Thai Chicken Salad – Laap Gai

Our favourite Isan (North East Thailand) meal, which we have occasionally made since returning home from our travels there, is minced chicken salad, or Laap Gai. Like other typical Isan cuisine, it is spicy and rich in flavour. Traditionally it is made with ground, roasted sticky rice in it, though I usually skip this step for simplicity without noticing the difference. I enjoy eating this dish, as the Thai people do, with handfuls of sticky rice, or wrapped in lettuce leaves like a wrap.

Follow this link to read about my experiences in Thailand



1 1/2 cups chicken breast or turkey breast, minced or ground. Ground chicken is usually available at grocery stores.

4 shallots, thinly sliced

3 tbsp fish sauce – yes, it smells vile, but it’s an integral ingredient in Thai dishes

2 tbsp lime juice

1 tbsp chilli powder

2 tbsp finely chopped red onion (optional)

1 tbsp cilantro, chopped (optional)

1 green onion, chopped

1 tbsp mint leaves, chopped



1. Place the ground chicken, shallots, red onion, fish sauce, lime juice and chilli powder into a medium bowl and mix together.

2. Heat a wok and on medium heat and cook the chicken mixture for about 6 minutes until the chicken is cooked. During the last minute, add the mint, cilantro and green onion.

3. Serve with sticky or glutinous rice or in lettuce leaves, similar to lettuce wraps.


About gentlemangourmet

My name is Mike and even though I’m not always a gentleman, it’s safe to say I am in love with food. Like my more famous namesake, the kid on the cereal commercial from the early 80′s, I had an ability to eat just about anything and “like it.” I’ve become a tad more discerning since my toddler phase: I prefer Pinot Noir to the customary Shiraz my parents liked, I no longer eat parmesan cheese sprinkled from a container, and can pick out which ingredients I like or don’t in a recipe by smell alone. I blame my Lebanese heritage, my large Lebanese nose (all the better for smelling with) and exposure over the past few years to some exquisite ethnic cooking styles and cuisine, as well as to some stunning, inspiring cooks who are family or friends. I’ve included a lot of their favourite recipes on this site, as well as a few of my own that have become my staples over the years. I hope you find something here that you like. Happy cooking! View all posts by gentlemangourmet

2 responses to “Thai Chicken Salad – Laap Gai

  • Foo Dee

    Have you tried this with dark meat (thigh or breast) or even duck or game bird? This may not have been the case in Thailand (where dinner runs around your room during the day) but I find chicken in North America to be so non descript,, especially the breast. It seem they went boneless then skinless then tasteless.

    I always cook my breasts (if I use them) with the skin on even if I don’t intend to eat the skin but again that is a last resort. Darker more flavourful cuts of chicken or wilder birds always reward this cook.

    In any case, Thai food is something I’ve never cooked so I thought I would ask if this recipe is pleasant with a more flavorful cut than chicken breast. It reads the way I love to cook. Simple not fussy.

    • gentlemangourmet

      I’ve only ever used ground, white chicken or turkey breast with this dish, though generally my preference is the more tasty dark meat, I agree. It’s funny that you commented on the increasing blandness of store-bought chicken. I only truly noticed the difference when a friend at work sold me a free-run chicken she had raised on her farm – the flavour was staggeringly better and its size was as big as a Thanksgiving turkey. My mom has also just started raising her own chickens (for eggs and meat) and turkeys, so I plan to pick up as much free range from her as I can. The eggs from her farm are larger and fresher than anything from the store.

      I will take your advice and try cooking chicken breast with the skin on to see if there is a difference.

      I’m also a very simple cook – I tend not to exceed 10 ingredients if I can help it. Thanks for commenting! M

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: