Thai chicken salad (Larb gai)

This is my grandma favourite meal. As usual she doesn’t have the right amount of ingredients. One of my Aunty tried making it as she felt like having it. She had tried a few times to get the flavour right, taste and see type of recipe. My mom also tried adjusting till the balance of ingredients were right using the recipe my Aunty gave her. She too changes some ingredients.

Google: “Larb gai is a dish of browned ground chicken, mint, basil and red onions dressed in lime juice and ground red chiles that’s popular in Laos and Isan, neighbouring rural sections of Thailand. Authentic Thai Larb recipes include grounded toasted sticky rice known as khao khua, which thickens the sauce a little bit.”

I dream I were in Thailand, Songkhla eating larb gai two days ago, I then asks my mom for the recipe. When to Chinatown with friends, I found galangal, it’s sure is very expensive. My mom didn’t use galangal and had it in lettuce cups. I too change some ingredients to suit my taste bud and it much be extra spicier. I don’t want to buy peanut oil as I am only using a bit of it instead, I use normal olive oil. I couldn’t find sawtooth coriander that my friend told me it will boost the flavour.

Well, this is my creation of both my mom and aunty recipes. My dream of having it turned out perfect even though some ingredients are not available or not worth buying. It’s still taste comforting, delicious and spicy to my taste. Let’s cook!!!!


1 Tbs oil
1 Tbs finely chopped fresh lemon grass
4-6 fresh small red chillies, seeded, chopped finely
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 Tbs finely chopped fresh galangal
750 g chicken mince
60 ml chicken stock (OPT)
2 kaffir lime leaves, thinly sliced
1 continental cucumber (130g), seeded, thinly sliced
1 small red onion (100g), sliced thinly
1 Tbs fresh ginger, chopped finely
100g bean sprouts
10 g fresh Thai basil leaves, finely chopped
10 g fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped


1/3 c lime juice
2 Tbs fish sauce
2 Tbs oil
1/2 Tbs palm sugar, shave and chopped, softened in microwave
1/2 Tsp sambal olek (or hot Vietnamese chili paste) (OPT)
3 Tbs chicken stock
2 Tsp cornflour


Make dressing: in a bowl add chicken stock, warm it about 20 seconds then adds cornflour, and stir till no lump. Then add into a jar with screw top cover with lime juice, fish sauce, oil, palm sugar and sambal olek; shake them well till all mix and set aside.

Heat oil in wok on medium heat; add lemon grass, onion, chilli, garlic, kaffir lime leaves, and galangal cook until fragrant about 1-3 minutes. Making sure they don’t burn. Remove from wok. Using the same wok on medium heat, add chicken stock, bring it to simmer boil, add chicken minced using metal spade spoon toss the chicken minced so it cooks evenly for about 4-6 minutes. Once chicken is cooked through and no longer pink, remove from heat. The chicken should have a tiny layer of sauce; this stops the chicken drying out.

Return lemon grass mixture to wok about 1/3 of the dressing; cook for 2-3 minutes or until mixture thickens slightly. Add in herbs, cucumber and bean sprouts and gives a couple of stir to mix well. Taste and adjust seasoning, it should have flavour of spicy, sour and salty with a rounded sweetness. Place remaining dressing in fridge for next time. Serve with plain rice or yellow rice or coconut rice. Or you can use lettuce as cup for the Thai chicken salad. Serve it with a cold beer. Enjoy!!!!!

Note: You may use peanut oil, sawtooth coriander about 3-5 leaves, palm sugar can be replaced with brown sugar. You can use spring onion, fried shallots, more herbs and peanut lightly toss.