Larb – one of my all-time favorite salads. Originating in Laos, larb is vibrant & lively. A delicious, exciting salad of ground chicken, lots of garlic, fiery chilies, noodles, peanuts, crunchy bean sprouts, mint, cilantro, lime juice & fish sauce – all ingredients typical to Southeast Asian cuisine. Not always served with noodles, I think they work perfectly in larb, adding a wonderful crunchy texture.
Mung bean noodles, also called cellophane noodles, bean thread or glass noodles, require minimal cooking (or soaking) & can be added to soups, salad & stir-fries. They’re gluten-free, quick to rehydrate & very inexpensive. Perfect for the hurried, budget conscious.
Laos borders Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar (formally Burma), China & Cambodia & because of this their cuisine is diverse & exciting, pulling flavors from their neighboring countries & relying on regional produce.
There’s so much I love about this chicken & noodle larb – the vibrancy from the herbs, the salty depth of flavor fish sauce imparts, of course the tartness from the limes. The food from Southeast Asia is intoxicating, exciting & pure.
This salad is no exception. For me it ticks all the boxes. Be still my beating heart… I LOVE this salad. I hope you love it too. It’s a perfect balance of flavors & textures. Until next time xo.
- 2.8 oz (80g) mung bean noodles (2 bundles)
- 1 tablespoon peanut or coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped lemongrass (white part only)
- 4 small red chilies, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon finely grated ginger
- 2 lbs (907g) ground chicken (chicken mince)
- 2 small cucumbers, chopped
- 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
- 4 oz (113g) bean sprouts
- 1/3 cup mint leaves, coarsely chopped
- 1/3 cup cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
- shredded lettuce leaves, to serve
- chopped toasted peanuts, to serve
- sambal oelek (chili paste) & lime wedges to serve
- 1/2 cup lime juice
- 1/4 cup fish sauce
- 3 tablespoons palm sugar
- 2 tablespoons peanut or coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons kecap manis (sweet thick soy sauce)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 small red chilies, finely chopped
- To make the dressing, put all the ingredients in a jar and shake until combined.
- Place noodles in a medium pot of boiling water. Boil for 3 minutes. Remove from heat & let stand 5 minutes; drain. Refresh under cold water; drain well. Or follow directions on package.
- Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add lemongrass, chilies, garlic and ginger and cook, stirring for 1 minute or until fragrant.
- Add chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes or until browned. Add half of the dressing and cook until hot. Remove from the heat.
- Add cucumber, onion, sprouts, mint, cilantro, noodles & remaining dressing; toss to combine. Serve on lettuce and sprinkle with peanuts. Top with sambal & add some lime wedges if desired.