Larb Gai is a spicy chicken salad, but it can be made with any type of ground meat. This dish is quick and easy to make with very few ingredients. The only one that may be difficult to find is the toasted rice powder. The toasted rice powder is what gives Larb its unique flavor and texture. You can find pre-made toasted rice powder in Asian stores or here on Amazon, but since I don’t use it often, I made my own. Larb can be served with rice or skip the carbs and make lettuce wraps. I prefer both!
To make the toasted rice, add about 2 tablespoons of sweet sticky rice grains to a pan over medium heat. Toast until the grains have some color to them and become fragrant. Then add to a spice grinder and grind. If you don’t have a spice grinder you can use a blender and then pour the rice through a strainer to remove any large pieces that may not have gotten blended. You want to end up with a fine powder.
For the Larb, cook the ground chicken in a non-stick skillet with no oil. Cook thoroughly and keep the juices in the pan. You can also add some water to make it juicer. Since I used chicken breast I added 1/4 cup of water. Once the chicken is cooked, remove from heat and stir in sliced red onions. The residual heat will wilt the onions. Then add the toasted rice powder, lime juice, fish sauce, and Thai chili flakes. Taste it and add more lime, fish sauce, or chili if needed. A majority of Thai cooking is based on personal taste, if you prefer more saltier, sour, or spice, it’s customizable to your taste buds. Finish by adding whole mint leaves and cilantro leaves. Serve with lettuce leaves, cucumbers, and or, a side of rice.