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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Larb/Larp/Laab/Laap (Lao/Thai Ground Meat Salad)

Larb (Lao Thai Ground Meat Salad) 1

Larb, also spelled larp, laab, laap, is a Laotian ground meat salad that is also popular in Thailand. Isan, the northeast region of Thailand, is heavily influenced by Laos. In fact, the language of this region is similar to Laotian, although some people consider it another dialect of Laotian, but written in the Thai alphabet. Consequently, there are some cross-cultural influences with the two cuisines. This dish is one of them.

The Kao Kua (Thai Ground Roasted Rice Powder), which you can see in the picture below, is an important part of the salad as it helps to absorb excess moisture from the meat, and also adds a nutty fragrance and flavor.

Larb (Lao Thai Ground Meat Salad) 2

Larb/Larp/Laab/Laap (Lao/Thai Ground Meat Salad)

You'll need:
2 tblsp Bot Thinh/Kao Kua (Vietnamese/Thai Ground Roasted Rice Powder)
Nuoc Mam Cham (Vietnamese Fish Dipping Sauce)
1/2 lb ground meat of your choice. I used turkey.
A few sprigs of mint leaves
A few chives or scallions, thinly sliced
1/4 wedge cabbage or iceberg lettuce

Optional: A few kaffir lime leaves, julienned. Squeeze additional lime juice on the salad if you wish.

Make the ground roasted rice powder and set aside.

Make the fish dipping sauce and set aside.

Saute the ground meat in a pan until fully cooked. Then scoop out the meat into a bowl, leaving as much of the liquid behind in the pan as possible. At this point, I take the spoon and lightly press down on the meat in the bowl so that it releases more liquid, and pour off the excess moisture.

Add about 1/4 cup of the Vietnamese fish dipping sauce mixture to the meat, tossing so that it's evenly mixed. Taste and add more if necessary. When the seasonings are to your liking, add about 1 or 2 tblsp of the roasted rice powder, mint leaves, and chopped chives. Toss again.

Serve with a wedge of cabbage or iceberg lettuce.

Larb (Lao Thai Ground Meat Salad) 3

Eat with sticky rice or tear off a cabbage leaf and use it to scoop up the ground meat salad.

Larb (Lao Thai Ground Meat Salad) 4

Larb (Lao Thai Ground Meat Salad) 5


Who made my recipe for larb?
Watergirl said, " This is a favorite for sure. Easy to make, and relatively healthy."

Who else made larb?
Darlene of Blazing Hot Wok adds lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves to her salad.

I'm submitting this recipe to Regional Recipes, a food blogging event created by Darlene of Blazing Hot Wok, in which a different culture and cuisine is explored each month. Please read the Regional Recipe rules to see if you'd like to participate. Darlene is this month's host and we're spotlighting Thailand.

Since we're celebrating Thailand this month, my Thai or Thai-inspired recipes:
Banana and Coconut Frozen Yogurt Popsicles
Fried Rice with Pineapples, Spam, and Shrimp
Gaeng Kiaw Waan (Thai Green Curry with Thai Eggplants)
Kao Kua (Thai Ground Roasted Rice Powder)
Mieng Kham (Thai Leaf-Wrapped Snack)
Pad See-Ew (Thai Rice Noodles with Soy Sauce, Broccoli, Chicken, and Eggs)
Pumpkin Curry with Bamboo Shoots and Shrimp
Red Curry Paste
Red Curry with Roast Duck, Bamboo Shoots, Eggplant, and Pumpkin
Tom Kha Gai (Thai Galangal and Chicken Soup with Coconut Milk)

1 year ago today, Daeji Bulgogi (Korean Spicy Pork).


  1. This was the first recipe I posted when I started my blog. That's because it's one of my favorite dishes. Ever.

    I know we will be eating this when we go home for Christmas. I can't wait.

  2. Mmmmm! I love larb! I've tried making it at home once or twice, just trying to match the flavor I tasted in a local Thai restaurant. Thanks for the recipe!

  3. I like the colors of that dish. Looks yummy! I like the idea of having that rice powder- brings the dish to another level!

  4. I love your larb. Your instructions for making ground rice powder are excellent. I used store bought but I'm making my own in future.

  5. Darlene,
    I like this dish because so many of the flavors are similar to VNese food.

    I'm not sure if mine tastes exactly like what I get in Thai restaurants, but it's pretty good to me.

    Roasted rice powder adds a completely different texture and taste for sure.

    Thanks! It's so easy to make the powder at home. Your larb looked excellent as well.

  6. This recipe is one of the household favorites! I went to a Thai place a couple of weeks ago and ordered their larb and was so disappointed because it wasn't nearly as good as what you get from your recipe. :)

  7. Dragonkiri,
    Yay! I love comments on old posts. That's quite high praise! Thanks!


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