Larb Chicken Salad #Food of the World

It’s hot here in New York… so I couldn’t have been happier to travel to Laos with Food of the World this week and make a warm weather dish. 

Larb is the unofficial national dish of Laos. It is super versatile. Made with chicken, beef, duck, fish or mushrooms you can add or subtract pretty much any ingredient in this salad… it will still be larb as long as you include a protein and some sticky rice. 

I kept my larb simple with ground chicken, I will use shredded  chicken next time. I think ground chicken can be dry. A simple sauce of rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, Sambal Oelek and brown sugar. You can use Siracha or even Thai red pepper paste instead of Sambal Oelek depending on how hot you want the chicken.

I used red bell pepper because I thought Sambal Oelek was spicier than I thought. Next time I will add a small hot red chili pepper instead. But if you don’t like spicy, red bell pepper is the way to go. 

This salad was perfect for a humid evening. We ate it cold with warm rice. The variety of spices and the tropical flavors of lemongrass, lime, cilantro and mint made the dish cooling and light. 

Larb Chicken Salad

by Diane Balch
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Keywords: salad entree gluten-free chicken Laos summer
Ingredients (4 – 6 servings)

For the sauce:

  • 4 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoons of rice wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoon of fish sauce
  • 2 teaspoons of Sambal Oelek or other chili paste
  • 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 2 cloves of minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons of minced lemongrass
  • 2 teaspoons of minced cilantro
  • a pinch of salt and pepper
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For the protein:

  • 1/4 cup of canola oil
  • 2 pounds of shredded or ground chicken, beef, duck, fish or mushroom
  • salt and pepper

For the salad:

  • 2 heads of bib lettuce
  • 1 red bell pepper or small red chili pepper chopped
  • 1 bunch of scallions chopped
  • 1/8 cup of mint leaves shredded
  • 2 limes quartered
  • 2 cups of cooked sticky rice (sushi rice works well)
1) Whisk together sauce ingredients in a medium glass or porcelain bowl. Set aside.
2) In a large skillet heat the oil on medium-high heat. Salt and pepper the protein and cook through.
3) Mix sauce with protein. Either serve warm or refrigerate for a cold salad.
4) Put a few bib leafs in each person’s bowl along with some sticky rice and protein. Add sprinkles of: scallions, mint, pepper over the protein. Squeeze lime juice over protein and salad. Add a sprinkle of sea salt and pepper.

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