Brooke Williams' Larb Gai

A delicious spicy chicken salad originating from the Northeast region of Thailand. Serve this salad at room temperature with steamed sticky rice and steamed or raw vegetables. Larb is traditionally very spicy and sour but this recipe is moderate in heat. I like to spoon the chicken mixture into 'bowls' formed by ice berg lettuce leaves. One leaf seems to create the perfect portion size per person.

Serves 4 - 6

half a kg of boneless minced chicken.
1 Tbs. peanut oil
6 cloves garlic, minced and pounded to a paste
1 stalk lemon grass (optional), trimmed and sliced into thin rounds or chopped
1 green onion (use white part only), finely chopped
Half a red onion
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
Small bunch of coriander
2-4 tsp. ground roasted dried thai chillies
3+ Tbs. fish sauce (nam bplah), to taste
Juice of 2-3 limes, to desired sourness
1/2 to 1 tsp. sugar (or honey if preferred) as needed to balance flavors
2 Tbs. ground roasted rice

Cook the minced chicken in a little bit of oil in a wok until thoroughly cooked. Set aside.
Prepare the garlic, lemon grass (if using), green onions and mint. Then roast a handful of whole dried Thai chillies in the pan, turning frequently until they are darkened and slightly charred. Grind into a fine powder.
Toss the cooked chicken with the garlic, lemon grass, green onion, mint, chillies, fish sauce and lime juice. Mix well. Taste and adjust flavours to desired sourness, hotness and saltiness. Add sugar or honey only as needed to pull the flavours together. Toss the toasted rice powder into the mixture, garnish with thinly sliced red onion and coriander and serve salad at room temperature with an assortment of raw or lightly steamed vegetables.


Brooke Williams has kindly donated this recipe to our SPCA Blue Tick Cookbook 'Made with Love’. All the royalties from this cookbook go to SPCA New Zealand. Buy your copy here.

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