Laotian laab, or sometimes spelled larb or laap (pronounced “lob”) is referred to as the good fortune salad. It is considered to be the national dish by many if they were to have one. The variations are endless it can be made with chicken, pork, fish and often times is made with raw beef or fish.
It is always served with sticky rice, and will be found on a table for every special occasion. What makes this good fortune salad so special is the balance of flavors that Laos is famous for. It is spicy from the Thai chili, it has a hint of sour from lime, a nutty hint from the sticky rice powder and savory and salty from the fish sauce. The fresh minced herbs add a delightful freshness to the dish. The sticky rice powder may be hard to find so I have added a link to obtain it here from Amazon. Sticky Rice Powder Please note that this is an affiliate link in which I will earn a small commission.
I made this Laotian laab with grilled beef, but I can easily see how it would be delicious with any of the variations above. We loved it, I hope you do to.
Laotian Laab Minced Beef Salad
Considered to be the National Dish of Lao and for good reason this salad is simply scrumptious and can be made with any type of protein you like!
- 1-1/2 pounds lean beef steak or sirloin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tbs toasted sticky rice powder
- 8 sprigs of cilantro coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup of bean sprouts for garnish
- 2 green onions finely chopped
- 8 sprigs mint coarsely chopped (Plus a few leaves for garnish)
- 5 kaffir limes leaves finely chopped or minced
- 8 sprigs sprigs of Vietnamese coriander add more cilantro if you can not find this
- 2 slices of galangal minced
- 1/2 stalk lemongrass outer peel removed, trimmed, and minced
- 2 Thai bird chili peppers thinly sliced (Thai chili's are exceptionally hot add according to your heat tolerance)
- 1 tsp red pepper dried & crushed
- 2-4 Tbsp fish sauce to taste
- 1 large lime juiced
- Optional ingredients you may add :
- 1-2 Tbsp fermented fish sauce and/or
- 1/4 cup beef tripe cooked & thinly sliced (both are optional)
- Cooking the Beef:
- Grill beef for 6-7 minutes on medium heat/flame until cooked to your liking
- Thinly slice the beef, making sure you're against the grain
Finely mince the beef and place in a large bowl
- Mixing the Larb:
- Add in the toasted rice powder, herbs and spices, crushed dried red pepper, fish sauce and lime juice.
- Toss the salad . You are going for a balanced flavor of spicy, tangy, salty, adjust seasonings to taste
- Garnish with some mint, cilantro, lime and serve with some cucumber slices and of course sticky rice.
If you enjoyed this recipe be sure to check out the other authentic Lao recipes as well as read Our Journey to Laos to learn more about this beautiful country in Southeast Asia.
You many also like:
Sin Savanh – Lao Beef Jerky
Jaew mak keus – Lao Eggplant Dip
Khao Niew – Lao Sticky Rice
Tam Mak Houng – Lao Spicy Green Papaya Salad
Ping Gai – Lao Grilled Chicken
Oa Si Khai – Lao Lemongrass Chicken
Khao Poon – Lao Coconut Noodle Soup
Kanom Krok – Lao Coconut Cakes