This mouth-watering and spicy chicken salad carries strong and addictive flavours that will be a definite switch from your usual salads
Serves 4
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As the national dish of Laos, larb gai is a popularly celebrated dish in Thailand and Vietnam, known for its spicy kick and use of minced chicken, beef or pork. Here, we recreate its mouth-watering combination of flavours with red chillies, lime juice and more – as well as the irresistible sambal oelek and kecap manis.


  • 2 tbsps long-grain white rice
  • 1 tbsp peanut oil
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh lemongrass
  • 2 fresh small red thai chillies, seeded, chopped finely
  • 2 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh galangal
  • 750 g chicken mince
  • 1 Lebanese cucumber (130 g), seeded, sliced thinly
  • 1 small-piece red onion (100 g), sliced thinly
  • 100 g bean sprouts
  • ½ cup loosely packed fresh Thai basil leaves
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh coriander leaves
  • 4 large-piece iceberg lettuce leaves
  • ⅓ cup (80 ml) lime juice
  • 2 tbsps fish sauce
  • 2 tbsps kecap manis
  • 2 tbsps peanut oil
  • 2 tsps grated palm sugar
  • ½ tsp sambal oelek

Place ingredients for dressing in screw-top jar; shake well.


Heat dry wok; stir-fry rice until lightly browned. Blend or process (or crush using mortar and pestle) rice until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.


Heat oil in same wok; stir-fry lemon grass, chilli, garlic and galangal until fragrant. Remove from wok. Stir-fry chicken, in batches, until changed in colour and cooked through.


Return chicken and lemon grass mixture to wok with about one-third of the dressing; stir-fry about 5 mins or until mixture thickens slightly.


Place remaining dressing in large bowl with chicken, cucumber, onion, sprouts and herbs; toss gently to combine. Place lettuce leaves on serving plates; divide larb salad among leaves, sprinkle with ground rice.

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