Larb: Crunchy Asian Chopped Meat Salad

Larb is salad with ground or minced meat and vegetables originating in Laos. It has a savoury, sweet elements and perfect a light lunch or dinner.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
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Larb: Crunchy Asian Chopped Meat Salad

Larb is salad with ground or minced meat and vegetables originating in Laos. It has a savoury, sweet elements and perfect a light lunch or dinner. 

Close up of Naan bread topped with Larb: Crunchy Asian Chopped Meat Salad

Why this recipe is amazing

Flavour & texture: The vibrant colours pull you in but the fresh, zesty and flavour punch keeps you forever. This is my ideal warm weather lunch or dinner, served with my naan bread of course! This meat salad has crunch from the cucumbers and water chestnuts, zing from the lime juice, sweetness from the hoisin marinade and a little heat if you like.

Difficulty: 1/10. It is so flipping easy. Fry the meat, cook the noodles and toss it all together.

Time: Quick! 25 minutes and you’ll be done. Its seriously, so good!

Versatility: Yes! Use either beef, pork, turkey or chicken. Play around with your own levels of sweetness, spiciness. Add more veggies, you do you!

Larb on Grey plate with fresh herbs
Larb is great for entertaining, everyone can help themselves

What ingredients are needed for Larb.

Meat: This recipe is super versatile. I usually use pork mince but chicken, beef and turkey can also work. Its a great way to add protein to you diet.

Ginger & Garlic: Flavour flavour flavour! These guys a going to give you a huge hit, don’t go easy on either.

Hoisin sauce: A thick, slightly sweet and fragrant sauce commonly used in Cantonese and Vietnamese cuisine. This sauce adds flavours from Chinese five spice (star anise, cinnamon, clove, fennel and Szechuan pepper) while also adding sweetness.

Coriander/cilantro: Fresh herbs add freshness and a little extra brightness to the dish.

Toasted shredded coconut (unsweetened): Long slivers of coconut as toasted in a pan to add a tropical sweet flavour but also a wonderful crunchy element.

Lime juice: Tanginess cuts through the richness of the hoisin and fat from the meat. It adds vibrancy and freshness to your mouth in each bite. You can sub for lemon if needed but lime is better.

Fish sauce: This sauce adds a salty umami flavour. It is recommended but you may omit for soy or tamari if necessary but it will change the flavour slightly.

Cos/romaine lettuce: Adds a nice crunch to the salad. Either slice up, cut into wedges or keep as whole leaves to use as cups for the larb.

Water chestnuts: A sliced vegetable that has a crisp texture, almost like an apple or coconut. The flavour is very plain but slightly nutty. They are very nutritious and full of fibre. Usually found in the canned vegetable section.

Chilli: I prefer to use fresh red chilli. You can use as little or as much as you’d prefer. This dish is very fresh and light, therefore lends nicely to a little spice.

Cucumber: Cooling, crunchy and light. You may sense a theme. This recipe is all about the light, bright and crunchy ingredients. Try scooping out the seeds to help keep the cucumber firmer and less waterlogged.

Rice noodles: A great way to bulk up this recipes and make larger portions. Rice Vermicelli helps fill you up a little more and carries the sauce in each bite.

Larb arranged on grey plate with fresh coriander/ cilantro

How to make Larb

  • Cook noodles: Place a medium saucepan over high heat. Half fill with water and bring to boil. Turn off and add the vermicelli noodles. Let sit for 5 minutes or until softened.
  • Prepare the meat: Place mince, garlic, ginger, coriander, hoisin sauce and zest in a bowl, mix to combine.
  • Toast coconut: In an empty non-stick fry pan over medium low heat, add coconut and continuously stir for 3-5 minutes or until toasty brown. Transfer to a plate.
  • Cook Meat: Return pan to medium high heat and add beef mixture and cook until browned. Break up any lumps and add the water chestnuts.
  • Add the sauce: Add fish sauce, lime juice and ½ cup of coconut. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer mixture to a bowl and cover to keep warm.
  • Prepare the flatbread and toast to warm.
  • Bring it all together: On an extra large plate, place noodles and lettuce. Spoon over mince mixture and top with cucumber, chilli, coriander/cilantro and remaining coconut. Serve drizzled with extra hoisin sauce.
Serving Larb at dinner table
Larb: Crunchy Asian Chopped Meat Salad

Setting you up for success – Tips, Tricks & FAQs for Larb

  • How long can Larb last? is best served immediately while the salad is fresh, crunchy and vibrant. It is best eaten within 1-2 days. If you think you cant eat it all, keep the lettuce and cucumber separate from the other ingredients as it will go soggy and brown. This also means you can reheat the other meat, sauce and noodle in the microwave without cooking the salads. Simply combine when you want to eat and toss together.
  • Do I have to use Pork? This recipe is super versatile. I usually use pork mince but chicken, beef and turkey can also work. Its a great way to add protein to you diet.
  • Can you freeze Larb? No, As this is a salad it isn’t possible to freeze. The meat and sauce can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
Scooping larb onto naan bread
Serve Larb with our Naan bread recipe.

What to Serve with Larb

Homemade Naan Bread
Naan is a leavened, oven-baked or fried flatbread which is found in India, west and central Asian countries. It is your new secret weapon in the kitchen.
Check out this recipe

Did you make this recipe?

Let us know how it turned out for you! Comment below, tag @missmolly_makes on Instagram using #missmollymakes or visit us LIVE at twitch.tv/missmollymakes.com

Larb: Crunchy Asian Chopped Meat Salad

Servings 4 people
Larb is salad with ground or minced meat and vegetables originating in Laos. It has a savoury, sweet elements and perfect a light lunch or dinner. 
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Ingredients
 

  • 200 g (7.05 oz) rice noodles thin
  • 500 g (1 lb) ground beef, pork or chicken
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger grated
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • cup hoisin sauce plus extra to serve
  • ¼ cup fresh coriander/cilantro chopped
  • 1 cup shredded coconut unsweetened
  • 1 lime zested & juiced
  • tbsp (2 tbsp) fish sauce
  • 1 small cos/romaine lettuce chopped
  • ½ cup water chestnuts chopped
  • 1-2 red chilli thinly sliced
  • 1 cucumber sliced diagonally

To Serve

Instructions

  • Place a medium saucepan over high heat. Half fill with water and bring to boil. Turn off and add the vermicelli noodles. Let sit for 5 minutes or until softened. 
  • Place mince, garlic, ginger, coriander, hoisin sauce and zest in a bowl, mix to combine.
  • Toast coconut in an empty non-stick fry pan over medium low heat and continuously stir for 3-5 minutes or until toasty brown. Transfer to a plate.
  • Return pan to medium high heat and add beef mixture and cook until browned. Break up any lumps and add the water chestnuts. 
  • Add fish sauce, lime juice and ½ cup of coconut. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer mixture to a bowl and cover to keep warm.
  • Prepare the flatbread and toast to warm. 
  • On an extra large plate, place noodles and lettuce. Spoon over mince mixture and top with cucumber, chilli, coriander/cilantro and remaining coconut. Serve drizzled with extra hoisin sauce.

Nutrition

Calories: 404kcal | Carbohydrates: 75g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 1270mg | Potassium: 382mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 243IU | Vitamin C: 25mg | Calcium: 47mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

Recipe Published: November 29, 2022 Last Updated: April 4, 2023

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