A 30-minute recipe for Thai Larb Salad, a fresh and flavorful Thai salad loaded up with crunchy cucumber, radishes and fresh herbs, tossed in a tangy lime dressing! Serve it with sticky rice, lettuce wraps, or both! Video. Vegetarian-adaptable. 

A flavorful recipe for Larb, a fresh Thai salad made with your choice of lamb, beef, pork, chicken or tofu. Low carb, fast and easy! #larb #thaifood #thaisalad

Here is of my all-time favorite Thai recipes called Larb! This can be made in 30 minutes flat and has so much incredible flavor!

What is Larb?

In essence, Larb is a refreshing Thai salad, usually made with ground meat (typically ground chicken, beef, lamb or pork), lots of fresh herbs (mint, Thai basil or cilantro), lemongrass, garlic, fresh chilies, red onions, lime juice, green onions. It is tangy, bright and refreshing, yet spicy and full-flavored, perfect for hot summer days!

How to make Larb | Video

 

A flavorful recipe for Larb, a fresh Thai salad made with your choice of lamb, beef, pork, chicken or tofu. Low carb, fast and easy! #larb #thaifood #thaisalad

Larb Ingredients

  • Ground meat- ground turkey, ground chicken, ground beef or ground lamb. You could also sub a plant-based “meat”, or crumbled extra firm tofu.
  • Garlic and Onion
  • Fresh chilies – thai chilies, serrano or jalapeno
  • Lemongrass
  • Fresh herbs– mint, thai basil, cilantro or a mix
  • Fish sauce– adds depth here!
  • Lime juice– For amazing tangy brightness
  • Sugar or other sweetener
  • Toasted Rice powder– optional, but traditional.

How to make Larb:

Step 1:  Start with “quick-pickling” the red onions. This removes some of the bitterness and bite. Thin slice the onions.

Tip: At the same time that the larb is cooking you could set a pot of jasmine rice to cook on the stove.

quick pickled onions for larb

Step 2: In a skillet, saute onion, garlic and lemongrass until tender. Add chili flakes.

sautéing shallot garlic lemongrass giner in a skillet

Step 3: Add the ground meat to the pan. Use your choice of ground chicken, turkey, beef, pork or lamb. Here I’ve used lamb.

If new to cooking with lamb, keep in mind, using ground lamb is the easiest place to start.  Treat it like you would ground beef.  And just in case you are wondering, a 3 oz. serving of American Lamb is very nutrient-dense,  packed full protein (23 grams) and an excellent source of zinc, selenium, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B12, and vitamin B6 – which all help to boost immunity!

add ground chicken, turkey, beef or lamb to the pan.

Step 4: While the ground meat is cooking, prep the cucumber, radishes, scallions and fresh herbs. Here I’ve used colorful watermelon radishes, but feel free to use regular radishes, they add a nice crunch.

Thai Larb Salad ingredients in a bowl.

Step 5: Drain the fat from the browned meat placing it over a strainer,  (especially important if chilling the salad)  then add the warm meat to the bowl with the cucumbers, radish, onions and herbs.

Tip: If trying to watch your fat intake or calories, you could rinse the meat in a fine-mesh strainer.

Step 6: Season! Give it a toss with fish sauce and lime juice. Adjust the lime juice and heat to your liking. Find the balance! Larb is generally really tangy from the lime juice, with lots of debt from the fish sauce. A little brown sugar, or honey is added to help balance out the flavors.

Step7:  To bump up the heat, add fresh chili, chopped up finely extra for heat,  totally optional.

Serve the Larb warm,  or chill it for later. Either way you will love the flavor!

Thai larb salad made with ground chicken

How to serve Larb?

  1. Larb is typically intensely seasoned -spicy, tangy, salty, all the flavors, so to help “mellow” this out, I like to serve it with rice and cool crunchy veggies – cucumber, radish, jicama, lettuce, etc.
  2. Serve larb in lettuce cups with crunchy veggies for a light and flavorful appetizer
  3. Serve larb over sticky rice or jasmine rice, with cucumber and radishes for a heartier meal.

 

Thai Larb salad in a bowl with lettuce wraps

Larb FAQS

Is Larb Healthy?

Larb is low in carbs, grain-free, and light and low in fat, especially if made with ground chicken or ground turkey, and served in lettuce wraps.

Is larb served hot or cold?

Larb is often served warm over cold lettuce wraps, a nice contrast in texture and temperatures! But Larb is delicious, served cold! Larb keeps in the. fridge for up to 3 days, and is refreshing served chilled.

 

Tahi larb salad in a bowl

I hope you are having a wonderful week. Give the Thai Larb Salad a try and let us know what you think!

xoxo

Sylvia

More Thai recipes you may like:

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A flavorful recipe for Larb, a fresh Thai salad made with your choice of lamb, beef, pork, chicken or tofu. Low carb, fast and easy! #larb #thaifood #thaisalad

Thai Larb Recipe

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 33 reviews
  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: appetizer, salad
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: thai
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

A fresh and flavorful recipe for Thai Larb Salad using your choice of ground chicken, turkey, beef or lamb! Serve this with lettuce wraps or rice, or both!


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar- white or rice wine
  • 1 red onion (divided, see instructions)
  • ——-
  • 3 garlic cloves, rough chopped
  • 4 tablespoons lemongrass, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon chili flakes, more to taste
  • 16 ounces ground chicken, turkey, beef, lamb,
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • optional: 1 -3 tablespoons toasted rice powder
  • —–
  • 2 cups cucumber, sliced or diced
  • 23 radishes, sliced (or watermelon radish)
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chili, finely minced (optional, or sub jalapeno, Thai red chili)
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 cup chopped mint
  • 1/2 cup chopped basil (Thai basil elevates)
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 45 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar, maple, or honey
  • finely chopped fresh chili- optional!
  • Serve with lettuce wraps or jasmine rice or both!

Instructions

  1. Dice half the onion (you’ll need 1 cup diced) and thinly slice 1/4 of the onion ( 1/4- 1/2 cup).
  2. Place the sliced onions in a bowl, cover with 1/2 cup hot boiling water and 2 tablespoons vinegar, place in the fridge.
  3. Cook the meat: Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 cup diced red onion, saute 3-4 minutes, add garlic, lemongrass and chili flakes. Saute until fragrant, 2-3 minutes. Add the ground meat, breaking it apart with a metal spatula. Season the meat with the salt and pepper and continue cooking until all the liquid releases and evaporates about 10 minutes. Drain the fat from the meat, using a fine-mesh strainer.
  4. While the ground meat is cooking, prep the remaining ingredients. Place the cucumber, radish, scallions, mint, basil, cilantro, fresh chili (optional) in a bowl. Add the drained meat and the strained pickled onions. Add the fish sauce,  lime juice and sugar. Taste, adjust salt, lime and heat.  I’ll usually add more chili flakes. or finely diced fresh chilies.
  5. Serve with lettuce wraps and/or cooked rice. Serve warm or chilled. ( If chilling, make doubly sure to strain all the fat from the meat -it will harden in the fridge.)

Notes

Toasted Rice Powder is a traditional ingredient in Larb. You can omit this or add it to taste. 1-3 tablespoons. You can also make your own: toast white rice in a dry skillet, until nutty and golden, then finely grind.

Larb will keep up to 3 days in the fridge.

 

Nutrition

  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 436
  • Sugar: 4.5 g
  • Sodium: 1204.1 mg
  • Fat: 27.2 g
  • Saturated Fat: 11.7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 12 g
  • Fiber: 2.8 g
  • Protein: 21.1 g
  • Cholesterol: 82.9 mg

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Comments

  1. This is a fantastic recipe that I’ve made several times. I tend to add a lot more herbs and tang for mine. It’s easy to adjust to your liking as you’re making it and the leftovers are even better than when it’s fresh! I came here to say … unless you have a sous chef, this recipe takes a lot longer to make than 30 minutes. It’s a LOT of chopping. It’s more like an hour to an hour and a half total. I started putting the herbs in the food processor to save a little prep time.






    1. Hi Annie- I am so happy you are enjoying this! Yes, the leftover get even more flavorful, don’t they. I’m a fast chopper. 🙂 Love that you used a food processor- great idea!

  2. I wish there was 10 stars. This dish is amazing. So very bright, healthy and filling. I did use both lettuce and rice and it was a nice balance.






  3. I’ve made this a few times – so easy and flavourful. Big and fresh! It’s become a weeknight staple at our place. Many thanks!






  4. I’ve made it before and LOVE this. But wondering Where does all the sodium come from in the serving size? Reading the ingredients, if I omit salt, nearly nothing has sodium. On a low sodium diet so curious what else I can omit.






  5. Where does all the sodium come from in the serving size? Reading the ingredients, if I omit salt, nearly nothing has sodium. On a low sodium diet so curious what else I can omit.

    1. Hi Jordan, it come from the fish sauce- you could cut this back, but probably not all.

  6. LOVED this recipe! Didn’t have cilantro so I used extra Basil and mint. It was excellent “as is” so unless I can buy it, I doubt I would bother with it. Lovely flavors; great with sticky rice.






  7. Unbelievable! I have not had it this good since I had it native! I had to substitute little crispy sweet peppers for the radishes but it ended up quite nice! Thank you so much!






  8. I made this last night. I LOVE IT! My family loved it. So bold and fresh. I used Thia Basil, Mint, and chili peppers from my garden. Delicious and bold!

  9. This was delish! I didn’t have lemongrass, so I subbed lemon zest and some red Thai curry paste. Usually I don’t feel satisfied with low-carb fare, but this was so flavorful that I felt like I’d had a real meal.






  10. You have not I closed THE most important ingredient: toasted rice powder. Without this its just a salad.
    I suggest,dear reader, that you look for a different recipe.

    1. Hey Tom! You must have missed the ingredient list in the post body and the notes in the recipe card- I do have it listed, twice. 😉

      1. Hi Sylvia! I’m going to buy the roasted rice powder on Amazon / they have it easily! But when I have it – WHERE and when do I ADD IT into your delicious looking recipe? Thank you ! Barb

        1. Hi Barb- add it with the salt and pepper. Start conservatively- like 1 tablespoon, then add more if you like. 🙂 You can also easily make it- see recipe notes!

  11. I feel sad and confused that you’ve omitted the ground rice. Such an important and ultimately fundamental element of this dish.

  12. I have to admit that I didn’t follow this recipe completely. Instead of making it to use with lettuce wraps, I threw in the lettuce mix and some watercress with the rest of it. I also doubled the dressing amount.
    I’ve made it few times already, few times with ground deer meat and last two times with chicken.
    We can’t get enough of it, it’s so delicious.

    I’m very impressed with a lot of your recipes, I will be trying out different things.
    So happy I stumbled upon your page.
    Thank you






  13. Love it, it’s a bit different from the Vietnamese variant I have made before and the softened onions are a great addition. The Vietnamese variant uses caramelised onions which adds a sweetness that works well but these onions work well too as do the herbs

  14. Another delicious recipe! Only changes were I stirred in a tablespoon of toasted rice powder before adding in the vegetables, and omitted the Thai basil because when I dropped by my parents’ place to get some, they insisted that you don’t put basil in laab. This will be going into our regular rotation!






  15. This recipe was great for a warm summer evening. A tip for lemongrass – many grocery stores sell it in a paste in the produce section with the ginger and garlic pastes. Works great and easier to find than fresh






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