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Close up overhead shot of Chicken Larb Napa Salad in a bowl with red onions

Chicken Larb Napa Salad

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  • Author: Shelagh
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Thai


A larb (often called Laab) is ground chicken, pork, or beef, with tons of fresh herbs (which this salad is loaded with). It’s tangy and refreshing and perfect for summer cookouts! The ingredient list is long, but you won’t be sorry about this one. All the ingredients (less the fresh herbs) last a long time in the fridge.


Units Scale

For the chicken larb:

  • 1/4 cup uncooked jasmine rice (use brown rice to up the nutrition)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 long red chili, finely diced with the seeds (remove seeds for less spice)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1” fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, finely chop the stems, save the leaves for the salad
  • 1 lb. ground chicken (ground pork or beef work too)
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • Zest of 1 lime + juice
  • 2 tablespoons Tamari
  • Pinch of kosher salt (affiliate link) if needed

For the salad:

  • 1/2 head Napa cabbage (about 8 cups), thinly shredded
  • 1/2 bunch lacinato kale (about 4 cups)
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and grated
  • 1/2 cup scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro leaves
  • A handful of fresh mint leaves and/or Thai basil, regular basil is delish too
  • 1/2 cup cashews, roasted and chopped
  • 1/2 cup pickled red onions (here’s a link to my Easy Pickled Onion recipe)

For the dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons neutral (avocado, vegetable or light-colored olive oil) oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Tamari (or soy sauce)
  • 1 small red chili finely chopped


In a wok or pan over low heat, toast the uncooked jasmine rice, stirring continuously until they turn golden and fragrant, and some may start to pop like popcorn! About 10 minutes. Let cool, then grind to a coarse powder in a mortar & pestle or spice grinder. Set aside.

Heat coconut oil in a large frying pan or wok over medium-high heat. Add the chili, garlic, ginger, and cilantro stems and stir fry for about thirty seconds.

Add the ground chicken. Stir and break apart the with a wooden mixing spoon until separated into small pieces. Add the toasted, rice, fish sauce, lime zest, lime juice, and tamari. Stir through and cook for a further few minutes. Total cooking time for the chicken should be about 8-10 minutes. Taste for seasoning, add a pinch of salt if needed. Set aside.

To a large salad bowl whisk together the dressing ingredients. Add the Napa cabbage, scallions, carrot, and fresh herbs. Toss, toss, toss. Sprinkle with pickled red onions.

Serve the cooked chicken larb on top of the dressed salad and topped with roasted cashews and serve.



Chicken :: use pork, beef, or even try some beans that you’ve chopped

Jasmine rice :: you can use white, but you won’t get the flavor. Try brown or even basmati

Long red chili :: often hard to find, but i love their color. You can substitute a Fresno or jalapeno (always taste your corner for spiciness; some can really blow your head off!)

Pickled red onion :: No time? Just use some very thinly sliced red onion

Napa cabbage :: Savoy, green cabbage work or you can use all lacinato kale too

Fish sauce :: I know what you’re thinking, but give it a try; it adds so much umami to a dressing or dish. And a little goes a LONG way. If you don’t have any, use half the amount of Worcestershire sauce, but you’ll get a very different flavor from that.