Chicken Larb Gai Recipe (Thai Lettuce Wraps)

This Chicken Larb Gai recipe will have you hooked on its spicy, zesty flavor. These Thai lettuce wraps come together quickly & easily for a healthy dish that’s perfect for lunch or dinner.

Can’t get enough lettuce wrap recipes? Be sure to try my Taco Lettuce Wraps with Turkey & Quinoa and PF Chang’s Lettuce Wraps Recipe too!

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 Sunday Gravy just about every night… 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. Some of my favorites are this Thai Beef Salad, Thai Curry Meatballs and Thai Beef Stir Fry.

And, along the way, I’ve found a few key ingredients that tend to make their way into 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 Thai-inspired meal is healthy, quick to make, and totally tasty. And while it may not be truly authentic, it’s on regular repeat for weekday cooking at our house, and the leftovers make a great lunch the next day too.

Laab on serving platter next to lettuce for arranging.

What does Larb Gai mean?

Larb gai is a dish of browned ground chicken, mint, basil and red onions dressed with lime juice and ground red chiles that’s popular in Laos and Isan, neighboring rural sections of Thailand. (The dish is sometimes spelled laab, lob or lop.)

NY Times Cooking

Is Larb served hot or cold?

  • Most often, larb gai is served warm. However, it can also be served cold or at room temperature.

Can you freeze Larb Gai?

  • If you have leftovers, you can definitely freeze Thai larb. It will keep in the freezer for up to three months.
Larb gai lettuce wraps arranged on wood serving tray garnished with red onions and cucumber slices.

Larb Gai variations:

  • Beef Larb Recipe: Swap in ground beef for the ground chicken.
  • Pork Larb Recipe (Larb Moo): Swap in ground pork for the chicken.
  • Vegetarian Larb: Swap in diced tofu or tempeh and soy sauce or vegan fish sauce.
  • Want to add a bit of crunch to your recipe? Try sprinkling on some toasted rice powder.

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.

If you loved this Chicken 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.

For more great Platings & Pairings recipes, be sure to follow me on Pinterest, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

Laab on serving platter next to lettuce for arranging.

More Thai food recipes: 

Chicken Larb Lettuce Wraps Recipe

Laab on serving platter next to lettuce for arranging.

Larb Gai Thai Lettuce Wraps

These Larb Gai Lettuce Wraps will have you hooked on their spicy, zesty flavor. Ground chicken combines with plenty of fresh mint, lime juice and lemongrass for a healthy Thai dish that’s perfect for lunch or dinner.
4.67 from 6 votes
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4 people


  • 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.
Did you make this recipe?Mention @platingsandpairings or tag #platingsandpairings!


Calories: 367kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 146mg | Sodium: 1166mg | Potassium: 1053mg | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 140IU | Vitamin C: 13.6mg | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 1.8mg

Note: This recipe was originally published in November 2014 – It was updated in March 2021 to update the pictures. The larb gai recipe remains the same. Enjoy! 

17 thoughts on “Chicken Larb Gai Recipe (Thai Lettuce Wraps)”

    • Yes – It’s super simple to make at home. But also Peter, if you’re looking for a good spot in Portland, my favorite is Haan Ghin. They have a food truck at PSU downtown.

  1. Great flavors you’ve got going here, Erin. I’ve always been intimidated about making Thai food, but so many great tips here. I think even I could make these delicious wraps!

  2. You are on fire!! This recipe sounds exactly like what I want these boring winter days. Sounds so delicious!

    Aah, fish sauce… yes, it does smell pretty gross but adds so much to a dish!

    • Hmmm – Thanks Jay! I’ve never been to Thailand, but from everything I’ve read, and from the restaurants where I’ve ordered these dishes, they seem to be a Thai dish. Can you enlighten me?

    • Try telling my Thai mom that larb isn’t a Thai dish!! It is a Thai dish (so is the other one) but many of the recipes are Americanized a bit or changed to a particular taste. My recipe is similar to this one but uses other Thai ingredients…same concept though.

  3. 5 stars
    My friend and I just finished eating these. I made the recipe exactly as written. I am so full because these were so delicious that I ate too much – which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Food heaven, thank you.


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