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How to Make Easy Authentic Chicken Larb Gai Recipe

This is the easiest chicken larb recipe that is truly authentic and simple. I talk about the important ingredients that are required for larb seasoning to ensure that you are able to reproduce the rich flavor of the national dish of Laos, larb.

Authentic chicken larb gai is typically made of ground chicken, fresh herbs with lime juice, padaek, and a toasted rice powder. It is the national dish of Laos and has been adopted in regions like northern Thailand, which actually brought the popularity of larb to the states.

In addition, popular movies like Spiderman have made Lao larb very popular as well as peaked curiosity about this delicious dish! It’s full of contrasting flavors and deserves to be recognized as the amazing dish that it is.

In order to reproduce the rich flavor of Lao chicken larb, you need to make sure you have a few key ingredients. If you have ever been inside a Thai restaurant, you may have tasted this delicious Lao cuisine that may have also been labeled as lap, larp, laarb, or even called minced meat salad.

Even with this dish’s many names, what holds true is this: this is a delicious dish that is full of contrasting flavors that you can pair with sticky rice for a light and delicious meal. I’m going to share with you how to recreate this amazing dish, so that you can make it whenever you want!

If you have ever heard of this dish, check out my post where I explain the meaning of larb, what it tastes like, and details on origins.

What is larb gai and what does it mean?

Breaking down the words of “larb gai” gives you this:

  • Larb literally means minced meat.
  • Gai means chicken.

Larb gai literally means “minced meat chicken” in both Lao and Thai languages.

The dish originated in Laos, and has been adopted in northern Thai cuisine. The popularity of Thai cuisines along with Thai immigrants adding Lao cuisine into restaurants has allowed the popularity of some of Laos’ most beloved dishes to be served to westerners.

Whether it is called Thai larb gai or Lao larb gai, the difference is the same. This recipe is a flavorful and healthy salad that is full of authentic flavors that are both complex, yet well balanced.

Other ways you can find this dish spelled is:

  • laarp gai
  • laarb gai
  • lap gai
  • gai larp

Is larb gai easy to make?

Yes, larb is a very easy recipe to make at home! As long as you have the most important two ingredients, you’ll be able to reproduce larb in under 30 minutes!

What are the most important ingredients in larb?

The most important ingredients in larb are khao khua (roasted or burnt rice powder) and padaek (chunky fermented fish sauce).

The fish sauce provides that “fifth flavor” referred to as umami and the rice powder provides the nutty flavor.

Do not skip either of these ingredients because they are the essential parts of the authenticity of this dish. It merries all the flavors together.

Why does larb gai smell?

For those who are not familiar with Lao ingredients, when they served larb gai for the first time, they may notice a very distinct, strong pungent smell at first.

The reason why is because authentic larb gai is made with padaek.Padaek is fermented fish that is made into a thick fish sauce. Fermented fish is what makes larb smell.

If you can’t get over the smell, this is one of the ingredients that can be omitted from the recipe without any substitutions.

Below is the brand that I recommend specifically with this recipe if you choose to add this to your version of larb gai.

authentic larb gai recipe padaek

Can larb be made with anything other than chicken?

Yes, larb can be made with other meats as well. Traditionally, larb is actually made with fish. However, other common authentic variations include beef, pork, chicken as well as duck. Read all about other versions of larb.

How can I spot an unauthentic larb recipe?

First off, larb is generally not typically eaten on a bed of cabbage or eaten with wrapped in lettuce leaves in the traditional serving of Lao food. Secondly, larb is NEVER made with brown sugar in authentic Lao and Thai cuisine. Lastly, larb is never served with jasmine rice, it’s always sticky rice.

If you ever see a recipe that includes any of the items above, while it may taste great, that is not an authentic L

Can you freeze larb gai?

You should not try to freeze or store larb gai for future consumption. The reason is because the flavor of the larb comes from the fresh herbs and vegetables.

What is the most important skill in making larb?

While it seems like you should just throw everything together like a salad, larb actually requires putting all of the ingredients in the correct order. This will allow the cold, freshness of the herbs as well as the warmth of the just cooked ground chicken to blend the flavors properly.

So now that you know all the important stuff, let’s get to the recipe. This recipe will definitely impress your friends and family!

Note: Like any other western salad, if you don’t feel like you have enough spearmint, enough nutty flavor, or enough heat, add more of the ingredient. Customize and personalize it to your own taste. Just make sure you create your own recipe and add in your adjustments for next time!

How to Make Chicken Larb Gai – Lao Minced Meat Salad

Ingredients for Chicken Larb Gai

1 pound of ground chicken
1/2 cup of cooked chicken skin, sliced (found at asian markets)
1 tablespoon of cooking oil
1 lime, juiced
2 inch pieces of lemon grass
2 tablespoon of khao khua (toasted rice powder)
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup of scallions, chopped
1/4 cup of cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup of spearmint, chopped
2 thai chilis, chopped
1 tablespoon of crushed dried chilli

Instructions for Chicken Larb Gai

Get the scallions, cilantro, spearmint, chilis, lemon grass, and chilis ready. Ensure that you have the scallions, cilantro, spearmint, and garlic minced. The Thai chilis need to be chopped and ready.

authentic larb gai recipe ingredients

On medium high heat, add the cooking oil. Once the oil is heated, add in the ground chicken.

authentic larb gai recipe ground chicken

Next, add in the padaek (fermented fish sauce).

authentic larb gai recipe ground chicken stovetop

Keep on cooking the meat. Ensure that you are chopping the meat in the pan to separate the ground chicken as much as possible.

authentic larb gai recipe ground chicken

Once the ground chicken is cooked through, take it off of the heat and try to continue to break up the ground chicken with a fork or other cooking utensil.

With the chicken still warm, add in the lime juice. in the skillet.

authentic larb gai recipe chicken with lime

Next, and most importantly, add in the khao khua (toasted rice powder).

adding khao khua with larb gai

After that, add in the dried, crushed chilli.

larb gai chile

Finally, mix in the chicken skin and the rest of the herbs.

Mix it really well!

authentic larb gai recipe

Admire this delicious, and beautiful dish!

authentic larb gai recipe

Serve warm with sticky rice.

authentic larb gai recipe with serrano peppers

What do you serve with larb gai?

Larb gai is best served when the chicken is warm from the skillet and the greens are cold and is served with sticky rice. Typically, a side of fresh vegetables like thai chilies, sliced cucumber, lettuce, and basil are added as an accompaniment.

authentic larb gai recipe

In addition, papaya salad is also another dish that can be added to the meal to bring out all the popular Lao flavors.

How do you eat larb gai?

Larb is eaten by taking a pinch of sticky rice and using your thumb and index finger to grabbing a portion of larb, and then putting it in your mouth! That is the most authentic way to eat it.

authentic larb gai recipe

Unless it’s noodles, Lao people typically eat with their hands.

Easy Authentic Chicken Larb Gai Recipe

Easy Authentic Chicken Larb Gai Recipe

Yield: 3
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Delicious minced meat salad made authentically via Lao recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound of ground chicken
  • 1/2 cup of cooked chicken skin, sliced (found at asian markets)
  • 1 tablespoon of cooking oil
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 2 inch pieces of lemon grass
  • 2 tablespoon of khao khua (toasted rice powder)
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup of scallions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup of cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 cup of spearmint, chopped
  • 2 thai chilis, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of crushed dried chilli

Instructions

    Get the scallions, cilantro, spearmint, chilis, lemon grass, and chilis ready. Ensure that you have the scallions, cilantro, spearmint, and garlic minced. The Thai chilis need to be chopped and ready.

    On medium high heat, add the cooking oil. Once the oil is heated, add in the ground chicken.

    Next, add in the padaek (fermented fish sauce). Keep on cooking the meat. Ensure that you are chopping the meat in the pan to separate the ground chicken as much as possible.

    Once the ground chicken is cooked through, take it off of the heat and try to continue to break up the ground chicken with a fork or other cooking utensil.

    With the chicken still warm, add in the lime juice. in the skillet.

    Next, and most importantly, add in the khao khua (toasted rice powder).

    After that, add in the dried, crushed chilli.

    Finally, mix in the chicken skin and the rest of the herbs.

Notes

You can use any meat you want. The most popular meats are poultry, beef, and pork.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 250Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 80mgSodium: 125mgCarbohydrates: 0gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 25g
I hope you loved this larb gai recipe. It really is an easy flavor to make even with the complexities of all of the various flavors that meld together in your mouth when eating this dish.

If you loved this Lao recipe, check out the authentic khao poon recipe – a delicious red curry coconut soup.

Other Lao Food and Recipe Posts You Might Love

 

Larb Gai dish with birds eye peppers

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