Southeast Asian Kitchen: Larb Gai with Basil and Kaffir Lime

Southeast Asian Kitchen is a Tablecrafter series on cooking dishes inspired by the different regional cuisines in Southeast Asia.

Essentially a salad from Laos and Northern Thailand, the Larb epitomizes fast food. Often flavored with a mix of aromatic herbs and chilies, the simple dish becomes an intensely flavored salad. Unofficially named as Laos’ national dish, we serve the simple and filling dish atop steamed white rice and a poached egg. The next time you find yourself short of cooking time, try our Larb Gai with for a quick meal.

Larb Gai with Basil and Kaffir Lime

Yield: 4 servings
Time: 15 minutes (5 min prep / 10 min cooking)


  • 500g lean ground pork
  • 1 small red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 tsp ginger, peeled and minced
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • ⅓ cup Thai basil, leaves only
  • 4–5 kaffir lime leaves, very thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  1. In a wok or wide pan, sauté onions, ginger, and garlic over medium heat for 3 minutes.
  2. Add the ground pork and kaffir lime leaves. Stir to break up the ground pork. Cook for 5 minutes, or until the pork is completely cooked.
  3. Turn off the heat and toss in the basil. Adjust for seasoning.
  4. Serve immediately over hot white rice.