Laotian Chicken Larb is a simple, healthy and supercharged salad that’s jam packed with personality. Larb, sometimes pronounced laap, larp, lahb or laab is a National dish of Laos but often its heritage is attributed to Thailand, where it’s also widely consumed.
There are many different varieties of larb using chicken, pork, duck, fish and mushrooms - and unique styles that use raw or cooked meat. Some varieties feature animal blood, intestines and even bile as ingredients, but the most palatable to Western taste, and the type we see in most Laos and Thai restaurants is poached or fried ground meat combined with herbal and fragrant and spicy ingredients.
Larb is a sour, salty and herbal combination. It can also be insanely spicy - I ate a Thai version in Bangkok one time that I thought might end my life. I sweated it out in a corner with a red face and sheer panic in my eyes! It was so delicious!
Needless to say, you can dial the chilli heat up or down in your version, I keep mine fairly spicy so add a fair few chillies.