Recipes

Laotian Larb

Serves 4

| Prep Time: 5 mins

| Cook Time: 20 mins

| Total Time: 25 mins

You may need: Dried Garlic Powder

Discover The Recipe

Laotian Larb (pronounced "lawp") is a stir-fry dish with a funny name that is the unofficial national dish of Laos. Larb has become popular in Thailand and surrounding countries such as Burma and Southern China. Typically made with a minced meat such as pork, chicken, beef, or fish, duck, or even diced mushrooms, Larb is an easy, flavorful meal that you'll want to add to your weeknight rotation.

Larb is technically a salad (a meal with small pieces), but made mostly with meat! It gets its wonderful flavor from fresh herbs, shallots, fish sauce, lime juice, a few spices and most importantly, the unique ingredient of toasted rice. Toasted rice adds a nutty flavor and is made from sticky rice that is dry-roasted in a wok, then typically pounded in a mortar until it's a rough powder. Our Laotian Larb spice saves you all that time and effort and we mix in a few spices to enhance the flavors found in all traditional Larb recipes. What's great about Larb, just with any salad, is that you can easily customize it to make your own. Make a vegan Laotian Larb by subbing in diced mushrooms. Or make a fish Larb. Don't like cilantro? Sub in basil. We love to serve larb with lettuce leaves and extra herbs to make lettuce cups or wraps.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground pork

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 tbsp Piquant Post Laotian Larb spice

  • 1/4 tsp sugar (optional)

  • 1 tbsp fish sauce

  • one lime, juiced (~1 tbsp)

  • 1 thai chili (or red jalapeño), sliced (optional)

  • 2 shallots, peeled & thinly sliced

  • 3 scallions, chopped

  • handful (~1/2 cup) of cilantro leaves, picked and chopped

  • handful (~1/2 cup) fresh mint leaves, picked and chopped

  • 1 head of lettuce (Boston, butter, or romaine) leaves pulled off stem

Notes

An easy way to wash a lot of herbs at once is to fill a large mixing bowl with water. Then, soak the herbs and gently agitate to loosen any debris. Remove the herbs, then use a paper towel to pat and absorb the bulk of the water from the herbs.

We like to serve this dish family style: Place the Larb meat filling in a large bowl and pile the lettuce leaves, fresh herbs, and lime wedges on a separate plate or platter to pass around. Fill your lettuce and eat like a wrap!

Serve with piping hot steamed rice.

Optional ingredients add a little character and flavor but don't sweat it if you don't have them.

Instructions

Prep the fresh vegetables and herbs and set aside. Then, heat a wok or non-stick skillet on Med-High heat. Next, add oil to pan then add pork. Stir-fry until the pork is browned (~5-6 mins).

Next, add in the Laotian Larb spice, sugar, fish sauce, lime juice, and 1 tbsp of water. Stir-fry for 1 min.

Then add in chili, shallots, scallions, cilantro, and mint. Stir-fry for 1 min. Then, taste and add more chili, sugar, fish sauce, and/or lime juice to your taste.

Finally, serve pork mixture in a large bowl. Serve lettuce leaves and extra shallots and herbs on a large plate or platter family style. Eat pork in lettuce cups or wraps.

Alternatives & Substitutions

  • Laotian Larb is more a style of dish than a single recipe with a firm list of ingredients. Most commonly, it's served as a stir-fry of meat and spices with fresh herbs. However, it is amazingly easy to customize to your tastes.

  • Make a vegan Larb using our recipe by substituting in diced mushrooms like portabello, shiitake, maitake, beech, or any common mushrooms) for the meat and using a vegan soy sauce or coco aminos (in place of fish sauce). You'll get the salty, umami flavor from the sauce and mushrooms, respectively. 

  • Want something a little heartier than Laotian Larb lettuce cups? Make Southeast Asian-style tacos using our Laotian Larb meat filing from this recipe to fill hard taco shells. Bake the meat-filled shells in an oven for 8-10 mins at 350 deg then fill with your choice of cheese, fresh chopped herbs like cilantro, mint, and basil, diced tomatoes, shredded lettuce, and/or hot sauce.

  • Fish sauce is a common ingredient in Asian cuisine. It adds a salty, umami flavor to any dish and should be used in small quantities (as in this recipe). If you can't get fish sauce (it's wide available online from Amazon, WalMart, etc), you can omit it from the list and instead add in some diced shiitake mushrooms and 1 TBSP soy sauce to the meat during the stir-fry. The combo of soy sauce and mushrooms will imbue the salty-umami flavor you get from fish sauce.

  • Don’t forget to leave comments and feedback on your meals and experiments in the comments for others to read.

  • Post pictures of your masterpiece meal on social media and tag us. We repost!

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