Larb is a classic Thai dish that’s made from ground meat, lots of aromatics (like lemongrass and garlic), fresh chiles, and lots of herbs. Larb literally translates to “chopped up”. I had it for the first time in Thailand and was instantly obsessed with how simple and flavorful it was!

Ingredient highlight

Lemongrass! This southeast Asian stalk is a part of the grass family. It has a very distinct citrusy flavor thanks to plant compound “citral”, which also gives it it’s anti-inflammatory effects. It’s traditionally be used remedy for digestive issues, pain relief, and fever.

You can find lemongrass in the herb section or near the ginger at most grocery stores or at any Asian grocery store. When buying lemongrass, look for firm stalks with a pale yellow lower stalk and green upper stalk. For cooking, it’s best to remove the tough outer stalks (use it them for tea!) and only use the tender white inner stalk.

Servings 4
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes


  • 2 cups jasmine rice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 2 cups finely chopped broccoli (from about 6 oz or 1 medium head)
  • 1 medium shallot, thinly sliced
  • 2 red spicy chiles, thinly sliced (like fresno or use jalapeno, optional)
  • 1 stalk of lemongrass, thinly sliced (optional)*
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed or grated
  • 3- inch knob ginger, grated (about 1-2 tbsp)
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 ½ tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves, divided**
  • ½ cup roasted peanuts, chopped, divided
  • Lime wedges, for serving
  • *If you can find fresh lemongrass, use it!! Trim the root end off, peel off the outer more fibrous leaves, then just thinly slice from the root end up until it starts to turn a darker green. You could also use a lemongrass paste if that is all you can find. Read the leftovers section for ideas on other ways to use lemongrass if you bought a whole pack.
  • **You could also use scallions if you can’t find fresh mint. You can add the white parts of the scallions with or in place of the shallot (see subs section).
  • Pro tip! ~ This recipe prep heavy but comes together fast, so make sure to have all of your ingredients prepped before you start cooking. Mis en place is key!
  • Note: ~ it’s important to thinly slice the chilis and shallot and very finely chop the broccoli because it cooks very quickly at the end. You can use a blender to finely chop the broccoli and a mandolin for the shallot and pepper if you have one.


  • Use a fine mesh sieve to rinse the rice, using your finger tips to agitate the grains, until the water runs clear. Cook the rice (instructions here).
  • In a large skillet over high heat, add the oil. Once it’s hot, add the ground pork, break it up into big chunks and let it cook, undisturbed for 3-5 minutes, or until deeply brown on one side (be careful of splatter – use a splatter guard if you have one).
  • Flip the pork chunks over, continue to break it up into smaller chunks, then give it a stir and let it cook undisturbed for 2 more minutes to continue to brown and cook through. If there is a lot of fat left in the skillet, turn off the heat, tilt the pan, and use a spoon or tablespoon to remove all but roughly 2-3 tablespoons (fat content varies a lot with pork). You want some of this fat to help keep it saucy and balance out the salt and acid!
  • Turn the heat back on to medium-high. Once the meat is sizzling again, add the broccoli, shallot, chilis, lemongrass, garlic, and ginger, and stir for about 30 seconds just to mix it all together. Stir in the fish sauce, lime juice, ½ cup mint leaves and ¼ cup peanuts and cook for 30 more seconds, stirring often and scraping up anything stuck on the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat.
  • Serve the larb over warm rice and top with remaining mint, peanuts and lime wedges.

Items you can prep ahead (optional)

  • Cook 2 cups jasmine rice
  • Finely chop 2 cups broccoli 
  • Thinly slice 1 medium shallot
  • Thinly slice 2 red spicy chiles
  • Thinly slice 1 stalk of lemongrass (optional)
  • Crush or grate 3 cloves garlic (only prep ahead if cooking the same day)
  • Grate a 3-inch knob ginger (about 1-2 tbsp)
  • Squeeze 2 tbsp lime juice
  • Chop ½ cup roasted peanuts
  • Make the larb


  • To make vegetarian/vegan, use crumbled/pressed tofu in place of pork. Cook it in plenty of oil (3-4 tbsp) to get it nice and browned since tofu has little fat content. Use soy sauce in place of fish sauce. 
  • To make nut-free, skip the peanuts.
  • Pork is the most delicious here, but you could make this with any ground meat (chicken, turkey, or beef). If using a lean meat like chicken or turkey, brown it in 2 or 3 tablespoons of oil.
  • If you can’t find or don’t want to buy shallot, you could use the white/light green parts of a large bunch of scallions instead. Then use the green parts in place of or in addition to the mint. 
  • If you can’t find lemongrass, then just leave it out and add a bit more ginger and/or garlic. The dish won’t have the same classic thai lemongrass flavor, but it will still be delicious. 
  • Any VERY finely chopped veg can be used in place of broccoli (mushrooms, bell pepper, carrot, cauliflower, etc…). I find broccoli works best because it soaks up the flavors really well. Use your blender to get that fine chop!
  • Fish sauce adds that classic Thai flavor in the larb, but you can use soy sauce if you don’t like or have fish sauce. 


  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer:
    • Larb: up to 4 days in the fridge or 2 months in the freezer
    • Rice: up to 6 days in the fridge or 2 months in the freezer

Leftovers + Repurposing:

  • Warm up leftover rice in the microwave until warmed through. It helps to cover with a wet paper towel or cloth and/or add a splash of water to the rice before heating. Larb can be warmed in the microwave or in a skillet. Serve with all the toppings.
  • Make it a larb taco!
  • Chopped avocado would be delicious on top.
  • Put a fried egg on it.
  • Turn it into a larb fried rice. Cook the leftover rice in a skillet with oil to reheat and crisp it up a bit. Stir in the larb until heated through. You could put the rice to the sides and fry some eggs in the center and then mix those in. Add a dash more of lime and fish sauce or soy sauce. Top with lots of herbs and peanuts.

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