It’s the summer and I’ve been a bit busy with family, but today I felt the need for a light asian flavoured salad. I saw a version of this delicious salad on one of the many cooking shows I watch. When I did a bit of research I found several versions. Some called is lab gai, some laab, some larb. Some said it was a Thai recipe & some said it was from Laos. Traditionally is is made with ground pork and a lot more chili. Mine is a combination of them all.
My version is made with ground turkey, sautéed with ginger and garlic. While that was cooking, I made a dressing with 1 T fish sauce, 1 T sweet chili sauce, and 1/4 c lime juice. After tasting I added 1 T brown sugar and a splash of soy sauce and more lime juice. When the turkey was nearly done I added the dressing to finish it all up. The salad is a combination of grated carrot, red cabbage and some bagged broccoli slaw I needed to use up. I also added red onion, I soaked in lime juice to mellow them a bit (a trick I learned from Nigella Lawson). Garnishes included cilantro, mint, chopped peanuts, and scallion. We used iceberg lettuce for wraps, but you could also chop up some lettuce for a tossed salad. One recipe I found suggested pouring the turkey mix over steamed jasmine rice. I imagine you could do a sort of stir fry with the vegetables and meat. We really enjoyed the salad. I decided not to write a more formal style recipe as I feel this salad is really open to your own favorite combinations. I hope you enjoy trying lab gai.
PS: My cousin informs me it’s technically laab gai gnueng. Thanks Glenn!