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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 lettuce wraps, rice or both! Video.
Here is of my all-time favorite Thai recipes, called Larb!
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 serve Larb?
- Serve larb in lettuce cups with crunchy veggies for a light and flavorful appetizer
- Serve larb over sticky rice or jasmine rice, with cucumber and radishes for a heartier meal.
Thai Larb Salad Video
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.
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.
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, served in lettuce wraps.
How to make Larb:
The recipe can be made in 30 minutes flat!
Step 1: Start with “quick-pickling” the red onions. This removes some of the bitterness and bite. Thin slice the onions.
Step 2: In a skillet, saute onion, garlic and lemongrass until tender. Add chili flakes.
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!
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.
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!
At the same time that the larb is cooking you could set a pot of jasmine rice to cook on the stove. I like to use this pasta method.
If serving the Larb Salad as a main, it is nice to serve with rice.
If serving the Larb as an appetizer, feel free to just serve with the lettuce cups.
Or serve with both!
The leftover Larb will keep for 3 days in the fridge.
I hope you are having a wonderful week. Give the Thai Larb Salad a try and let us know what you think!
More Thai recipes you may like:
- Easy to Make Pad Thai w/ Chicken, Shrimp or Tofu
- Thai Fish Curry
- Thai Basil Chicken
- Thai Oyster Mushroom Salad
- 20 Delicious Thai Recipes!
Thai Larb Recipe
- Prep Time: 15
- Cook Time: 15
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 4 1x
- Category: appetizer, salad
- Method: stovetop
- Cuisine: thai
- Diet: Gluten Free
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!
- 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
- 2 cups cucumber, sliced or diced
- 2–3 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
- 4–5 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar, maple, or honey
- finely chopped fresh chili- optional!
- Serve with lettuce wraps or jasmine rice or both!
- Dice half the onion (you’ll need 1 cup diced) and thinly slice 1/4 of the onion ( 1/4- 1/2 cup).
- Place the sliced onions in a bowl, cover with 1/2 cup hot boiling water and 2 tablespoons vinegar, place in the fridge.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.)
Larb will keep up to 3 days in the fridge.
- 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
Keywords: larb, lamb larb, larb recipe, thai salad recipe, thai salad, lamb salad
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.
Thanks so much Monika. Glad you are using the recipes as a guide and making them work for you!
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
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!
Glad you enjoyed this!
Delicious! I followed the instructions exactly as written. Was great the next day cold as well!
Awesome Debbie-great to hear!
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
Yes! Thanks Allyson!