Grain-Free Thai Chicken Larb

Grain-Free Thai Chicken Larb

Serves 4

Prep time

20 Minutes

Cook Time

25 minutes

Daydreaming of sunny Thailand while in quarantine? This popular and super tasty Thai dish, Chicken Larb, will catapult you to your imaginary beach cabana. Using 5 traditional Thai flavors—sweet, sour, spicy, salty, and bitter—this dish has so much flavor and the ingredients can be found year-round in your local market.

Ingredients

Toasted Cashews and Hemp Seeds 

  • ¼ cup raw cashews 
  • 2 tablespoons hemp seeds

Chicken Larb

  • 2 dry chile de árbol or dry Thai bird's eye chiles, stemmed
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, tough layer removed, thinly chopped (about 1 tablespoon) (optional)
  • 1 garlic clove 
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1 pound pasture-raised ground chicken* 
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ ground white pepper (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon Chinese 5 spice
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon coconut aminos 
  • 2 cups cilantro leaves with stems, roughly chopped and loosely packed
  • 1 cup mint leaves, loosely packed
  • ½ cup Thai basil leaves (optional)  
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced (about ¾ cup)
  • 4 spring green onions, thinly sliced (about ½ cup)
  • 1 teaspoon dry chili flakes or powder (optional)

To Serve (Optional)

  • Butter lettuce leaves 
  • Cucumber, peeled and cut crosswise into ½-inch slices 
  • Green cabbage, 2 small wedges 
  • Lime, 4 wedges
        Preparation
        1
        In a well-heated skillet, dry roast cashews and hemp seeds for 2-3 minutes over medium-low heat. Make sure to shake the pan occasionally. Let cool, transfer to mortar and pestle, and pound until it becomes a coarse powder. Transfer to a bowl and set aside until ready to use. Alternately, use a blender to pulse mixture several times until it transforms into small and chunky bits, make sure not to over-process resulting in a powder.

        2
        In the same skillet, over medium-low heat, roast dry chiles, stirring occasionally until they turn a deeper color. After 5 minutes, add chopped lemongrass and continue to roast for 5 more minutes, keep stirring. 
        3
        Transfer to a clean mortar and pestle, add lime juice and garlic, and grind until it turns into a paste. Chiles don’t have to be fully ground and can have larger chunks. Or, use a blender and pulse until combined. Set aside.
        4
        Use the same skillet to prepare chicken. Add chicken with 1 cup water, white pepper, and Chinese 5 spice. Cook meat over medium-high heat until completely cooked, about 10 minutes, breaking into small pieces using a wood spoon as you cook. Drain excess liquid.
        5
        Transfer chicken into a large bowl and stir in fish sauce and coconut aminos. 

        6
        Once chicken cools to room temperature, add to a large bowl with chili paste mixture, fresh herbs, red and green onions, dry chili flakes, and chili-lime sauce, mixing well. 
        7
        When ready to serve, add cashew and hemp mixture and stir well. Serve with optional lettuce leaves, green cabbage, cucumber, and lime wedges.


        *If you can’t find pasture-raised ground chicken, ask your butcher to grind their larger cuts of organic or pasture-raised chicken while you wait!

        Loaded with bright flavors and textural contrasts, this authentic fresh Thai dish will be ready in under 25 minutes, with minimal effort. All you need to know are a couple essential larb-making skills: how to season the meat and why dressing your dish right before you eat is important. Serve immediately at room temperature alongside lettuce cups, cabbage wedges, cucumbers, or your favorite crunchy fresh vegetable. 

        While the traditional Thai Larb is made with roasted rice powder, which adds texture and thickness to the dressing, our version is grain-free and low-carb. We use roasted cashews and hemp seeds for that perfect texture and extra crunch. 

        This one-dish meal is full of nutrition to support a healthy body. Pastured chicken will give you a punch of protein, cruciferous cabbage and cilantro are detoxifying, and garlic is antiviral. 

        1

        In a well-heated skillet, dry roast cashews and hemp seeds for 2-3 minutes over medium-low heat. Make sure to shake the pan occasionally. Let cool, transfer to mortar and pestle, and pound until it becomes a coarse powder. Transfer to a bowl and set aside until ready to use. Alternately, use a blender to pulse mixture several times until it transforms into small and chunky bits, make sure not to over-process resulting in a powder.

        2

        In the same skillet, over medium-low heat, roast dry chiles, stirring occasionally until they turn a deeper color. After 5 minutes, add chopped lemongrass and continue to roast for 5 more minutes, keep stirring. 

        Transfer to a clean mortar and pestle, add lime juice and garlic, and grind until it turns into a paste. Chiles don’t have to be fully ground and can have larger chunks. Or, use a blender and pulse until combined. Set aside.

        3

        Use the same skillet to prepare chicken. Add chicken with 1 cup water, white pepper, and Chinese 5 spice. Cook meat over medium-high heat until completely cooked, about 10 minutes, breaking into small pieces using a wood spoon as you cook. Drain excess liquid.

        Transfer chicken into a large bowl and stir in fish sauce and coconut aminos. 

        4

        Once chicken cools to room temperature, add to a large bowl with chili paste mixture, fresh herbs, red and green onions, dry chili flakes, and chili-lime sauce, mixing well. 

        5

        When ready to serve, add cashew and hemp mixture and stir well. Serve with optional lettuce leaves, green cabbage, cucumber, and lime wedges.

        Best when fresh. Any leftovers will keep in the refrigerator up to 2 days. 

        Nutritional Analysis Per Serving: Calories: 215.7, Fat: 6.3 g, Saturated Fat: 0.9 g, Cholesterol: 70 mg, Fiber: 1.4 g, Protein: 31.8 g, Carbohydrates: 10.3 g, Sodium: 603.8 mg

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