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NAME OF COUNTRY: LAOS

CONTINENT: ASIA


An easy and simple recipe to put together to make a nice quick lunch! The combination of juicy ground chicken, fresh lemongrass, toasted rice powder, and spicy red pepper flakes
make this dish absolutely tasty!

Laotian Larb Gai with Mint garnish

What Is Larb Gai?

Larb Gai literally translates to “minced meat” and “salad”. Larb Gai is a popular dish and is widely eaten by Laotians. It can also be made with pork. What makes Larb Gai distinct is the use of toasted rice powder — which gives the salad a bit of a crunch. Additionally, like all oriental cooking, this dish uses fish sauce (pungent fishy smell), yet flavorful when combined with the rest of the ingredients.

Laotian Larb Gai closeup

What Makes Larb Gai authentic?

  • Larb Gai is not eaten with any type of lettuce — iceberg, romaine, or napa
  • Sticky rice is the most authentic accompaniment with Larb Gai. It is used by scooping up some rice with your hands and then taking some of the Larb Gai before eating it.
Larb Gai (Laotian Minced Chicken) up close

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Larb Gai (Laotian Minced Chicken)

Larb Gai (Laotian Minced Chicken)

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

A tasty quick and easy lunch to put together in under 30 minutes. Can be enjoyed on its own or with cooked sticky rice.

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs ground chicken
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 green onion (scallions, spring onions), chopped
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 2 stalks of fresh lemongrass, chopped
  • 2 tbsp toasted rice powder (in recipe below)
  • 1 - 2 tbsp fish sauce (to your liking)
  • 1 tbsp crushed roasted dried red chili
  • 4 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 4 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 4 tbsp mint leaves, chopped
  • (Optional) For garnish: mint leaves, lime wedges, fresh cilantro, whole red peppers

Instructions

To Make The Toasted Rice: 
Put the rice in a hot pan and stir constantly until it turns golden brown. Watch very closely as it can burn quickly. Transfer the rice to a grinder or a mortar and pestle and grind until fine. Set aside.  

To Make The Larb:
1. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a pan and add the ground chicken. Stir-fry and break the meat until cooked all the way through.
2. Drain the excess fat and transfer chicken to a serving dish. 
3. Add the lemongrass, green onions (scallions, spring onions), shallot, half of the mint leaves, fish sauce, lime juice, and dried red chilies.
4. Mix in the toasted rice powder. 
5. Salt and pepper to taste.
6. Garnish mint leaves, lime wedges, fresh cilantro, or whole red peppers (optional)
7. Serve with cooked sticky rice (optional).

Notes

1. Can substitute for soy sauce if fish sauce is too strong.
2. Make sure to add the dried red chili powder little by little and adjust accordingly to your liking.

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