larb gai | or laotian chicken salad (banting friendly)

larb gai
larb gai

It’s getting hot in herrre!  Two days ago, all my neighbours had their heaters going and I was bundled up in a scarf, tights and woollen coat. Today, it is 30ºC (that’s very hot, my American friends) and everyone has their aircon cranked up. That’s Melbourne for ya!

So, although I was saving this recipe for summer, the weather is spot on for this scrumptious, wholesome and absolutely addictive salad and I think it appropriate to post early.

The larb is refreshing (with a beautiful mix of herbs and crunchy veggies); sweet, tangy and salty with a good amount of kick; it combines so many textures and flavours all at once that it is like Christmas in your mouth!

I originally discovered it through one of my favourite paleo websites, Eat Drink Paleo, but have modified it to make it completely sugar-free and totally Banting-friendly. It has been an absolute hit in our household and was equally popular at the Christmas lunch table. I will be repeating this year!

My deepest apologies for the shady pictures – these are from a test run and will be replaced the next time I make this salad.

Larb Gai – serves 4

This recipe is Banting-friendly.

You will need

For the body

  • 3 Tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2-3 bird’s eye red chili (deseeded if you want to reduce the heat)*
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped*
  • 2” knob of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped*
  • 1 stem lemon grass, pale section only, finely chopped*
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves, deveined and finely chopped*
  • ½ bunch of coriander, stems washed (save the leaves for the salad)*
  • ½ lime rind, grated
  • 450g chicken mince, free range of course
  • 2 Tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons tamari
  • ½ lime, juiced

*Blitz these ingredients to a rough paste in the food processor

For the base

  • ¼ red cabbage, shredded (thinly sliced)
  • ¼ savoy cabbage, shredded (thinly sliced)
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and grated
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced
  • 3-4 green spring onions, chopped
  • ½ bunch of fresh coriander leaves, chopped
  • Large handful of fresh Australian mint, chopped
  • Small handful of fresh Vietnamese mint, chopped
  • Small handful of fresh Thai basil, chopped
  • Small handful of fresh basil, chopped


salad base - larb gai
salad base – larb gai

For the dressing

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tsp stevia powder (I use Natvia which is, teaspoon to teaspoon, equal sweetness to sugar)
  • 3 Tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 ½ Tablespoons tamari

For the garnish

  • 2 Tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 4 Tablespoons toasted shredded coconut
  • ½ cup roasted almonds and macadamia nuts chopped
  • 2-3 bird’s eye red chili, deseeded and finely chopped
  • ½ bunch of fresh coriander leaves, chopped
  • 1 cup fried shallots
garnishes - larb gai
garnishes – larb gai

How to

  1. Make the body – Heat the coconut oil in a large frying pan high and fry the spice paste for about a minute until fragrant (it smells divine by the way).
  2. Add chicken mince and lime zest and stir well, making sure to break up any big lumps and distribute the spice paste evenly through. Allow to cook through (approximately 12 minutes). Turn off the heat then stir in the fish sauce, tamari and lime juice.
  3. Make the salad base – In a large bowl (really, the largest you can find), mix together all the base ingredients (cabbages, onions, carrot and fresh herbs).
  4. Make the dressing – Shake all dressing ingredients in a jar until well combined. Take care not to dress the salad leaves until serving time.
  5. Divide the dressed salad base into individual bowls then top with spoonfuls of the mince. Add the garnishes to your liking – my favourite is lots of fried shallot and extra chili.
  6. You might want a cool drink to go with this 🙂 If you can afford the carbs, chilled coconut water does ever so nicely!
larb gai
larb gai

Polite nod to my lovely friend Mlle. V who has bugged me for this recipe since January 2. I shall make it for you if you will come to dinner.

Make this larb, enjoy and keto on!


larb gai | or laotian chicken salad (banting friendly)

6 thoughts on “larb gai | or laotian chicken salad (banting friendly)

  1. Veroneeka says:

    Omg! It’s finally here…springtime and the most delicious larb salad I’ve ever tasted! Thanks for posting this mgm. Will definitely be over next time you make it x

    Liked by 1 person

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