Chefs' Recipes

Sunda's Thai-style chicken larb

This vibrant salad by Melbourne restaurant Sunda fires on all cylinders.

By Khanh Nguyen
  • 1 hr preparation
  • 45 mins cooking
  • Serves 4 - 6
  • Print
"This is one of my favourite staff meals: textural and refreshing," says Khanh Nguyen, head chef from Sunda.
"At Mr Wong, I worked with Pla Rojratanavichai who now owns Khao Pla and Chum Tang in Sydney. He taught me the basics of Thai cuisine.


  • ½ white cabbage (900gm), cut into 3 wedges, core removed
Chicken larb
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 600 gm minced chicken
  • 200 gm snake beans, cut into 3cm lengths
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 jalapeño, thinly sliced
  • 1 lemongrass stalk (white part only), thinly sliced
  • ½ cup (firmly packed) mint leaves, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup (firmly packed) coriander, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup Thai basil leaves, thinly sliced
  • 6 makrut lime leaves, thinly sliced
  • 15 gm ginger, thinly sliced
  • 45 gm (⅓ cup) roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
  • Finely grated zest of 2 limes
Nahm jim dressing
  • 10 gm ginger, coarsely chopped
  • 5 gm galangal, coarsely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 2 long red chillies, seeds removed, coarsely chopped
  • ½ lemongrass stalk (white part only), thinly sliced
  • 2 coriander roots, coarsely chopped
  • 2 makrut lime leaves, finely chopped
  • 25 gm palm sugar, grated
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) lime juice (from about 2 limes)
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 3 tsp light soy sauce
Roasted rice
  • 50 gm (¼ cup) jasmine rice
  • 30 gm galangal, very thinly sliced
  • 30 gm ginger, very thinly sliced
  • 1 lemongrass stalk (white part only), very thinly sliced
  • 6 makrut lime leaves, very thinly sliced
  • 1 dried long red chilli, very thinly sliced


  • 1
    For nahm jim dressing, pound ginger, galangal, garlic, chilli, lemongrass, coriander and lime leaves with a mortar and pestle to a smooth paste (or blend with a small food processor). Transfer to a bowl and season to taste with sugar, lime juice, fish sauce, vinegar and soy sauce.
  • 2
    For roasted rice, roast ingredients in a large frying pan over low heat until rice is golden brown (15-20 minutes). Crush with a mortar and pestle to a coarse crumb. If needed, return to frying pan over very low heat to dry out completely (10-15 minutes).
  • 3
    For chicken larb, heat oil in a large frying pan over high heat and cook chicken, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until lightly browned (5-6 minutes). Add snake beans and cook until softened but still with some texture (3 minutes). Remove pan from heat and stir through remaining ingredients. Dress with nahm jim to taste, scatter with roasted rice and serve with cabbage and nam khao, a Lao-style crisp rice salad.


Wine suggestion 2018 Amrit Pinot Gris. Wine suggestion by Brad Hammond.