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Thai raw beef salad recipe is a quick and easy authentic dish from Northeastern Thailand, a delicacy for Isan locals. This no-cook, traditional dish is full of bold, spicy flavors and fresh herbs and spices. Pair with sticky rice for a taste of genuine Thai cuisine.
Note: If you’re not feeling the raw beef but still would like to try some authentic Isan flavors, simply follow the recipe and afterward heat the salad over low-medium until warm.
What is raw larb
Raw larb, also known as laab diip or koy nua, is a spicy raw beef salad from Thailand’s Isan region. It combines minced beef, often with blood and beef bile, with toasted rice powder and spices, creating bold flavors unique to Lao and Isan cuisine.
Isan larb salad
This authentic Isan larb is not your average salad. Infused with beef blood, it has a rich, deep flavor that’s totally unique. The raw beef is so soft it almost melts in your mouth.
Fresh vegetables like Thai eggplants and crunchy yard long beans are the perfect side, adding a fresh flavor and crisp texture. And of course, a bamboo basket of sticky rice is a must!
It’s a staple in the region, especially amongst adults – often the choice to break the day while doing hard labor.
The Isan cuisine is known for its spicy flavors, and this Thai raw beef dish is no different. Feel free to customize the heat by adjusting the amount of Thai chili flakes used in this recipe.
Why try Thai raw beef salad
- Unique flavors and textures: The beef blood really imparts a deep, rich flavor you won’t find in other salads. In Thailand, some noodle soups are served with blood to give them that finishing touch.
- Unique Thai ingredients: Learn how to cook with some unique ingredients used in Isan cuisine.
- Authentic Thai recipe: This raw larb recipe is as authentic as it gets, coming straight from the rice fields in Northeastern Thailand.
- High-protein salad: Beef is high in protein and a great source of nutrition. Pair it with a side of fresh greens for a healthy choice on your busy weekdays.
- Quick and easy: No cooking, minimal cleanup, and whipped up in a blink.
Can you eat raw beef
Yes, you can eat raw beef when it’s fresh, high quality, and prepared correctly. Dishes like steak tartare or Thai raw beef salad are safe choices when made with fresh raw beef.
In the rural villages of Isan, our beef doesn’t come from supermarkets. Instead, local butchers provide meat from their own cows, ensuring freshness and quality.
Ensure your beef is fresh and not processed. If you’re not sure about the freshness or quality of the beef, it’s better to play it safe and not make dishes like Thai raw beef salad.
For the exact measurements, please scroll down to the recipe card at the end of this post.
- Beef: The best cut of beef for law beef larb is one with minimal fat, like tenderloin. They’re lean and tender, and absorb the flavors of the salad dressing without overpowering them.
- Beef bile: A liquid produced by the liver and stored in the gallbladder of cows. This gives the salad a bitter note.
- Salt: A pinch of salt enhances the natural flavors of the beef and balances the spices.
- MSG: MSG is a flavor enhancer that’s often used in Thai and Lao cuisine to elevate the flavors.
- Fish sauce: Fish sauce brings a salty, umami-richness. For making koy nua, it’s important to get a high-quality fish sauce that’s not too salty, like Megachef.
- Thai chili flakes: Adjust the amount of chili powder to tailor the spiciness to your taste. Make it as mild or fiery as you like.
- Toasted rice powder: Khao khua is made by lightly toasting glutinous rice and then grinding it into a fine powder with a mortar and pestle. It gives a nutty, crunchy to texture to the salad.
- Green onions, culantro, cilantro: My choice of fresh herbs, feel free to customize with your favorites like mint.
- Beef blood (optional): The beef blood is optional, but highly recommended as it gives a rich, slightly sweet flavor to the salad.
- Intestines (optional): Another traditional ingredient that enhances the flavors and texture. I used beef tripe, liver, and beef spleen.
1. Finely slice the beef intestines into thin pieces.
2. Slice the beef against the grain into thin strips, then further cut each strip into paper-thin slices at an angle for maximum tenderness. The goal is to cut the meat finely, not mince it.
3. Combine the thinly sliced beef and intestines with blood, salt, MSG, fish sauce, Thai chili flakes, toasted rice powder, and beef bile in a mixing bowl. Make sure the salad dressing is well mixed.
4. Toss in chopped green onions, cilantro, and mint, then mix gently. Serve immediately.
- Cutting board and chopping knife for mincing the beef.
- Measuring spoons and cups.
- Mixing bowl and spoon.
- Mortar and pestle for grinding toasted rice powder and making chili flakes.
- Skillet for toasting glutinous rice before grinding it into powder.
How to serve koy nua
Thai raw beef salad is best served fresh, right after tossing it.
Arrange the salad on a platter, add a side of Thai sticky rice, and add raw vegetables like yard long beans and Thai eggplants. In Thailand, it’s common to have a raw beef salad with “lao khao”, a cheap Thai whiskey.
How to store laab diip
Store your leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. I always reheat leftover raw beef salad on the stove top to avoid any problems.
Raw beef appetizer
Turn this recipe into the ultimate raw beef appetizer!
Thai raw beef salad can be used as a filling for these Thai ground beef lettuce wraps. Simply spoon the salad into crisp lettuce leaves, like butter lettuce.
Frequently asked questions
Can I make this ahead of time?
For the freshest flavors and for safety, it’s best to consume this salad right after tossing.
Is this recipe spicy?
It depends on the amount of chili flakes used. Add to taste, and taste-test the dressing before serving.
More authentic Thai beef recipes you’ll love
- Authentic Thai beef and broccoli recipe
- Thai black pepper beef stir-fry
- Nua pad prik (Thai chili beef)
- Thai hot and spicy beef
- Beef pad see ew
Thai Raw Beef Salad Recipe (Raw Larb)
This Thai raw beef salad, or Thai raw larb, pairs like a dream with sticky rice and fresh vegetables!
Finely slice the beef intestines into thin pieces.
- Slice the beef against the grain into thin strips, then further cut each strip into paper-thin slices at an angle for maximum tenderness. The goal is to cut the meat finely, not mince it.
Combine the thinly sliced beef with blood, salt, MSG, fish sauce, Thai chili flakes, toasted rice powder, and beef bile in a mixing bowl. Make sure the salad dressing is well mixed.
Toss in chopped green onions, cilantro, and mint, then mix gently. Serve immediately.
- Amount Per Serving
- Calories 195kcal
- % Daily Value *
- Total Fat 8.38g13%
- Saturated Fat 2.26g12%
- Total Carbohydrate 4.11g2%
- Dietary Fiber 1.7g7%
- Sugars 1.05g
- Protein 27.59g56%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
- For the exact measurements, please scroll down to the recipe card at the end of this post.
- Beef: The best cut of beef for law beef larb is one with minimal fat, like tenderloin. They're lean and tender, and absorb the flavors of the salad dressing without overpowering them.
- Ensure your beef is fresh and not processed. If you're not sure about the freshness or quality of the beef, it's better to play it safe and not make dishes like Thai raw beef salad.