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Thai Recipes > Salads > Laab 1 March 2006

Posted by cath in Info and Cooks Notes, ingredients, Recipes, Thai food, thai salad, very spicy.

(Spicy Minced Meat Salad)

Serves 4 as a lunch with sticky rice or as a dish in a main meal

500g minced meat – beef, pork, chicken or lamb
4 shallots – thinly sliced
2 slices ginza – finely chopped
4 tbsp fish sauce
4 tbsp lime juice (roughly the juice of 2 limes)
1½ tbsp chilli powder
a generous bunch of coriander – split into stalk (finely chop) and leaves (roughly chopped)
2 spring onions – chopped
a generous bunch of mint – roughly chop the leaves
3 tbsp sticky rice – roasted and ground
10 finely chopped small birds-eye chillies (Optional)
A selection of fresh vegetables e.g. white cabbage or Chinese leaf green beans (or snake beans) cucumber celery sweet basil leaves


  1. Begin by marinating the mince. Put the mince, shallots, ginza, fish sauce, lime juice, coriander stalks and chilli powder into a bowl and mix thoroughly
  2. Place the chopped coriander leaves, mint leaves and spring onion in a serving dish.
  3. Make the ground, roasted sticky rice by putting the rice grains (uncooked, not soaked) into a dry wok or small frying pan over a low heat and roast (no oil) for about ½ hour, agitating occasionally. When they are golden brown in colour, remove from the heat and grind in a pestle and mortar to a fairly fine powder (some larger grains will create a nice crunch to the salad).
  4. For an extra fresh and spicy laab, add the chopped birds-eye chillies to the finished dish.

To Cook:

  1. Heat a wok (or large saucepan/frying pan) on medium heat
  2. Stir fry the mince mixture for about 5 minutes or until the meat is cooked
  3. Transfer the hot cooked mince into the serving dish and mix with the spring onion, mint and coriander leaves
  4. Add the ground, roasted sticky rice and mix well

Serve immediately with the cabbage leaves and other raw vegetables and with steamed white Sticky Rice.

Thai salads are typically served warm, very spicy, with lots of fresh herbs and crunchy vegetables on the side. You can substitute other herbs, such as Thai Sweet Basil, but I think mint gives the best flavour to this salad.

And the finished dish:

Laab Moo


1. foodaddict - 30 June 2006

Your recipe is rubbish!!! this is not the right way to cook.

Try this :


200 g minced pork
2 tbsp fish sauce
1tsp sugar
4tbsp fresh lime juice
1tbsp roasted ground rice
1tbsp roasted dry red chilli powder

1 medium finely sliced red onion
1 finely sliced lemongrass
2 finely sliced Kaffir lime leaves
handful chopped spring onion
handful chopped mint leaves
handful chopped Thai parsley

To garnish
handful fresh green coriander leaves
handful fresh green mint leaves
handful carved red radish

Heat the wok until very hot. Cook pork and remove from heat.
Add fish sauce, sugar and lemon juice. Mix well.
Add roasted ground rice and roasted dry red chilli powder. Mix well.
Add all the rest of vegetables and mix lightly.
Garnish and serve at room temperature.

The ingredients (sugar, lime juice and fish sauce) should be adjusted to suit your personal taste

2. cath - 5 July 2006

foodaddict’s recipe posted above for pork laab was identical to one from blue elephant (www.blueelephant.com), I added a link in order to credit the origninal material. (Update – Since the recipe is no longer available on blueelephant, I’ve reinstated the recipe text in the hope that this is helpful – however, I can’t explain what the unuasual ingredients are or what substitutions would work best – good luck with that radish carving :) so anyone wanting to fill us in is welcome)

Please feel free to add recipes to your comments but you must make reference to your sources. Notes about how you’ve adapted recipes are also fine, but remember to give credit to the original creators as well. You’ll see it’s the etiquette of many recipe collections.

Controversy about cooking is nothing new – everyone has their own particular way of doing things, but lets try to be constructive for the cookalicious audience – we’re trying to encourage people to try cooking themselves, not always telling them exactly what should be done and how.

Check the other posts on this website to find out how you can use different techniques, make substitutions and other considerations when making Thai food in the UK.

3. Melissa - 11 January 2007

Food Addict, help, that link Cath hs changed on your posting doesn’t take you to a larb recipe, and I can’t find one on that site anywhere! If the recipe above is rubbish and there is a better one you know of, I would really love to know what it is!

4. cath - 11 January 2007

There are many other recipes for Laab out there if you don’t like the cookalicious one, try a search engine.
I’m afraid that the blueelephant recipe must have been taken down – perhaps coz it wasn’t very popular?! or even coz it’s made it into their recipe book? who knows.

If you do the search, you’ll see there are plenty of different opinions on making Laab out there. I like mine the best as it was most similar to what I ate in Thailand, was taught to me by a Thai chef and has always been popular with people at my house – but try and find a recipe that sounds like what you are expecting to get when you order Laab at a Thai Restaurant and start there.

5. rach - 17 February 2007

the cookalicious recipe for Laab is awesome – no doubt about it

6. cath - 17 February 2007

Yeahhhhhh!!!!!! Thanks Rach :)

7. Teemu - 21 April 2007

I’ve had Chicken Laab in restaurants before – what I didn’t know was how fun and easy it is to make! Result: superbly delicious! Thanks for the brilliant recipe! It was much needed. :)

8. cath - 24 April 2007

Glad to be of help Teemu, thanks for your feedback!

9. Tom Campbell - 25 April 2010

Just made this for the first time. I live in Thailand and have eaten this dish many times in Issan and Laos where it originates. This recipe is close to perfect, in fact, I’ve eaten far worse laab here ! Many thanks.

cath - 26 April 2010

Thank you Tom! I enjoy making and eating Laab, and it’s nice to know that others like the recipe too! Hope you enjoy some of the other cookalicious Thai recipes and more!
Thanks for your comment!

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