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.