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Thai larb Gai with fresh herbs on a plate.

Authentic Thai Ground Chicken Salad (Laab Gai)

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5 from 5 reviews

  • Author: Suwanee
  • Total Time: 30
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Diet: Low Calorie


Learn how to make one of the most popular Thai salads with this Authentic Thai Ground Chicken Salad (Laab Gai) recipe. The tangy, umami, and salty flavors sprinkled with roasted rice add bold and fresh flavors to this light chicken salad. Easy and quick to make. Ready to eat in 15 minutes!


  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2/3 cup shallot or substitute red onions, chopped in long and thin slices
  • 1/3 cup cilantro, chopped into chunky pieces
  • 1/3 cup mint leaves, torn into large pieces
  • 1/3 cup green onions cut 1/2 inch in length
  • 1-3 Thai bird's eye chilis (adjust your spiciness level here)
  • 1/2-2 teaspoon dried chilies, ground or flakes. Adjust the spiciness level here as needed.
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce, divided. 1 tablespoon for the meat and the rest for the salad
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons toasted rice. I usually toast 1/2 cup or more each time for leftovers, as the rice will expand and get soggy. 
  • 2-3 tablespoons stock or water. If the meat is too dried while cooking.


  1. Make the toasted rice.  Use this detailed recipe or see the quick instructions below.
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, add oil. Once hot, add the garlic and fry for 15 seconds or until light golden brown. Add ground chicken and cook for 5-7 minutes. Let the meat brown a bit. Add stock or water and 1 tbsp fish sauce to season the meat. (My secret to tasty meat!). Remove from the heat and let cool.
  3. In a large bowl, add all the chopped herbs and aromatics. Stir well with a wooden spoon or spatula.
  4. Add in the ground chicken and stir well. Season the salad with fish sauce, lime juice, chilies, and sugar. Adjust as needed for your taste buds. 
  5. Finish the salad with sprinkling toasted rice powder. That's it! Done! Serve right away.

How to make Khao Khua, Toasted rice powder

  1. In a dry skillet on low heat, toast 1/2 cup of rice until the rice turns golden brown. Let cool to room temperature.
  2. Grind your toasted rice to a coarse powder in a spice grinder, a clean coffee grinder, or a small food processor. Done. Store the leftover rice in a glass jar in the freezer for your next Thai salad.

Khao Khua tips

  • Always use raw rice for Khao Kua. Thai sticky rice and Jasmine rice are ideal, but white rice will do in a pinch. 
  • Low to medium heat is best. Medium-high heat or higher will burn your rice quickly. 
  • Grind your rice to a fine powder if preferred. I like some nutty crunch for added texture.


  • Jalapenos are not a Thai ingredient but will work as a spicy pepper for this Thai larb recipe.
  • Fresh herbs to use, if you can find them, are Culantro or saw blades herb, Chinese parsley, fresh dill, some laab version, add julienned kaffir lime leaves and lemon grass. These herbs add fresh flavors, so play around with what's available. Thai basil is never used in Laab.
  • After the meat, you can toast the uncooked rice, but I prefer to work on both simultaneously.
  • While the rice and meat are cooling, chop the herbs into a bowl, add the sauces, and mix well.

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  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Category: Salads
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Thai