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Laab Gai: Lao Minced Chicken Salad

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Filled with fresh herbs and aromatics, laab is the national dish of Laos and has evolved throughout history through neighboring countries. This recipe is a go-to for recipe contributor and YouTube host, Saeng Douangdara.

Kitchen Tip: Saeng highly recommends making your own toasted sticky rice powder—it makes a big difference in flavor! Directions can be found in the recipe below, and any extra can be stored for future use. 

Have you made this recipe? Let us know in the comments below. 

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Yields: 1 - 2
Total Time: 0 hours 45 mins
1 lb.

skin-on chicken thighs (or ground chicken_

Vegetable oil, for pan


pinch MSG

1/2 c.

uncooked sticky rice 

1/2 tsp.

dried crushed bird eye chili 

1/2 tbsp.

padaek (unfiltered fish sauce)


splash fish sauce

1 tbsp.

galangal, minced

1 tbsp.

lime leaves, minced

1/3 c.

chopped green onion 

1/3 c.

chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish

1/3 c.

whole bean sprouts


lime, juiced

1/3 c.

whole mint leaves, plus more for garnish

1/3 c.

diced shallots


fresh bird eye chiles, diced

Lettuce, for garnish

Cucumber, for garnish

Prep Chicken
  1. Remove skin from chicken thighs and cut skin into small pieces. Remove meat from bone, slice it into small pieces, then mince.
  2. Add enough oil to a large skillet to coat bottom and heat skillet over medium-high heat. Add ground chicken meat and cook undisturbed for 1 minute and 30 seconds each side then cook for another 2 minutes and stir. Let the chicken cook for a bit.
  3. In a separate skillet, add enough oil for a shallow fry then add the chicken skin  and fry until brown and crispyabout 1 minute and 30 seconds per side
  4. In another skillet, toast dried uncooked sticky rice on medium high for 11 minutes until dark and let it cool and then grind and smash it into a powder.
Prep Herbs + Aromatics
  1. In large bowl, combine chicken with 1 tablespoon rice powder, MSG, dried crushed chiles, padaek, and fish sauce, adding more fish sauce to taste. Mix gently with gloved hands. 
  2. Add galangal, lime leaves,  green onion, cilantro, bean sprouts, lime, chicken skin, mint, shallots, and mix to combine.
  3. Plate dish then top with more mint, fresh bird eye chili, lettuce, extra whole herbs, and cucumbers.  
  4. Enjoy with sticky rice or as lettuce wraps.
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