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Thai Chicken Larb Salad

Our Thai Chicken Larb Salad is a healthy and flavorful dish with goodness packed in every bite. Serve this Thai national favorite dish as a main course salad or as a starter by making chicken larb lettuce wraps.

Ground chicken, chopped chestnuts, scallions, mint, Thai basil, and cilantro make the ultimate Thai-inspired flavor fusion. And I don’t even know where to begin when it comes to that sweet and tart hoisin vinaigrette, it’s so, so good.

Thai Chicken Larb Salad

What is Larb Chicken Salad?

Chances are you’ve had Thai larb salad at your favorite Thai restaurant, but with this recipe, you can easily prepare it at home! Thai Larb Chicken Salad is a ground meat salad, a mixture of ground chicken, fresh herbs, and the winning combination of sweet-spicy-salty-sour that many Southeast Asian cuisines are known for.

While our version features Thai-inspired flavors, there are many adaptations of larb salads, including recipes with different meat varieties, or made with spicy chiles, papaya, and rice.

Why We Love This Dish:

Say Thai food and we’re there! Like our Yellow Thai Coconut Chicken Curry, our Thai Coconut Chicken Soup and this Thai Spicy Shrimp Rice Bowl, the medley of familiar Thai flavors in this Thai larb salad are incredible.

This dish is all about fresh herbs, and it is packed with them! Cilantro, Thai basil, and mint create a delightfully fresh, light, and zesty flavor profile that goes so well with the lime-hoisin vinaigrette.

Our Thai chicken larb salad is:

  • fresh and nutritious
  • easy to make
  • sweet and spicy with a yummy umami flavor, all rolled into one dish
  • a simple main course salad or your new favorite appetizer

Dinner plate with Thai Chicken Larb Salad, rice and vegetables

The Ingredients for Thai Larb Salad:

Yes, this ingredient list is semi long, but each and every ingredient plays an equal role in getting the perfect flavor in this dish!

Don’t worry- everything is very easy to source and you should be able to find all of these items at the regular grocery store.

To make this Thai Chicken Larb Salad, you will need the following items:

  • Uncooked rice such as Calrose (to make the rice powder)
  • Fresh lime juice
  • Fish sauce
  • Toasted sesame oil
  • Sweet hoisin sauce
  • Thai chili garlic sauce
  • Vegetable oil
  • Shallots, thinly sliced
  • Thai red chili, thinly sliced (or sub Serrano chili)
  • Garlic cloves, minced
  • Lemongrass, minced (use the white part only)
  • ground chicken
  • Canned water chestnuts, drained and chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • Green scallions, sliced
  • Fresh mint, chopped
  • Fresh Thai basil, chopped
  • Cilantro, chopped
  • Torn baby Gem lettuce (for salads) or Butter lettuce leaves (for lettuce cups)
  • Jasmine rice
  • Lime wedges
  • Sliced cucumber, carrot sticks and sliced radish
skillet with cooked ground chicken, sliced shallots and green onions

Our Thai Chicken Larb Salad Recipe:

Here is a quick overview of this Thai larb salad recipe. Scroll down to the printable recipe card for all the details.

  1. Make the rice powder: Toast the uncooked rice in a small skillet then run it through a blender to process it to a powder.
  2. Prepare the sauce: Combine the sauce ingredients in a small dish. Set it aside.
  3. Cook the chicken larb mixture: Cook the shallots, sliced chili and lemongrass. Add the garlic add the chicken and cook thoroughly. Add half of the reserved sauce and the rice powder. When it cools, mix in the chestnuts, salt and pepper, and fresh herbs.

skillet with cooked chicken mixture, Thai basil, mint and cilantro

To serve this Thai chicken larb as a salad, add a bed of torn crisp Little Gem Lettuce or Romaine to four salad bowls and scoop the chicken larb mixture on each serving. To serve it as a main meal, serve the bowl of chicken larb with a plate of crisp lettuce cups, vinaigrette, lime wedges, hot rice and a selection of fresh vegetables.

Bowl of Thai chicken larb salad with lettuce leaves and vegetables in background

Tips for the Best Thai Chicken Larb Salad

  • For Thai Chicken Larb Salad, we prefer Little Gem Lettuce because it is crisp and crunchy. However, you can substitute it with Romaine or Iceberg lettuce.
  • If serving this in lettuce cups, make sure it’s served cold otherwise the hot chicken mixture will wilt the crisp lettuce. Choose lettuce with crisp, soft leaves that are easy to fill and wrap. Butter lettuce is one of our favorites. It also goes by Boston lettuce and Bibb lettuce.
  • The fish sauce is a must in this dish. We used Red Boat Fish Sauce which you can find in most major supermarkets.
  • Thai Sweet Hoisin Sauce can be substituted with either honey or sugar.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you eat chicken larb?

The great thing about this Thai larb salad recipe is you can enjoy it a couple of different ways! Eat it salad-style or serve it as a main course with rice, lettuce cups, and fresh veggies and let your guests assemble their own lettuce wraps. Or, turn this dish into cold chicken larb lettuce wraps and serve it as a delicious starter!

How long does larb last in the fridge?

Our Thai larb salad will taste the best as soon as it is made as the fresh herbs gradually wilt and discolor when allowed to sit. But leftovers will last for 3-5 days in the refrigerator. Make sure to store it in an air-tight container.

close up view of Thai chicken larb salad

However you serve this Thai Chicken Larb Salad, we know you will love the fresh fusion of Thai flavors and textures. It’s delicious, easy to make and assemble, and will be a hit among your friends and family!

Some Other Recipes We Are Sure You Will Love:

Beef Pho is a noodle-based Vietnamese soup and is considered the country’s national cuisine. The beef broth is the heart and soul of this thick flavorful soup and packed with healthy fresh vegetables.

The complex flavors of Thailand, sweet, sour salty and spicy give these grilled lemongrass chicken satay skewers exceptional flavor! Serve with Thailand’s spicy peanut sauce.

If you love the flavors of Thai curry you will really love this traditional Thai coconut chicken soup! The combination of chicken, coconut milk, Thai basil, and vegetables are the complex flavors of Thailand.

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Thai Chicken Larb Salad

Thai Chicken Larb Salad

Yield: 4 Servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

A Thai national favorite, this spicy salad is created with ground chicken, chopped chestnuts, scallions, mint, Thai basil, cilantro with a lime-sweet hoisin vinaigrette. Served either as a salad, heaped on a bed of crisp lettuce or scooped into soft lettuce cups as a main meal with rice and vegetables.

Ingredients

For the Rice Powder:

  • 1/3 cup uncooked rice such as Calrose

For the Sauce:

  • 2/3 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/3 cup fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons sweet hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Thai chili garlic sauce

For the Chicken Mix:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 medium shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 Thai red chili, thinly sliced (or serrano chili)
  • 1 lemongrass, minced, white part only
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-1/2 pounds ground chicken
  • 8 oz. can of water chestnuts, drained and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup sliced green scallions
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 1 cup chopped fresh Thai basil
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

To Serve the Salad

  • Torn baby Gem lettuce (for salads)
  • Butter lettuce leaves (for lettuce cups)
  • Jasmine rice
  • Lime wedges
  • Sliced cucumber, carrot sticks and sliced radish

Instructions

For the Rice Powder:

  1. Set a small skillet over medium-high heat and when it is hot add the uncooked rice.  Cook, stirring frequently until the rice becomes toasted.  Remove from the heat, set aside to cool. 
  2. Place the cool rice into a spice mill, coffee grinder, or blender and process to a powder.  Reserve.

For the Sauce:

  1. Combine the lime juice, fish sauce, toasted sesame oil, hoisin sauce, and chili garlic sauce in a small dish. Set aside and reserve.

For the Chicken:

  1. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat and add the shallots, sliced chili, and lemongrass.  Sauté until the shallots are softened, about 1-2 minutes, add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant.  
  2. Stir in the ground chicken and sauté for 2 minutes until cooked through, stirring frequently to break up the chicken.
  3. Add half of the reserved sauce and the rice powder. Stir to combine then remove from the heat and let cool.
  4. Gently mix in the chopped chestnuts, salt, pepper, scallions, mint, Thai basil, and cilantro.
  5. Transfer to a serving dish.

To Serve as a Salad:

  1. Add a bed of torn crisp Little Gem Lettuce to four salad bowls and scoop an equal portion of the chicken larb mixture on each serving.
  2. Garnish with fresh mint and Thai basil leaves and the vinaigrette alongside.

To Serve as a Main Meal:

  1. Place the bowl of chicken larb on the table with a plate of crisp lettuce cups, the remaining vinaigrette, lime wedges, hot rice and a selection of fresh vegetables.
  2. Allow the guests to scoop the chicken larb into lettuce cups and serve themselves to the rice and vegetables.

Notes

  • We used Little Gem lettuce for the salad because it is crisp and crunchy. Other options would be Romaine or Iceberg lettuce.Lemongrass paste can be used instead of the fresh lemongrass. Find it in the produce section near the fresh herbs.
  • Thai Chicken Larb should be served cold in the crisp lettuce cups.  If served hot it will wilt the crisp lettuce.
  • Thai Chicken Larb can be served as a salad, an appetizer with lettuce cups, or as a meal with Jasmine rice and sliced vegetables.
  • The fish sauce is a main flavor component and a ‘must’ in this dish.  We used Red Boat Fish Sauce which is available in most major supermarkets.
  • Thai Sweet Hoisin Sauce can be substituted with either honey or sugar.
  • Choose lettuce with crisp, soft leaves that are easy to fill and wrap with the chicken mixture.  Butter lettuce works well for this dish, it also goes by the names of Boston lettuce and Bibb lettuce.  Another good option is to use the leaves of the Little Gem lettuce. 

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 731Total Fat: 41gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 26gCholesterol: 268mgSodium: 3270mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 3gSugar: 8gProtein: 66g

Nutrition information is a guideline only, is calculated automatically by third-party software, and absolute accuracy is not guaranteed.

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angiesrecipes

Wednesday 15th of December 2021

Such a refreshing dish! Love all the fresh herbs in this Thai chicken salad.

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