Pic of Thai minced chicken with Little Gem leaves

Thai minced chicken with Little Gem leaves

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Thai minced chicken with Little Gem leaves

Side Serves 4 40 min
Inspired by the Thai dish called larp, larb or laap, this chicken dish has a beautiful balance of freshness, crunch and spiciness. There are quite a few ingredients, but preparing and assembling them is simple. Little Gem is particularly good for scooping up the meat, but any other lettuce you'd like will also be fine.


for the dressing

  • 1 large mild red chilli, deseeded and finely shredded for garnish
  • 1-3 small red chillies (ideally bird's-eye) to taste, deseeded and very finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 3 tbsp Thai fish sauce

for the chicken

  • 1-2 tbsp vegetable or sunflower oil
  • 1 small onion, very finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 500g chicken fillet, minced or finely chopped
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves, very finely shredded or 2 stalks lemongrass, soft lower stem only, finely chopped
  • handful fresh coriander, roughly chopped
  • handful fresh basil or Thai basil leaves, roughly chopped
  • few fresh mint, roughly chopped
  • 2-3 heads Little Gem, washed and trimmed, leaves separated


Prep time: 20 min
Cooking time: 20 min

Make the dressing

  • Step 1

    by combining all ingredients. Add the chilli gradually if you are unsure of how much to use. The dressing should taste hot, sour and salty.

For the chicken

  • Step 1

    heat the oil in a heavy frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and cook for a few minutes until softened.
  • Step 2

    Raise the heat, add the garlic and chicken and stir fry until the chicken is opaque and cooked but not dry.
  • Step 3

    Immediately add the lime leaves or lemongrass, stir again and remove from the heat.
  • Step 4

    Pour the dressing over the chicken and stir again. Taste for seasoning and add most of the herbs, reserving some for garnish.
  • Step 5

    Arrange the lettuce leaves around the border of a serving plate or bowl, stalk ends pointing towards the centre of the dish.
  • Step 6

    Pile the chicken into the middle and scatter with the remaining herbs.
  • Step 7

    Eat from the plate communally, using the lettuce leaves like spoons to scoop up the chicken, or serve each person some chicken and leaves on individual plates.
  • Step 8

    Serve with Thai jasmine rice for a more substantial meal.

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