of fresh vegetables like cucumber slices, lettuce leaves, and long beans are recommended. Complement your larb with this Lao papaya salad if you love bold flavors.

You can use your Thai ground chicken salad as a filling for lettuce wraps. Use romaine, butterhead, or iceberg. Pair with these grilled Thai shrimp lettuce wraps. Perfect for an easy snack and appetizer!

How to store chicken larb

Allow your larb to cool to room temperature before storing inside an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 3 days. For the best taste, consume within 24 hours. Freezing is not recommended. There’s no need to reheat, as larb is served at room temperature or slightly chilled. If you do want to reheat, gently reheat on the stove over low heat.

Frequently asked questions

How many calories does larb have?

Larb typically has around 200–300 calories per serving. This can vary depending on the specific ingredients and portion sizes.

Is larb gai spicy?

Yes, larb gai is usually spicy due to the addition of Thai chili flakes. However, you can adjust the spice level to suit your taste by adding more or fewer chili flakes.

Can I make this in advance?

You can easily cook the chicken in advance and then combine it with the dressing when you’re ready to serve.

Is larb healthy?

Yes, larb salads are considered healthy. They’re full of protein and loaded with herbs and spices that are beneficial for your health. Plus, it’s low in carbs and can be part of a balanced diet.

Related Thai salad recipes you’ll love

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Larb Gai Salad Recipe (Thai Minced Chicken Salad)

Larb gai salad, served with lettuce and fresh vegetables.
This authentic Thai larb gai salad recipe comes together in less than 20 minutes! Pair with Thai sticky rice or jasmine rice.
Praew
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Cuisine Thai
Course Main Course, Salad
Serving Size 2 people

Ingredients

  • 10 ounces chicken minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon thai chili flakes add to taste
  • 1/2 tablespoon toasted rice powder
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1.5 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1.8 ounce shallots sliced thinly
  • 1/4 cup culantro chopped
  • 1/4 cup mint chopped
  • 1/4 cup coriander chopped
  • 1/4 cup green onions chopped
  • 3 tablespoons water

Instructions

  • Heat a wok or skillet over medium heat. Add 3 tablespoons of water and add the minced chicken to the wok or skillet. Simmer until the chicken is fully cooked through.
  • Transfer the cooked chicken to a large mixing bowl. Toss with fish sauce, lime juice, dried chili flakes, white sugar, and toasted rice powder.
  • To the same mixing bowl add shallots, culantro, green onions, coriander, and mint. Gently mix until all the ingredients are well combined and serve immediately.

Notes

  • Use the nutrition card in this recipe as a guideline.
  • Feel free to switch up the protein with pork or beef.

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