Is it Larb, Laap, Larp or Laab? – A Recipe for Larb

larb.jpgWhich ever way you decide to spell it, this is one tasty and ever so simple meal and one that I love. Larb is a traditional dish from Laos but is also very popular in Thailand.

My brothers girlfriend just happens to be Thai and on a recent visit she made up a batch of larb. It was the first time I tried it and I was hooked. Since then the cook in the house has made this up at least 4 times. I honestly could have this every night it is that good.

Essentially it is a mix of ground meat (chicken, beef or pork) with chilli, lime juice, mint and fish sauce. There are most likely variations on this recipe but this is how we make it.

Just be aware that this dish contains chilli so may be a little ‘hot’ for some. Just adjust to taste.

chilli-in-pan.jpg mince.jpg serving.jpg


(serves 4)

500g ground chicken, beef or pork

4 shallots or onion (diced)

1tbl Thai ground chilli  (adjust to taste)

3tbl lime juice

2tbl fish sauce

1/4 cup mint (or coriander) leaves



1. Cook enough rice for 4 people.

2. Fry mince and 2 tablespoons of the lime juice on medium heat until just cooked. Remove from heat.

3. Saute the chilli and shallots.

4. Add the mince, lime juice and fish sauce.

5. Serve topped with mint or coriander.


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  1. Thanks for the recipe. I have never tried this before.

  2. I’ve been seeing a few recipes for this…It’s a name to remember. Your’s looks the simplest and tastiest. Now, if I only knew what fish sauce was in French…

  3. I wish I had your problem Katie.

  4. I’ve tried Larb once before at a local Thai restaurant, and was turned off by it’s aroma (and, therefore, taste). Reading your ingredient list makes me wonder ‘why?’ because I’m a fan of each item. Perhaps the fish sauce had gone bad?

    I’ll give this recipe a try at home to see if that was the issue. Thanks for posting!

  5. Larb Nuer is the best food in the world. I have some suggestions you might like to try:
    1. Use thinly sliced steak instead of ground beef.
    2. Serve it over green leaf lettuce.
    3. Add a stalk of lemon grass (cut into one-inch pieces) to the sauce.
    4. use sweet chili sauce (buy a bottle in the happy-friendly adventure aisle of your neighborhood giganta-market for under four bucks) instead of your “Thai ground chilli” (sic).
    5. Cook the meat in the sauce, then shovel them both into a bowl. Cover the bowl tightly using plastic wrap, then stick it in your fridge for about 8 hours.
    When you are ready to eat, throw it back in the skillet to heat it up, adding some thinly-sliced red onion to round out the mixture. Dump the concoction on your plate of lettuce. Add a big scoop of steaming rice, grab a fork and a beer and go to town.
    It never dawned on me that lettuce and rice could be eaten together with saucy meat, but I’ll be damned if it isn’t the perfect food; you got your three-course meal of starch, vegetable, and meat. The rice soaks up the sauce nicely. The lettuce cools the hot flavors of the dish refreshingly. It is all quite magnificent. If I were king, I would make it illegal to eat anything else. The punishment would be me tying your shoelaces together with a robot contraption that would make it impossible to separate the two laces. Then you’d have to make me some larb and tell me jokes about how not to make larb (“you take “chilli” and ground beef, add it to some “coriander leaf”…) That’s enough punishment, I think.

    • Seth, that is super hilarious! I like to eat it that way to it is more traditionally lao then thai in my opinion.

  6. Thanks for your suggestions Seth. These are great!

  7. I have never heard of Larb before, but it sounds really tasty, I’ll make sure to try it!

  8. Autumn B. says:

    Thanks for the suggestions – we might have to try!

  9. Sounds good, I’ll be trying for supper later this week!

  10. Wanda and Paula….I’m one of your newest fans….Laab is such a wonderful salad that I recommend to everyone. It is hard to find and so I’m going to make your recipe and let you know how it goes! Thanks for everything, Roz (la bella vita)


  1. […] stuff I went looking for a recipe that could use up at least some of it. Our main use is for our larb dish which we have at least once a week but I needed to get rid of a lot more than […]