Larb Gai, a flavorful Thai minced chicken salad with crunchy vegetables and a light and tasty sauce. It’s easy to make, healthy and tastes wonderful.
There is a great little Thai restaurant in our area that my husband and I love to go to. We enjoy going there now, but we didn’t always feel that way. This particular restaurant has been around for a while and has changed owners many times. For the first few years, the food was outstanding. Then, as the years went by, we noticed the food becoming inconsistent. The dishes we always loved to order, specifically the Green Curry and the Larb Gai would taste different each and every time we ordered it. Not good for a restaurant – at all.
We had almost given up on this place but about three months ago, we decided to give it one last try. Apparantly, another set of owners took over and friends of ours had been raving about the food.
We broke down and decided to take a chance again, vowing this would be the very last time. Well, second chances can be great and in this case, fourth or fifth chances can be wonderful. I’m so glad we didn’t completely write this Thai restaurant off because we enjoyed a perfectly wonderful meal.
I’m happy to say that this restaurant has continued to have great food. It’s been consistently good and prepared just the way we like it. I will note, however, that the owners have brought in a country music singer on the weekends which just seems a little odd to me…
Anyway, Larb Gai has always been a favorite of mine. Larb Gai is a delicious Thai salad. It’s simply a minced chicken salad with lots of crunchy textures and fragrant herbs and it’s truly one of my very favorite dishes.
In my version of Larb Gai, I poach 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts in a pot of water combined with smashed garlic cloves and fresh, cut ginger. If you have a rotisserie chicken that you’ve purchased at the grocery, this recipe would be perfect to use the chicken in.
In a small pan, I heated the oil and cooked some scallions, diced red peppers and garlic.
In another bowl, I combined green onions, chopped mint and cilantro.
In a smaller bowl, I whisked together 3 tablespoons of fish sauce, 3 tablespoons of lime juice and 1 teaspoon of chili paste. If you like a spicer Larb Gai, add more of the chili paste – a little at a time until you get the flavor you like.
You can spoon the Larb Gai into lettuce cups or enjoy very simply on a bed of mixed lettuce.
Larb Gai is light, healthy and packed with flavor. It can be made quickly and any leftovers you might have will taste wonderful the next day.
- 4 cups chicken breasts , boneless, skinless (or 3 cubed cooked chicken)
- 1 inch piece of fresh ginger , peeled and sliced
- 2 cloves garlic , smashed
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 shallot , thinly sliced
- 1 medium red pepper , diced
- 2 cloves garlic , minced
- 1/4 cup green onions , sliced
- 1/4 cup fresh mint , chopped
- 1/4 cup cilantro , chopped
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce
- 3 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 teaspoon chili paste
- TO POACH THE CHICKEN (if using rotisserie chicken, skip).
- Arrange the chicken, ginger and garlic in a single layer on the bottom of a pot. Scatter the salt over the top.
- Pour in enough cool water to cover the chicken by an inch or so.
- Place the pot of chicken on the stovetop over medium-high heat. Bring the water to a boil. As soon as the water comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let the chicken simmer. Remove any foam with a spoon that accumulates at the top during the cooking.
- Check the chicken after 10 minutes. It is done when no longer pink and an instant read thermometer in the thickest part of the meat registers 170 degrees F. (I find the chicken typically cooks in 10-12 minutes).
- Remove the chicken from the liquid and place on a cutting board to cool. When cooled, pull the chicken apart with a fork and set aside.
- Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium sized pan on medium-high heat. Add the shallots and red pepper and cook for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the garlic and cook for a minute more. Remove from heat and set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix together the green onions, mint, cilantro and shredded chicken.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the fish sauce, lime juice and chili paste. Pour over the chicken mixture and stir.
- Spoon into lettuce cups or on top of a bed of lettuce.
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