Thai Larb Chicken Lettuce Cups

Thai Larb Chicken Lettuce Cups

Jaden's headnote excerpt: Larb is an Asian salad that’s considered the national dish of Laos. It features a sour and spicy warm stir-fried meat on top of cold, crisp lettuce. The dressing is made of fish sauce, spicy fresh chiles, and fresh lime juice. Fresh mint leaves provide a refreshing finish. On the list of my favorite sounds would be the crisp snap crunch of super-cold lettuce as you peel off the layers, one by one. Use iceberg, Boston bibb, or any kind of lettuce that has cup-shaped leaves for this recipe. Keep the lettuce refrigerated until ready to eat.
Course Appetizer, Dinner
Cuisine Asian
Servings 4
Author Printed with permission by Jaden Hair, copyright © 2013. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.


  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1/2 pound ground chicken breast
  • 2 shallots diced
  • 1/4 red onion diced
  • 1 clove garlic very finely minced
  • Minced fresh chiles Jalapeño or Fresno (amount up 
to you)
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1/2 lime juiced
  • 1 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce, tamari, or coconut aminos
  • 1 head iceberg lettuce leaves separated into “cups”
  • 1 handful of cilantro and/or mint cut into chiffonade


  • Heat a wok or large sauté pan over high heat. When hot, swirl in 1 tablespoon of the oil and add the chicken. Use your spatula to break up the meat and spread out over the surface of the pan. Cook until browned, about 3 minutes.
  • Push the ground chicken to one side of the pan and swirl in the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of oil. To the oil, add the shallots, red onion, garlic, and fresh chiles and sauté the aromatics until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the fish sauce, lime juice, and soy sauce.
  • Serve with lettuce cups and herbs.


I used coconut oil as my cooking oil, and I served the chicken lettuce cups with cilantro, limes, julienned carrots, and brown rice. I also substituted tamari for the soy sauce to make it gluten free.