These healthy Chicken Larb Gai Lettuce Wraps are an easy twist on the classic Thai recipe that are lower carb, gluten free and so delicious!
PIN Chicken Larb Gai Lettuce Wraps
(Photos updated in 2019, originally posted in 2013. Narration not changed)
Larb Gai: almost as fun to eat as it is to say.
If you have ever gone out for Thai (I am choosing to TRUST that you have) then you will probably have seen this on the menu. I find it’s not very well known as most people bypass the whole “leafy green” part of Thai menus and head straight over to the rice-and-noodles/ Thai basil chicken stir fry or orange beef stir fry kinda section
What is Larb?
Larb itself is a salad based on minced meat and is often called the national dish of Laos, although it’s super popular in Thailand (hence why you find it in Thai restaurants)
Larb GAI (sometimes pronounced as laab gai) which is translated as chicken larb, is a Thai style salad that is made up of ground, chicken mixed with diced red peppers, shallots, cucumbers, Thai basil (GAH, this stuff is ah-may-zing!), mint and some sort of leafy green. It is topped with a sweet and spicy dressing made of fish sauce, garlic, brown sugar, lime juice and diced Thai chili peppers.
Side note: If you own a pressure washer, use that to wash your hands after you dice a Thai chili.
I used the regular old kitchen sink and thought that would get the juices from the chili off my hands. I then rubbed my eyeballs. I clearly thought wrong.
Chili peppers: 1, Taylor’s eyeballs: Ouch.
The typical larb gai recipe also has finely ground toasted rice, which this one doesn’t. So, TECHNICALLY it’s not a traditional chicken larb recipe, but you get the idea, right?
It’s also not traditional (because why not continue being rule breakers?) because I am making you chicken larb gai LETTUCE WRAPS instead of making it into a pretty little salad that you eat with a fork.
Truth life fact: food that you can eat with your fingers > Food that you have to eat like a grown up with a fork and be civilized.
I told you my feelings on this in the Slow Cooker Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps. I know that you agree with me.
The lettuce wraps themselves are a flavor explosion of punchy garlic and onion with crisp peppers, crunchy cucumbers and these bursts of fresh mint and thai basil dancing across your tongue with juicy pieces of ground chicken. Then you DOUSE them in a sweet, salty and TANGY super-simple dipping sauce and when you put it all inside your mouth pretty much everything in the world makes sense.
But, I want to touch on the sauce for a second for 2 reasons!
- It is STRONG so you want to use it super sparingly. It’s salty and tangy and fishy in an actually authentic kind of Thai way.
- It might not be for you. Like I said it’s authentic and strong and I love it like that. Mr. FFF though? Not so much. He told me to tell you that if you don’t love salty fishiness you should probably find a good peanut sauce and use them as the sauce!
What kind of lettuce for lettuce wraps?
A note on the lettuce situation. You can totally use my favorite lettuce-wrap lettuce: butter lettuce. BUT, for these chicken larb gai lettuce wraps, I REALLY love cabbage. It’s a little sturdier and has this nice crispy crunch that really plays well with the soft, juicy ground chicken.
Just ignore the photos. I couldn’t find cabbage at the store that day.
Fun to say. Fun to eat.
Larb gai is food for all the senses.
Other Recipes You Migh Like:
- 1 Tbsp Peanut oil, divided (avocado oil for paleo)
- 1/2 Lb 93% Lean Ground Chicken
- 1/4 Cup Shallots diced (about 2 large shallots)
- 1 Tbsp Fresh garlic minced
- 3/4 Cup Cucumber diced (about 1/2 a large cucumber)
- 1/2 Cup Red bell pepper diced (about 1/2 a large pepper)
- 1/4 Cup Green onions diced
- 1/4 Cup Fresh Thai basil roughly chopped
- 3 Tbsp Fresh mint diced
- 2 Tbsp Fish sauce
For the sauce: ** Read notes
- 2 Tbsp Fresh lime juice
- 1 Tbsp Fish sauce
- 1 Tbsp Thai chili, minced (1/2 chili)
- 1 Tbsp Coconut sugar (or sugar free sweetener for lower carb)
- 1/2 Tbsp Fresh garlic, minced
- Chopped peanuts, for garnish (or cashews)
- Lettuce of choice (I like cabbage)
- Heat 1/2 Tbsp of the peanut oil in a medium pan on medium heat. Cook the ground chicken until no longer pink inside. Transfer to a plate and set aside for later use.
- Heat the remaining oil in a small pan over medium/high heat and cook the shallots and garlic until they are soft, about 2-3 minutes.
- Combine all the salad ingredients, excluding the fish sauce, in a large bowl. Add in garlic, shallots and chicken and stir until well combined. Finally, pour the fish sauce over top and stir until well mixed.
- Pour the 2 Tbsps of fish sauce over the chicken and vegetable mixture and toss until it is evenly coated. Set aside.
- Combine all the dipping sauce ingredients and stir until the sugar is dissolved.
- Fill each lettuce cup with chicken/vegetable mixture and top with chopped nuts and a drizzle of sauce (or you can dip the wrap into the sauce.)
Tips & Notes:
Recipes written and produced on Food Faith Fitness are for informational purposes only.
FOR THIS RECIPE, I RECOMMEND:
WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS PER SERVING: FREESTYLE POINTS:9 POINTS+: 8. OLD POINTS: 8
(per 1/2 the recipe, no peanuts)
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