APPETIZERS/ MAINS/ SALADS

Thai Larb Salad

Hello! Welcome to Djalali Cooks. Today we have the spicy, tangy, savory, umami-rich Thai salad called Larb. Ground meat, in today’s recipe it’s turkey, is sautéd in spices and aromatics then tossed with veggies in a simple dressing of lime juice and fish sauce. Serve larb with rice and/or lettuce cups for a light and satisfying dish that is perfect for summer’s hot weather. Let’s do it! It’s Thai Larb Salad.

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Larb is traditionally served pretty spicy, but like many spicy Thai dishes, this is a choose-your-own-adventure-type of spicy dish. You can still enjoy the bright and fresh flavors without the spiciness. This recipe is originally by Sylvia Fountaine from Feasting At Home.

We will begin by quick pickling some onion slices. Slice about 1/2 a red onion into thin half moons. Place the sliced onion in a heat-safe dish and cover with about 1/2 cup of very hot water and 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar. Put the onions in the fridge until we are ready for them.

Sauté the Ground Turkey

You can use ground chicken, beef or lamb for this recipe. I am using turkey because it’s lighter and I like the way ground turkey and chicken cook up into smaller ground pieces. Plus, personally, I feel like turkey and chicken have more neutral flavor that takes on the flavors of the aromatics more than beef or lamb.

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We have the other half of that red onion, diced; 4 tablespoons of lemongrass paste; three cloves of garlic, minced; and kosher salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes. You can use fresh lemongrass, if that’s available to you, just finely mince it. If you want to keep it not-too-spicy, just use a tiny pinch of red pepper flakes.

Heat 1-2 tablespoons of vegetable or grapeseed oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté the diced onion until it begins to soften and becomes translucent. Then add the lemongrass, garlic and red pepper flakes. Stir and sauté until fragrant, about 2 minutes.

Then add the ground meat and the salt and pepper. Cook the ground meat, breaking it up as it cooks.

Let the meat brown and the liquid evaporate. This should take about 10 minutes.

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Prep the Salad

While the meat is cooking, we can prep the salad. We have cucumber, radishes, scallions, basil, cilantro and mint. I have added one diced chili pepper, but you can omit this (or reduce the amount) if you want to keep it less spicy. For the dressing, we have 2 tablespoons fish sauce, about 4 tablespoons of lime juice and we will add a teaspoon of honey.

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Add the veggies and herbs to a large bowl. Then add the browned ground turkey to the salad.

Top with the lime juice, fish sauce and honey.

Then toss the salad to fully mix and coat everything in the dressing ingredients. Add the quick pickles onions and give it another toss.

Thai Larb Salad

We are ready to serve!

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You can serve this right away, or you can refrigerate it and serve it cold. Serve it with rice and/or with lettuce cups. Set out some sriracha sauce as a garnish.

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Thai Larb Salad has great, satisfying texture with the crunchy veggies and chewy, bouncy ground turkey. The aromatics flavor the ground turkey beautifully, with the lemongrass really coming through for a flavorful, refreshing finish. I do hope you give this dish a try, it’s Thai restaurant-worthy delicious and is really great on a hot summer day. For another recent Thai dish, try Coconut Chicken Noodle Soup. Take care and be well, xo Kelly

Quick Recipe, Easy Recipe, Appetizer, Thai, Thai cuisine, Thai Salad, Thai meat salad, Thai Salad with meat, Lemongrass, Aromatics, Spicy Recipe, Lettuce Cups, Summer Recipe, Quick Summer Dinner, Asian Recipe, Asian Salad, Southeast Asian Cuisine, Fish Sauce, Sauté the Ground Turkey

Key Equipment

Thai Larb Salad

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Dinner, Main Course, Appetizer Thai
By Sylvia Fountaine Serves: 4
Prep Time: 15 Minutes Cooking Time: 15 Minutes Total Time: ~30 Minutes

Spicy, tangy, savory, umami-rich Thai Larb Salad. Ground turkey, sautéd in aromatics and tossed with veggies in lime juice and fish sauce.

Ingredients

  • Pickled Onions
  • 1/2 cup Hot Water
  • 2 tbsp. Rice Vinegar
  • 1/2 Red Onion, sliced into thin half moons
  • Ground Meat
  • 1-2 tbsp. Vegetable or Grapeseed Oil
  • Remaining half of Red Onion, diced
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 4 tbsp. Lemongrass Paste (or finely minced Fresh Lemongrass)
  • 1 tsp. Chili Flakes, more or less to taste
  • 1 lb. Ground Turkey (or Chicken, Beef, or Lamb)
  • 1 tsp. Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Black Pepper
  • Salad
  • 1 Medium-sized Cucumber, sliced
  • 2–3 Radishes, sliced
  • 3 Scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp. Fresh Chile Pepper, finely minced (optional, or Jalapeño, Thai red chili)
  • 1/2 cup Chopped Cilantro
  • 1/2 cup Chopped Mint
  • 1/2 cup Chopped Basil
  • 2 tbsp. Fish Sauce
  • 4 tbsp. Lime Juice
  • 1 tsp. Honey

Instructions

Pickled Onions

1

Place the sliced onion in a heat-safe dish and cover with about 1/2 cup of very hot water and 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar. Put the onions in the fridge until we are ready for them.

Ground Meat

2

Heat 1-2 tablespoons of vegetable or grapeseed oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté the diced onion until it begins to soften and becomes translucent. Then add the lemongrass, garlic and red pepper flakes. Stir and sauté until fragrant, about 2 minutes.

3

Then add the ground meat and the salt and pepper. Cook the ground meat, breaking it up as it cooks.

4

Let the meat brown and the liquid evaporate. Stir occasionally. This should take about 10 minutes.

Salad

5

Add the veggies and herbs to a large bowl. Then add the browned ground turkey to the salad.

6

Top with the lime juice, fish sauce and honey.

7

Toss the salad to fully mix and coat everything in the dressing ingredients.

8

Add the quick pickles onions and give it another toss.

9

Serve with rice and/or lettuce cups.

Notes

If you are using beef or lamb, be sure to use a slotted spoon to transfer the meat to the salad, to keep the rendered fat in the pan from transferring with the meat.

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6 Comments

  • Reply
    Beth Crawford
    July 27, 2022 at 9:36 am

    Kelly this sounds wonderful ! I will be making this soon !

    • Reply
      Kelly Djalali
      July 27, 2022 at 11:21 am

      I am sure you will enjoy it, Beth! Thank you for stopping by today! xo Kelly

  • Reply
    Mari
    July 27, 2022 at 11:09 am

    This is a great idea: salad with meat for those who might not otherwise go near a vegetable, and I know one or two people like that, and salad for salad lovers. It’s always nice to change things up, in regards to salads, because otherwise I get lazy and tend to eat the same thing way too often. Spice is a welcome treat when it gets hot. I can’t eat things as hot as I did in my younger days, and nobody could eat things as hot and spicy as my husband liked. I remember once at work, one of the vendors passed out large bags of jalapeño potato chips. I had one and it was so spicy that my eyes watered and my mouth was on fire. The other people in the office had the same experience. I gave the bag to my husband and he ate the entire bag as he drove me home. He didn’t even flinch or say he needed a drink. His estimation was that they were good but could use more peppers! I never did know how he did that! This lovely salad goes on the list for tomorrow night because I need to go to the store. I’m making this medium spicy, and I will enjoy every bite! The sun is out again and not a cloud in sight. Happy wonderful wild Wednesday to Kelly, Alex, Terry and the word’s cutest dogs. ☀️🤡🐕

    • Reply
      Kelly Djalali
      July 27, 2022 at 11:24 am

      Hi Mari, Alex is like your husband – he can eat the hottest things and barely break a sweat. I, like you can’t eat spicy things like I used to. Which makes me sad because I love spicy food. I just pay for it later! This is a great salad at medium heat level, which is what I’d say ours amounted to. Enjoy your sunny day! xo Kelly

  • Reply
    Terry
    July 27, 2022 at 1:44 pm

    I like this salad I would serve it with the lettuce cups nice snd light in these hot summer nites… I’ll keep you posted 🤗❤️ Mom

    • Reply
      Kelly Djalali
      July 28, 2022 at 8:38 am

      It’s a great summer meal, Mom! Let me know how you like it, xo Kelly

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