Tasty Chicken Thai Larb Recipe to use in Keto Lettuce Wraps

One of the first Thai dishes I ever ate was a chicken Thai larb salad soon after we moved to Seattle. My office was right down the hill from Typhoon restaurant, which used to be on Western Avenue, but has since shutdown.

I was devastated. Between the chicken larb and green curry, my two favorite Thai foods, it was all I needed when I would pop down for lunch from my office at Seattle Magazine in Pike Place Market. I had my order covered no matter the time of year (hot dish or cold salad).

Thai Larb Recipe

I’ve had larb salad at a few other spots, but it was never quite the same. Naturally, I had to fix this situation by making Thai larb for myself. And yes, my husband has been playing with a green curry chicken recipe for at least 10 years. I’m still waiting for it to reach perfection.

Why Chicken Larb?

We try not to eat a ton of red meat in our house. I have hereditary cholesterol issues, so chicken is the way to go. Making a Keto lettuce wrap recipe meant that I could do my meal prep once and eat this Thai salad all week long for lunch.

If you don’t have chicken in the house, you can also use ground beef, pork or even fish if you really wanted to, but I’d drizzle the sauce on top of a filet instead of shredding the fish. You can flake the fish (white fish like tilapia or rockfish is best) before you pop it into the lettuce wrap.

Keto Lettuce Wraps

Now, I am not on a Keto diet, but these lettuce wraps are Keto. Many of us eat Keto more than we think. Basically, the Keto meal plan is a low-carb, high-fat diet (similar to Atkins), filled with lots of fresh fruits, veggies and only a tiny amount of carbohydrates.

I do this naturally, so I guess I’m on Keto most days… except when I indulge in bread and pastries and sugar (no sugar on this diet if you really want to stick with it).

Finding Thai Larb Ingredients

For the most part, you can find the ingredients for your chicken Thai larb salad recipe in your grocery store. The one item that may be tricky to find is lime leaves. I pick them up at my neighborhood H-Mart, but I’ve seen them in other Asian grocery stores. You can also order them off Amazon HERE.

If you are having trouble finding the Thai red chilis, you can use a jalapeño in a pinch. Your Asian market should also carry these tiny red chilis that pack a punch though. Also available on Amazon.com HERE.

Creating a Chicken Thai Larb recipe

When I went out to recreate my own Chicken Thai larb recipe (also known as larb moo ลาบหมู, Laab Gai or Larb Gai), I knew I wanted to use shredded chicken. Most Thai restaurants use ground chicken. I’m not a huge fan of ground meat (it’s a texture thing), so I made a batch of chicken in my Instapot to shred up for the salad.

You can also use a roast chicken or boil chicken for about 20 minutes in water to get that shredding texture you need. The Instapot or slow cooker is just easier. If you haven’t realized already, I’m a lazy cook.

Quick Commentary on How to Make Larb

While the chicken is cooking, I make the sauce, throwing everything, from the fish sauce to fresh herbs, into my Nutribullet. Once the chicken is done, I give it a nice shred or cut it into thin slices (it’s a preference thing. You can’t go wrong either way.)

I give my sauce a quick fry in the wok before adding in the chicken, mixing it all around and letting the chicken and sauce simmer for a bit. Once done, you can top with shallots or red onion and herbs. Give it a mix and you are ready to plate.

You can either make lettuce cups (pop lettuce leaves in a muffin tin to serve) or use your lettuce leaves as taco shells. Add your chicken mixture and toppings. I’ve thrown green onions on top plus an extra squirt of lime when I’m in the mood for some extra tart citrus.

How to make a Spicy Thai Larb Salad

The best thing about this salad is that you can make it your own. If you can’t handle spicy food, cut the Thai red chili and Sriracha back a bit.

Want some extra heat? Double the Thai chilis. Just watch those chili seeds. They are powerful on the backend.

After you make your sauce, you can always add more Sriracha or chili flakes to your lettuce wrap.

Thai Larb Recipe

Chicken Larb Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp Sriracha sauce
  • 10 lime leaves
  • 6 lemongrass leaves
  • 2 Thai red chiles, remove all seeds (unless you like HEAT)
  • Head of garlic (10 garlic cloves or 5 tsp minced garlic in a jar)
  • 2-2.5lbs chicken breast
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 3 shallots, minced (or red onion in thin strips)
  • 2 tbsp cilantro
  • 2 tbsp mint
  • 2 tbsp basil
  • Lime wedges
  • Whole Green, Red, Bibb or Butter lettuce leaves
Thai Larb Recipe

Chicken Larb Sauce Instructions

  1. Give the lemongrass, lime leaves, red chiles and garlic a rough chop. Put items in a blender or food processor.
  2. Add lime juice, fish sauce, brown sugar and Sriracha, and pulse until combined and in tiny pieces.

Shredded chicken (two ways)

Version 1: Pop your chicken into an Instapot with a cup of chicken stock. Cook for 15 minutes. Once finished, shred the chicken into small pieces.

Version 2: Cut your chicken into small pieces and set aside.

Thai Larb Recipe

Putting Together A Chicken Larb Salad

  1. Heat a wok or large sauce pan with vegetable oil on medium high heat.
  2. Add your sauce for a quick heat up.
  3. Add in your chicken (either shredded or raw cubed)
  4. Cook the chicken, stirring often for even cooking.
  5. Turn down the heat to simmer for 8 minutes (if using raw chicken, make sure it cooks all the way through).
  6. Throw in shallots, giving your chicken mixture a good stir for about 1-2 minutes.
  7. Take chicken larb off heat, add in a fresh squeeze of lime (about 2 wedges) and herbs (chopped cilantro, basil and mint).

Serving Thai chicken larb

  • Spoon your chicken larb into a serving dish.
  • Wash and dry large lettuce leaves, and place on a plate.
  • Set out remaining lime wedges, Sriracha and any remaining basil, cilantro and mint for garnish.
  • Spoon Thai larb into lettuce leaf, creating a little taco.

Love it? Save it for later!

Yield: 6 servings

Chicken Thai Larb Lettuce wraps

Thai Larb Recipe

Chicken Thai larb (also known as larb moo ลาบหมู, Laab Gai or Larb Gai) is a refreshing dish filled with herbacious flavors and lime, bringing a bit of Thailand back into your home. These make perfect lettuce wraps or topping on a salad. Best of all, it is gluten-free and low-calorie. And it makes great leftovers for lunches all week long.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Additional Time 20 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp Sriracha sauce
  • 10 lime leaves
  • 6 lemongrass leaves
  • 2 Thai red chiles, remove all seeds (unless you like HEAT)
  • Head of garlic (10 garlic cloves or 5 tsp minced garlic in a jar)
  • 2-2.5lbs chicken breast
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 3 shallots, minced (or red onion in thin strips)
  • 2 tbsp cilantro
  • 2 tbsp mint
  • 2 tbsp basil
  • Lime wedges
  • Whole Green, Red, Bibb or Butter lettuce leaves

Instructions

Chicken Larb Sauce Instructions

  1. Give the lemongrass, lime leaves, red chiles and garlic a rough chop. Put items in a blender or food processor.
  2. Add lime juice, fish sauce, brown sugar and Sriracha, and pulse until combined and in tiny pieces.

Shredded chicken (two ways)

  1. Version 1: Pop your chicken into an Instapot with a cup of chicken stock. Cook for 15 minutes. Once finished, shred the chicken into small pieces.
  2. Version 2: Cut your chicken into small pieces and set aside.

Putting Together A Chicken Larb Salad

  1. Heat a wok or large sauce pan with vegetable oil on medium high heat.
  2. Add your sauce for a quick heat up.
  3. Add in your chicken (either shredded or raw cubed)
  4. Cook the chicken, stirring often for even cooking.
  5. Turn down the heat to simmer for 8 minutes (if using raw chicken, make sure it cooks all the way through).
  6. Throw in shallots, giving your chicken mixture a good stir for about 1-2 minutes.
  7. Take chicken larb off heat, add in a fresh squeeze of lime (about 2 wedges) and herbs (chopped cilantro, basil and mint).

Serving Thai chicken larb

  1. Spoon your chicken larb into a serving dish.
  2. Wash and dry large lettuce leaves, and place on a plate.
  3. Set out remaining lime wedges, Sriracha and any remaining basil, cilantro and mint for garnish.
  4. Spoon Thai larb into lettuce leaf, creating a little taco.
  5. Enjoy!

Notes

TIP: Gather all of your ingredients first. Things move very quickly once you get this recipe started.

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