Spicy Pork Larb With Vegetables & Herbs

May 29, 2018
16 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 15 minutes
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

Though this dish originates in Laos, many variations exist around Thailand. The base of the dish is made up of ground meat, often chicken or pork but variations also include ground duck or mushrooms and toasted, ground rice. Most often, larb is served cold or at room temperature with pickled vegetables and large pieces of lettuce that act as wraps for the meat.

Feel free to hold back the Thai chili, one packs a serious punch or switch up what kind of meat you use. This version of larb isn’t a traditional one, I’ve added in shredded vegetables and like serving it hot over rice. —Miranda Keyes

What You'll Need
  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 cup finely shredded purple cabbage
  • 1 large carrot, shredded
  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced ginger
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced lemongrass
  • 1 Thai chili, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup lime juice, about 2 large limes
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh mint
  1. Heat coconut oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until softened and starting to char slightly, about 4-5 minutes.
  2. Add pork and cook, stirring frequently and breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, about 5-6 minutes. Add cabbage and carrot, cook until vegetables start to soften, 4 minutes.
  3. Once vegetables are tender add ginger, lemongrass, chili, fish sauce and lime juice. Mix until everything is well combined and cook until flavours come together, about 2 minutes. Mix in fresh herbs and serve over rice. Garnish with extra herbs, if desired.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • erinrae
  • So sett
    So sett
  • Elizabeth
  • Claire Kim
    Claire Kim
  • Kaitlin Bray
    Kaitlin Bray

25 Reviews

Linda D. December 11, 2020
Thank you so very much for this recipe, Miranda. The larb was fabulous! I had to do without the lemongrass; alas, the food store had none. Even so, the larb was just as good or maybe even better than what we have had at the Thai restaurants available to us. Hope you and yours are keeping well.
Cookingmom June 10, 2020
This recipe is delicious! I added a bit more fish sauce and increased the fresh herbs. My family loved it - even the picky eaters!
erinrae September 22, 2019
Delicious and really simple, a great addition to the weeknight rotation. Love that it's veg-heavy (for larb) and can definitely be played with with different meat and vegetables--the sauce and herbs will pull it together and make it larb. We had it over rice from the Zojirushi!
Nichole January 16, 2019
I’ve made this at least 6 times over the last 5 months and everyone really loves it! The mint makes it. I make rice with coconut cream and lime zest to serve with this and it’s always well received. Thanks for sharing!
Cheryl A. December 10, 2018
Delicious. Made it exactly as written for a weeknight meal on a cold winter day. I did add roasted veggies to my dish to reduce the amount of rice in my portion. Go ahead and make this. You will not regret it!
So S. November 2, 2018
I added some toasted rice on top at the end... throw a bit of uncooked dry rice into a pan and toasted on low/med-low for 10 minutes until it was golden brown, then mortar pestled it and sprinkled on top. It added a really nice textural balance
Miranda K. November 5, 2018
The toasted rice is often added to this dish and is a great addition! I will have to try it the next time I make the dish! :)
CalamityintheKitchen August 22, 2018
Just made this and found it a dry. But then I remembered that the pork had seemed awfully lean, and I wondered if it should have had a bit more fat in it. Not sure what the percentage is on the pork I used, but it had been fattier, or if I had used more oil to make up for it.....
Pamela B. August 31, 2018
Use fatty pork, not lean pork. Talk to your butcher.
Elizabeth August 4, 2018
really flavorful. I buy chopped lemongrass in the freezer area of my local Asian market, as well as fresh ginger that I chop into 1 - 2" pieces and freeze. The ginger is easy to peel with the back of a spoon once it's been sitting on the counter a few minutes, and then I run it through a fine grater. I was a little skeptical about the mint (still find it strange in some savory dishes) but it made it so fresh tasting! I also didn't have any chilies handy so just used a couple squirts of Sriracha. Makes for a really tasty meal with some rice and a Thai omelet - my 13 month old could not stop shoveling this in his mouth. Well done!
Miranda K. November 5, 2018
So happy to hear you and your 13 month old enjoyed! :) Great tip on the ginger, so easy to peel with a spoon!
Karoonyskitchen July 12, 2018
I've never cooked with coconut oil so I don;t have any. Is is it supposed to add any flavour to the dish or can I substitute veggie or olive oil?
Elizabeth August 4, 2018
I'd almost say peanut oil, otherwise a neutral oil like vegetable oil would do. But coconut oil is really flavorful and wonderful to cook and bake with; you can find it cheapest in a jar at Aldi, if you have one of those.
Claire K. June 27, 2018
Just bought some lemongrass to make this, but I've never cooked with it before. Which part of it do I use?
Miranda K. June 27, 2018
You use the bottom 1/4 of the lemongrass. Cut off the end and peel back a few of the tough outer layers. Just chop up the soft inner core and you’re good to go!
NancyFromKona June 20, 2018
Made it tonight and it was a big hit and yes, it serves 4. For my cilantro-hating husband and his offspring I substituted Thai basil for the cilantro. I appreciate that the spice elements were expressed by volume, timing was rat on and clean up was a snap. I find it a challenge to cook for my if-I-eat-Garlic-I-might-die guy so many thanks for an outstanding garlic-free main.
Miranda K. June 20, 2018
Love hearing how much you all enjoyed the recipe! Thai basil is a great substitute, I know a lot of people who sadly hate cilantro! ;)
Kaitlin B. June 19, 2018
I made this last night and was very pleased! I didn't have a Thai chili (but sriracha did the trick) or lemongrass
(so I upped the ginger). Also added an extra tsp of fish sauce and an extra squeeze of lime and served over cauliflower rice. Lunch leftovers were 👌— will make again.
Miranda K. June 20, 2018
Those all sound like great subs, so glad to hear you enjoyed it!
hookmountaingrowers June 12, 2018
This was very nice - esp the lime juice and fish sauce were quite important. I recommend adding more fish sauce. I also used thai basil and I added some garlic scapes, shallots when stir frying the onion.
Terry A. June 4, 2018
I made this and the flavor was off. I let it sit a while and added roasted peanuts and that made all the difference. Don't forget the peanuts!
nancy June 4, 2018
Any suggestions if i want to keep the heat down? My hubby is very sensitive to spice.
Miranda K. June 20, 2018
Just remove the Thai chili and you're good to go!
FrugalCat May 31, 2018
Not big on mint so I used flat leaf parsley. A winner for a great meal.
Barb June 3, 2018
I did the same, but love mint and hate cilantro. Mint and parsley was a great combo.