Lap Gai: savory Thai chicken salad


Serves 2

Total Time: 

This delicious Thai chicken salad uses toasted rice flour to make a simple sauce that really carries the flavors of the chicken and spices into your mouth. It also features quite a few fresh vegetables. This entrée is a great alternative to goopy chicken salad made with fattening mayonnaise. You can find a longer discussion of variations to try at

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  • 1 pound chicken, ground
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 large shallots, peeled and finely sliced lengthwise
  • 1 tablespoon toasted rice powder (available in Asian grocery stores, may also be called roasted rice powder or Khao Khua)
  • Fish sauce
  • Lime juice (from fresh limes, not bottled)
  • Ground dried red pepper
  • ½ cup whole cilantro leaves
  • ⅓ cup mint leaves


  1. Over medium heat, sauté the chicken until thoroughly cooked. Do not brown. Liquid should remain in the pan, but add water if you cook the chicken dry.
  2. Remove the chicken from heat and immediately add the shallots. Stir to heat and wilt the shallots.
  3. Add 1 tablespoon each of fish sauce and lime juice, toss the whole recipe, and taste. Add additional lime juice in 1 tablespoon increments, and additional fish sauce in 1 teaspoon increments, until you reach your preferred taste. (Keep track of how much you’ve added so you know how much to add the next time you make it!)
  4. Add the toasted rice powder and toss.
  5. Cautiously add dried chili powder, toss, and taste. Again, add in increments and take note when you’ve reached the level you enjoy.
  6. Toss with mint leaves and cilantro and enjoy on a bed of dark green leaves.


Leela “How to Make Larb Gai – Lahb Gai – Laab Gai – Larp Gai – Laap Gai – Lahb Gai ลาบไก่”She Simmers. Published June 5, 2009. Accessed Nov 10, 2016.



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Last Updated: October 8, 2018
Originally Published: November 24, 2016