Authentic Thai Pork Larb Recipe

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Thai pork larb with fresh vegetables and sticky rice.

This authentic Thai pork larb recipe is nothing like your usual boring vegetable salad. It’s made from flavorful ground pork and a variety of fresh Thai herbs and spices. This staple of Isan is so easy and so delicious, ready in under 15 minutes!

For a traditional Northeastern Thai meal experience, pair with my sticky rice recipe.

Close-up of Thai larb moo with shallots and fresh herbs.

What is Thai larb

Thai larb is a delightful salad made from minced meat – often pork or chicken, combined with fresh Thai herbs like mint and coriander, spices, and a tangy dressing that often tends to be on the spicy side. It originated in the Northeastern region of Thailand, where it’s served with fresh vegetables and sticky rice.

More about this larb recipe

Making larb ลาบ (pronounced laab or laap) is so easy, and your kitchen will still look clean afterward. This Thai salad is usually ready within 15 minutes, with big flavors and little mess.

I hate to say it, but when I lived in Europe, I found the salads flavorless and boring. Not trying to offend anyone here, but once you try this larb recipe, you’ll see what I mean!

Close-up of authentic Thai pork salad with fresh vegetables and dried chilies in a white dish.

Oh yes, this laab moo could just become your new go-to comfort food. I love myself a crunchy lettuce wrap filled with spicy larb, better than the best takeout you’ve ever had.

Today we’re going full-on authentic. I’ve been making this ground meat salad since I was a kid, and this is the exact recipe that we used at our Thai restaurant.

Bird's eye view of larb salad with fresh vegetables, sticky rice, and a wooden fork and spoon.

For me, the spicier the food, the better! But fear not, I’ve toned the spice down, so everyone can enjoy.

5 Reasons to try this salad

  • Easy weeknight dinner recipe: This recipe comes together faster than takeout delivers. Perfect for meal prep to enjoy throughout the week.
  • Main or side: You can enjoy this recipe for dinner or as a side with other Thai food.
  • Versatile: For a healthier version, feel free to swap the pork with chicken. Vegetarians can use tofu and a vegan fish sauce. For more variations, try minced beef or shrimp.
  • Healthy: Fresh herbs, lots of protein, and low in calories!
  • Unique: I bet you’ve tried countless vegetable salads, but have you ever tried this refreshing ground meat salad?


For the exact measurements, please scroll down to the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

Bird's eye view of larb recipe ingredients; ground pork, toasted rice powder, red chili flakes, fish sauce, sugar, shallots, culantro, green onions, coriander, lime, and mint.
  • Ground pork When you’re in Thailand ordering this salad, you’ll often find it made with minced pork. If pork is not your thing, you’ve got options. You can make larb chicken, beef, shrimp, or even duck. The dressing is super versatile; just swap out the meat and follow the directions.
  • Toasted rice powder – Toasted sticky rice, ข้าวคั่ว, khao kua is the result of dry roasting sticky rice in a cooking pan and then crusing it with a mortar and pestle. We use this ingredient for its crunchy texture, additionally it also adds a smoky roasted flavor. You can make it yourself or find it at an Asian grocery store or on Amazon.
  • Red chili flakes – Thai larb is usually made with red chili flakes (prik bon) to give it flavor and heat. As an alternative, you can use fresh chili pepper such as Thai chilies or serrano or jalapeños. For an authentic dish, use dried chili flakes.
  • Fish sauce – The key ingredient in many iconic Thai dishes, bringing umami and a salty flavor that’s unique and irreplaceable. It’s made from fermented fish and salt, but don’t let that scare you, the aroma mellows out in cooking.
  • Sugar – A bit of sugar is needed to balance out the salty and spicy flavors. In Thai cuisine, we use sugar not to sweeten, but to round out the overall flavors. Tip: If your salad is too spicy, try adding a bit more sugar.
  • Shallots – If you can, use Thai shallots. They bring a distinct, sweet and mildly spicy flavor. They’re smaller than the ones you’d find in Western countries, but they pack a punch. Substitutable for red onions.
  • Culantro – Don’t confuse this herb for cilantro. Culantro has long, spiky leaves with more intense flavors. It’s often used in Thai cooking and Southeast Asian cuisine for its fresh, herbal notes.
  • Green onions, coriander, lime, mint – Each ingredient makes every bite deliciously refreshing, tangy, and fragrant.

Cooking instructions

Quick tip: Larb can be dry or with a saucy dressing. I love the dry version. If you want to try the dry version, make sure to pick ground meat with some fat. If you prefer it a bit saucy, just add 3 tablespoons of water while cooking pork.

Total Time: 15 minutes

  1. Prep the veggies

    Chop the green onions, finely slice the shallots, and cut the lemon.An overhead shot of shallots, culantro, mint, coriander, green onions, and lime on a bamboo place mat on a wooden background.

  2. Cook the pork

    Place a pot over low heat. No oil!! Add the pork and cook until it’s cooked through. Want it saucy? Add 3 tablespoons of water.Cooked through ground pork meat.

  3. Transfer to a mixing bowl

    Move the cooked pork to a big mixing bowl, or just keep it in the pot. Street food vendors in Thailand often mix right in the cooking pot.An overhead shot of cooked ground pork meat in a large glass bowl on a wooden background.

  4. Add seasonings

    Add the fish sauce, toasted rice powder, sugar, red chili flakes, and lime juice. Toss until the sugar is dissolved.An overhead shot of ground pork meat with flavoring on top (dried chili flakes, sugar, toasted rice powder, and fish sauce) in a glass bowl on a wooden background.

  5. Add herbs and vegetables

    Toss in the shallots, culantro, green onions, mint, and coriander.

  6. Mix and serve

    Give it a gentle mix and serve immediately.Thai pork larb in a glass bowl with a wooden spoon in it.

Recipe tips and tricks

  • Less cleaning: Cook your pork in a small pot or saucepan. Once it’s done, take it off the heat and mix in all the other ingredients in the same pot.
  • Don’t use oil: Don’t use oil to cook the pork.
  • Fatty pork: Go for high-quality ground pork that has a little fat, adding flavor and preventing the salad from being dry.
  • Dressing: Add 3 tablespoons of water while cooking the pork if you prefer a “saucy” larb.


In Thai cuisine, taste-testing is a tradition. In our Thai restaurant, we tasted dishes multiple times before serving them. That’s why the measurements in recipes are to be used as guidelines.

Whether you’re a fan of spicy food, tangy, salty flavored – feel free to adjust the seasonings.

When it comes to Thai larb and Thai food, there’s no “one taste fits all”. Taste as you go!

How to serve

In Thailand, this dish is eaten as a main-dish, usually paired with sticky rice or jasmine rice. You can add a variety of fresh vegetables like cucumbers, tomatoes, yard long beans, or others.

Garnishing options

  • A drizzle of lime juice
  • Extra red chili flakes

Lettuce wraps

For a light meal, spoon the larb onto crunchy lettuce leaves and enjoy them as wraps. The crunch makes the salad taste even better and more irresistible!

How to store

It’s best to finish Thai pork larb the same day that you make it. The toasted rice powder doesn’t keep well when it’s mixed with other ingredients, since it will absorb all of their flavors over time.

Larb moo is best consumed within the day of making it. Toasted rice powder doesn’t keep well when mixed with other ingredients. If you do decide to store your leftovers, do so in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They’ll keep well for up to 2–3 days.

Reheating instructions: You can enjoy the leftovers cold. If you’d like to reheat, do so in a pan over low heat or use a microwave.

Fun facts

  • Isan locals love to have raw beef larb, which we call “koi neua” in Thai language.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ’s)

What is pork larb made of?

Pork larb is made of pan cooked ground pork meat, mixed with other traditional Thai ingredients. Key ingredients in this healthy Thai salad are fish sauce, shallots, coriander, lime, mint, and toasted rice powder. The dish originated in Laos but is commonly found throughout Thailand as well.

How to eat larb?

A variety of fresh or steamed vegetables, including cucumber, lettuce, tomatoes, and yard long beans, are frequently served with larb. It is often served with some sticky rice or white rice and is suitable for both lunch and dinner.

What is larb in Thai?

Larb in Thai actually means “to chop finely”, which is fitting since this dish often consists of finely chopped or minced meat.

Is this recipe gluten-free?

You need to check the labeling of pre-made sauces or seasonings like fish sauce, as some brand may contain gluten.

More Thai salads you’ll love

If you love this authentic Thai pork larb recipe, please leave a star rating and/or a comment below!

Difficulty: Beginner Prep Time 5 min Cook Time 10 min Total Time 15 mins
Servings: 2 Calories: 286


This authentic Thai pork salad recipe comes together in 15 minutes with the best of Thai flavors.




  1. Chop the green onions, finely slice the shallots, and cut the lemon.

  2. Place a pot over low heat. No oil!! Add the pork and cook until it’s cooked through. Want it saucy? Add 3 tablespoons of water.

  3. Move the cooked pork to a big mixing bowl, or just keep it in the pot. Street food vendors in Thailand often mix right in the cooking pot.

  4. Add the fish sauce, toasted rice powder, sugar, red chili flakes, and lime juice. Toss until the sugar is dissolved.

  5. Toss in the shallots, culantro, green onions, mint, and coriander.

  6. Give it a gentle mix and serve immediately.

Nutrition Facts

Servings 2

Amount Per Serving
Calories 286kcal
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 12.8g20%
Total Carbohydrate 13.6g5%
Dietary Fiber 2.5g10%
Sugars 4g
Protein 29.1g59%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.


  • Use the nutrition card in this recipe as a guideline.
  • For variations, try beef, chicken, or shrimp.
  • Pair with sticky rice and fresh vegetables for a complete meal.
Keywords: larb recipe, Thai pork larb

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About Author


I owned my own Thai restaurant and have years of experience in various other Thai restaurants. I've been whipping up classic Thai dishes by my mother's and grandma's side since I was just a little girl. Now I'm sharing my deep-rooted passion with my authentic Thai recipes on this food blog.

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