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Thai Chicken Wrapped in Lettuce (Laab)


  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 5 green onions, thinly sliced, green and white parts
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons ground rice*
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red chile flakes
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 heads Boston lettuce, leaves separated


  1. Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat; add chicken and water. Cook, stirring occasionally and breaking up large pieces, until chicken has turned completely white, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat; drain chicken.
  2. Combine chicken, green onions, shallots, mint, cilantro, fish sauce, ground rice, chile flakes and lime juice in a serving bowl; toss well.
  3. Place lettuce on a plate. Let diners prepare their own wraps by placing a spoonful of chicken on a lettuce leaf and rolling it up.
  4. * To make ground rice, heat a small, heavy skillet over medium-high heat.
  5. Add 1/4 cup rice (jasmine or sticky rice is best, but use whatever you have on hand); stir constantly until the rice turns golden brown, about 10 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat; let cool.
  7. Grind in a coffee mill or spice grinder. You will have some left over for another time.

Yield: 4 servings

Per serving: 162 calories (38 percent from fat), 7 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 56 mg cholesterol, 10 g carbohydrates, 16 g protein, 757 mg sodium, 2 g fiber

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