Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps on a white plate with garnishes
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5 from 17 votes

Thai Chicken Lettuce Wrap (Larb Gai, Laab Gai)

This is a really authentic recipe for Thai Chicken Lettuce Cups (Larb Gai). It is super fast to make, incredibly fresh but full of fragrance and a hit of spice. Serve it up with a bowl of rice for a satisfying yet healthy meal! Adapted from a recipe by a great Australian food blog, Chew Town. Cook time assumes you opt to use cornstarch / cornflour instead of toasting and grinding rice for the sauce thickener.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Stir Fry
Cuisine: Thai
Servings: 2 - 3
Calories: 351kcal
Author: Nagi | RecipeTin Eats


  • 2 tbsp uncooked rice (any rice is fine) OR 2 tsp cornstarch / corn flour (optional) (Note 1)
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 1/2 tbsp lime juice (1 to 2 limes)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp peanut oil (or other high smoke point cooking oil)
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger , grated or very finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves , minced
  • 1 lemon grass stalk , white and very pale green part only, finely chopped (Note 1)
  • 2 birds eye chilli , deseeded and finely chopped (adjust to taste)
  • 1 lb / 500g lean chicken mince (ground chicken)
  • 1/2 red onion , cut into 4 wedges then finely sliced
  • 1/3 cup cilantro / coriander leaves , plus extra to garnish
  • 1/3 cup mint leaves , plus extra to garnish
  • 3 tbsp crushed peanuts (optional)
  • 4 large or 8 small lettuce leaves , to serve (I used iceberg)


  • Optional step: Heat a wok (or heavy based fry pan) over high heat. Add the rice and dry cook for 5 minutes until it turns dark golden brown. Remove into a mortar and pestle and ground into powder.
  • Place water and rice powder OR cornstarch (if using) into a small bowl. Mix into a slurry. Add lime juice, fish sauce and sugar and mix to combine. Set aside.
  • Heat peanut oil in a wok (or heavy based fry pan) over medium high heat. Add ginger, garlic, lemongrass and chilli and saut√© for 45 seconds to 1 minute until fragrant. Do not let the garlic burn, it will taste bitter.
  • Add the chicken and turn up the heat to high. Cook the chicken, breaking up the mince into small pieces.
  • Once the chicken turns white and is almost cooked through (about 4 minutes), add the sauce from Step 2. Cook for 45 seconds to 1 minute to coat the chicken and for the sauce to thicken.
  • Remove wok from heat. Stir through onion, coriander/cilantro and mint.
  • Spoon into lettuce cups and serve. Garnish with extra mint, coriander/cilantro leaves and peanuts, if using.
  • Alternatively, serve the Larb in bowls with the lettuce cups on the side so people can help themselves.


1. The traditional way in Thailand to thicken sauces is to toast then grind rice. A quicker way to do this is to use cornstarch / cornflour so I have provided directions for this too.
But this is an optional step. It makes a difference because the sauce coats the chicken a bit better. But it isn't critical!
2. Peel the stringy, tough, outside layers off the lemongrass and just use the bottom 7 - 10cm / 3 to 4" of he lemongrass.
3. This can be eaten with your hands by folding the lettuce leaves around the filling, or over rice. It can also be served as appetisers by using very small lettuce leaves.
4. Nutrition assumes 3 servings and that this is made using chicken breast mince.
Thai Chicken Lettuce Cups (Larb Gai) Nutrition


Serving: 238g | Calories: 351kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 21.4g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 130mg | Sodium: 559mg | Potassium: 921mg | Fiber: 1.9g | Sugar: 2.4g | Vitamin A: 400IU | Vitamin C: 13.2mg | Calcium: 50mg | Iron: 3.1mg