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Larb dipping

Laotian Larb

This simple fresh dish is a specialty from Laos and one of our summer favorites. Larb or laap is an aromatic sour-salty salad with raw or cooked ground meat. We go with the latter and an exotic blend of lemongrass, amchoor (green mango), and dried herbs. We recommend adding fresh herbs for an extra flavor burst. It's best with rice and unseasoned salad.
Hands-on Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Laotian
Servings 3


  • 1 lb ground meat beef, pork, or poultry
  • 4 green onions thinly sliced
  • 1 lettuce sliced
  • 1 English cucumber sliced
  • 2-4 limes or lemons for juice
  • 4 cups rice cooked; recommended: jasmine rice
  • 1-2 tbsp soy sauce or tamari


  • 1 tbsp jasmine rice uncooked
  • 1-3 tsp sugar palm or brown
  • 1-3 tbsp chopped herbs (mint, cilantro, and/or Thai basil)
  • 1-3 fresh red chilies sliced
  • 4 oz mung bean sprouts
  • 1 cup cashew or peanuts chopped

Larb Culinary Spice Kit

  • Lemongrass, amchoor, garlic, lemon peel, chili, coriander, ginger, star anise, cilantro, onion, basil, cumin, mint, white peppercorn, cinnamon, lemon oil


Optional preparation

  • In a PAN, toast 1 tbsp uncooked rice over medium heat until it turns golden brown.
  • Transfer to a spice grinder and grind until fine. Set aside.

Cook meat

  • In a PAN, cook ground meat over medium heat, stirring frequently, until it’s crumbled and fully cooked.
  • Turn heat off.


  • Add Larb spices and onions. Mix well.
  • Add to taste: 1-3 tbsp lime juice and
  • 1-2 tbsp soy sauce. Mix well.


  • Optionally, add chopped herbs (recommended), 1-3 tsp sugar, toasted ground rice, and/or chilies to taste. Mix well.


  • Transfer larb salad to a SERVING BOWL.
  • Serve with rice, lettuce, cucumber slices, and optional mung bean sprouts.


  • Optionally, sprinkle with chopped nuts.
  • Enjoy!


▪ Substitute 2 green onions with 1/2 red onion.
▪ Substitute soy sauce with 1-3 tsp fish sauce or add 1-3 tbsp anchovy paste.

Vegetarian Versions

Substitute meat and the 'cook meat'-step in the instructions as follows:
1) Cauliflower Larb
  • In a FOOD PROCESSOR, chop 1 head raw cauliflower into rice-size pieces.
  • In a PAN, heat 2 tbsp oil over medium heat.
  • Fry cauliflower until cooked but still a bit crisp.
  • Turn heat off.
2) Mushroom Larb
  • Chop 1 lb of your favorite mushrooms into about pea-size pieces.
  • In a PAN, heat 2 tbsp oil over medium heat.
  • Cook mushrooms until they are cooked.
  • Turn heat off.
Keyword amchoor, lemongrass, mint, star anise