Larb (Lao: ລາບ, Isan: ลาบ, IPA: [lâːb]; also spelled laap, larp, laab) is a type of Lao meat salad. It is most often made with chicken, beef, duck, turkey, pork or even fish, flavored with fish sauce and lime. The meat can be either raw or cooked; it is minced and mixed with chilli, mint and, optionally, assorted vegetables. Roughly ground toasted rice (kao kua) is also a very important component of the dish. The dish is served at room temperature and usually with a serving of sticky rice. A common variation is neu-ah nam tok (“waterfall beef” but it could mean the dripping of meat juice during the grilling as well), in which beef is cut into thin strips instead of using ground beef.
Larb is the unofficial national dish of Laos and it is also popular in Northeastern Thailand, where the cuisine is heavily influenced by Laos. It is quite common to see this popular Lao meat salad served at Thai restaurants.
There is also a variant from Northern Thailand which does not use lime or fish sauce, but rather other local condiments for flavor and seasoning. “Larb pla” (Thai: ลาบปลา) is one kind of larb which made of minced fish mixed with spices.
I find the best variation is with grilled steak (waterfall laab) careful when adding the chilli, not to hot, but the dish should bring a tear to your eye or it’s not hot enough. no oil is added so this dish is quite healthy & low fat, especially if served with raw cabbage and vegetables. the only cooking is the meat then all the other ingredients are added.
250g minced lean beef.
2 small red onion.
1/2 clove garlic.
bunch fresh mint leaves.
bunch coriander leaves.
1 1/2 tablespoons ground roast rice.
1/2 or 2 teaspoon ground red chilli.
basil leaves and spring onions can be added to make more flavours.
chop all ingredients up, add 1 teaspoon of the lime juice to meat and stir. place 1/2 cup of water in pan and add the meat, stir till the meat is cooked and place in a bowl, add 2 teaspoon of fish sauce, juice from 2 or 3 limes and 1 or 2 tablespoons of ground chilli, taste and adjust to get a salty, sour spicy taste, add the ground rice, coriander and mint leaves and finely chopped garlic, finely sliced red onions and stir. serve room temperature on top of lettuce or cabbage. serve with sticky rice.