This Chicken Thai Larb Gai recipe will have you hooked on its spicy, zesty flavor. Ground chicken combines with plenty of fresh mint, lime juice and lemongrass for a healthy Thai dish that’s perfect served in lettuce wraps for lunch or dinner.
Do you ever find yourself with a craving for a certain type of food? For me, when I’ve got a craving, it’s generally one of two things – Pasta or Thai food. Pasta is a natural for me. I grew up next door to my Italian Nana and Nanu who were to of the most amazing cooks. We had pasta with suco just about every night… The Thai food came later for me.
I’ve been building my collection of Thai recipes that are easy to make at home and taste great. And, along the way, I’ve found a few key ingredients that tend to make their way into all Thai dishes – Citrus, mint, chiles and fish sauce.
Fish sauce can tend to scare people off… It’s not hard to find.. You’ll locate it right in your normal supermarket, near the Asian foods section. But then, you’ll get home, open the bottle, smell it and… Honestly – It kind of reeks. But, I promise, once it gets combined with the other ingredients, it just takes on a nice, salty, mellow taste that can’t be replicated by anything else. I’ve even found myself adding more at the end of my recipes just to kick up that salty, nutty flavor that it gives just teeny bit more. Give it a go – I promise you won’t be disappointed.
Mingling along with the saltiness of the fish sauce comes the bright, citrus flavor – And, we’re not just talking a tiny bit of citrus… We’re hitting this recipe with lime juice, lemon juice and lemongrass. Lots and lots of great flavor and acidity that plays really well with those sweet and salty flavors going on in this dish.
I will confess that lemongrass can be a bit difficult to find, but I have found it at many grocery stores packaged alongside the fresh herbs. And, while there’s no true substitute for the distinct flavor of lemongrass, you could try swapping in some lemon zest in its place, to taste.
This meal is healthy, quick to make, and totally tasty. It’s on regular repeat for weekday cooking at our house, and the leftovers make a great lunch the next day too.
Can You Freeze Larb Gai?
- If you have leftovers, you can definitely freeze larb gai. It will keep in the freezer for up to three months.
If you loved this Larb recipe I would appreciate it so much if you would give this recipe a star review! Also, be sure to snap a picture of your finished dish and share it with me on Instagram using the hashtag #platingsandpairings and tagging me @platingsandpairings.
Larb Gai Thai Lettuce Wraps
- 3 Tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 Tablespoons honey
- 1/3 cup fresh lime juice from 2-3 limes
- 3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice from 1 large lemon
- 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 red onion minced
- 3 shallots thinly sliced
- 1 stalk lemongrass tough outer leaves removed and minced (about 1/4 cup)
- 1 serrano chile thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 pounds ground chicken
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 leaves head butter lettuce separated
- Radishes chopped, for serving (optional)
- Cooked rice for serving (optional)
- In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, lemon juice, fish sauce and honey. Set aside.
- In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, shallots, lemongrass, chile, and salt, to taste. Cook until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
- Add the chicken. Cook, stirring frequently, until the meat and vegetables are cooked through, about 5 minutes.
- Add the dressing to the pan and cook for 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the mint. Season with additional fish sauce, salt and pepper, to taste.
- Spoon the chicken mixture onto the lettuce leaves.
- Serve with rice.
Wine Pairings for Larb Gai:
- Try a dry Riesling or Gewurztraminer a try with this this dish – Both great go-to wines with spicy dishes.
Note: This recipe was originally published on Platings and Pairings in November 2014 – It was updated in May 2019 to update the pictures. The larb recipe remains the same. Enjoy!