Thai Chicken Larb Salad is a fun dish to serve to a group. We made this Thai Chicken Larb salad for a group of new friends and served it as our starter. It’s a great interaction starter as everyone helps themselves which creates a fun atmosphere rather than serving a plated starter. All the prep can be done the day before including the cooking of the chicken. On the day of serving simply mix everything together and serve with betel leaves or lettuce cups. Try it as a starter with our Thai vegetable red curry and perhaps finish with our coconut and kaffir panna cotta or our pineapple, mint and chilli sorbet for a delicious Thai meal.
Making Thai Chicken Larb Salad in advance
All the chopping can be done the day before including the dressing apart from adding the lime juice. Lime juice adds a real zing to the dressing but if added too far in advance the flavour tends to ‘flatten’, so add the juice just prior to dressing the Chicken Larb.
For this Thai Chicken Larb Salad use chicken thighs as the meat remains moist when cooked. The chicken needs to be thinly sliced and chopped into very small pieces. You can, of course, use chicken mince but we like the slightly bigger pieces of chicken in this salad. You can swap out the chicken for pork fillet if you like.
TOASTING THE RICE
Toasting the rice then grinding adds a real ‘nuttiness’ that is essential to the salad. Simply add rice to a dry frypan over medium heat and keep moving the rice till it is a deep golden brown. Then pound or grind the rice until it’s like white sugar size. Don’t skip this step as the rice soaks up the dressing making it ‘drip free’ when eating. The ground rice gives the salad a crunchy bite and a lovely roasted fragrance.
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Do you have a favourite larb recipe? Leave a comment below as we’d love to hear from you.
Thai Chicken Larb is a fabulous salad and perfect for entertaining a group of friends. Prep can be done the day before and throw it all together with some fresh lime juice at the last minute. Serve with betel leaves or fresh lettuce cups. It's a winner!
- 1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar - see notes
- 1/4 cup tamarind liquid - see notes
- 1/3 cup fish sauce
- 3 tablespoons soft brown sugar
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- 2 red chillies deseeded and finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon grated lime zest
- 2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
- 4 fat cloves garlic finely chopped
- 2 lemongrass stalks, white part only, finely chopped
- 1 lb (500 g) chicken thighs finely chopped
- 8 single kaffir lime leaves, middle rib removed and very finely sliced
- 1 medium red (Spanish) onion halved and very finely sliced
- 1/4 cup toasted coconut
- 1 lime peeled, broken into wedges and then finely sliced
- 1/2 cup roasted cashews roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons roasted ground glutinous rice or jasmine rice
- large handful of plucked mint and coriander leaves
- 1/4 cup fried shallots
- 2 tablespoons fresh ginger very finely sliced
- betel leaves or lettuce cups to serve
- put all ingredients into a jar and shake till the sugar has dissolved - see notes
- place wok or frypan over medium heat and add oil
- add chicken and cook for 3-4 minutes mixing the aromatics through evenly
- when chicken is cooked remove from heat and stir through 1/2 cup of dressing
- pop chicken in the fridge to cool down
- add all other ingredients to cooled chicken mixing thoroughly
- plate with lime wedges and betel leaves or lettuce cups
- serve and enjoy!
- if doing prep the day before don't add the lime juice to the dressing as the taste will 'flatten'. Add lime juice just prior to serving
- seasoned rice vinegar also known as mirin is slightly sweeter than rice vinegar, it is easy to make if you can't find seasoned rice vinegar. Simply heat rice vinegar with 4 teaspoons white sugar and 1/2 teaspoon salt and heat until sugar has dissolved
tamarind comes in several different forms
- as a block - usually called tamarind pulp, this is compressed tamarind pods usually with the seed still attached. Making tamarind liquid (water) from the block is easily achieved by soaking a golf ball sized piece of the tamarind pulp in 1/2 a cup of hot water for 10 - 20 mins, during this time periodically massage the pulp to help it become a thick paste. When all of the pulp has dissolved discard the seeds and add roughly 1/4 to 1/2 a cup of water to create the tamarind liquid (water) needed for your recipe
- as a paste or sometimes called a tamarind concentrate, both come in a jar. Simply dilute the thick paste with water. Add 2 parts water to 1 part paste (concentrate) and stir until combined. Measure and use in any recipe calling for tamarind liquid or water. If your recipe calls for 3 tablespoons of tamarind liquid (water), mix 1 tablespoon of tamarind paste (concentrate) and 2 tablespoons of water.
- if you can't find tamarind, lime juice is a good substitute mixed with an equal quantity of brown sugar
- The ratios for tamarind to water given above are not exact, as with all fruits it depends on the ripeness - Tamarind liquid (water) should have a slightly sweet - tart flavour