Title: Larb Gai (Spicy Minced Chicken Salad)
Yield: 6 Servings


Roasted Rice Powder

1/3 cup Jasmine Rice or glutinous rice


1/4 cup Tamarind paste (brick) or 1 tsp concentrate

1/3 cup very hot water

900g - 1kg Minced chicken or turkey

1 Tbl Oil

4 garlic cloves, minced

1-2 shallots  thinly sliced

1/4 cup Thai fish sauce

1/4 cup lime juice (a little less than the fish sauce amount, use lemon juice at a pinch)

1 tsp sugar (optional)

2-6 tsp crushed red chilli (flakes, not powder, chilli addicts can add more to theirs after serving)

1 cup mint leaves + some Vietnamese mint if available

1 cup finely sliced red onion

2 tsp powdered galangal

4-5 spring onions chopped

1 cucumber sliced

1 carrot sliced

Cabbage wedges


For the Roasted Rice Powder: Toast the rice in a dry wok or skillet over medium heat. Keep stirring as the rice cooks. Once the rice is light brown and fragrant, transfer it to a blender or food processor. Blend the rice until it's rough and the grains are about 1/4 their original size. Set aside. (Or use a mortar and pestle or spice grinder.  Can also be bought at Asian food shops, but tends to be ground too fine.)

For the Chicken: Mix together the tamarind paste and the water, then press it through a sieve; it'll be like a paste. (or mix concentrate with the water until it dissolves). Combine it with the chicken and let it stand for 2 minutes.

Heat a wok or medium skillet over high heat and add the oil. Add the garlic and shallots and cook until the shallots start to become translucent, about 30 seconds. Add the chicken to the pan; stir until it's cooked through, about 3 to 5 minutes.

Transfer the chicken, garlic and shallots to a large bowl. Stir in the fish sauce, lime juice, sugar (optional) and chilli flakes. Add the mint leaves, red onion and Roasted Rice Powder and toss to mix.

Divide the chicken mixture among 6 plates. Arrange the green onions, cucumber and carrot slices along with the cabbage wedges around each plate and serve.

This recipe yields 6 servings.

Comments: Larb Gai is a light, flavorful dish from northern Thailand.


Alternate recipe:

Title: Larb Gai (Spicy Minced Chicken Salad)
Yield: 6 Servings


1/3-2/3 cup fresh lime juice (depending on amount of sugar added, less sugar, less lime juice)
1/3 cup fish sauce (nam pla)
1 tbl sugar (less to taste)
2 tsp Thai roasted chili paste in oil or chili-garlic sauce (nam prik pao)
3/4 cup low-salt chicken broth
700g ground chicken
1 cup thinly sliced green onions
3/4 cup thinly sliced shallots
3 tbl minced fresh lemongrass*
1 tbl thinly sliced Thai chilies or serrano chilies
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro/coriander leaves
1/3 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
2 sm heads lettuce, separated into leaves


Whisk first 4 ingredients in medium bowl to blend; reserve sauce.

Bring broth to simmer in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add chicken. Simmer until cooked through, breaking up meat with spoon, about 8 minutes. Add green onions and next 3 ingredients. Stir until vegetables are tender and most of liquid has evaporated, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in sauce, cilantro and mint. Season with salt and pepper.

Spoon into lettuce leaves; serve.

Serves 6.
Fragrant lemongrass, chilies and a sweet and tangy sauce flavor this classic Thai appetizer.