New Style Larb Beef

There are probably 100´s of recipes for Larb Beef online, each one different and unique in their own way. In Laos, nearly every household has their own recipe. I remember at family gatherings, we always used to wait for my Uncle “Loung Tihn” to arrive so he could mix the Larb.

Here is our own version of Larb Beef, that is made to order.


You will need the following basic ingredients.


Beef Fillet (we use Tenderloin, about 100g)

The quantities of the remaining ingredients vary according to personal taste…

Mint Leaves

Coriander (include a little of the stalk)

Wedge of Lime


Ground Toasted Sticky Rice (check out Manivan´s instructional video on how to make Ground Toasted Sticky Rice)

Diced Red Pepper


Fish Sauce

Diced Green Pepper

Shredded Lime Leaves

(Not pictured) Shallot Oil cut with Garlic Oil (90%-10%)


The Beef should be fresh and cool.




Dice the Beef by hand, never by machine, by first cutting long even “matchsticks” and then into small cubes.

Set aside in a cool place whilst you finish the other ingredients.




Slice the Shallots, Mint, Coriander and Chillies.



Place all the sliced and diced ingredients in to a mixing bowl. We use a bowl sitting in an Ice Bath to keep the ingredients cool.

Mix well.



Add the Fish Sauce and Shallot Oil. Mix again.


Add the Lime Juice. You will see that the Oil has given the Beef a “shine”, it will also lend a pleasant aroma of Roasted Shallots with just a tiny hint of Roasted Garlic. Mix again.


Finally add the Ground Toasted Sticky Rice. Season to taste by adding more Fish Sauce and Lime Juice if necessary. We don’t use Sugar in our Larb, however, if you want to, you can.


Serve immediately otherwise the lime juice will change the colour of the Beef. Garnish with a few Seasonal Leaves.

We found that adding flavoured Oils gave the dish more “body” and made it more acceptable to Western palates. It bounded the meat together much like the raw egg yolk does in a classic “Steak Tartare”. We use Tenderloin because it doesn’t have fat and has less sinew than other cuts, however, you can use most cuts of Beef for this dish, Rump is a good alternative.

If you remove the Shallot Oil mixture and add Padek Liquid, you basically have the traditional recipe for Laotian Beef Larb. Only sometimes do we add the pungent liquid of Padek, and that’s when we eat it…



24 thoughts on “New Style Larb Beef

  1. This Larb really looks delicious, I have to try it!
    But please: Tell me how I can prepare khao jii paa te!
    When I was in Vientiane I had it evey day for breakfast. I liked it so much!


  2. “If you remove the Shallot Oil mixture and add Padek Liquid, you basically have the traditional recipe for Laotian Beef Larb. Only sometimes do we add the pungent liquid of Padek, and that’s when we eat it…”

    Haha. But this is tartare not laab. If you don’t use padek or fish sauce, you have tartare. This is also too raw to be a traditional laab. More like laab seua, but closer to tartare.

    However, I’ll let you get away with calling it laab if you include kha (galingale), which the best laab always contains.

  3. hey i’m doing a propject on this so i’m gonna cook it. though i donno if it’s raw or not, i’m gonna try to make it. thanks for the help to make this.

    hope it’s good. i love meat.

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  7. Hi there, i really want to try my hand at this as my husband is addicted to raw beef! I look through your ingredients. but wat is that black stringy looking item at the bottom of the picture? I can’t make it out…


  8. Hola Nicole,

    That is Shredded Kaffir Lime Leaves, which can be found at Asian stores either fresh, or more likely in the Frozen Section. Either way, just finely shred them, they add a wonderful aroma and flavour to the Larb, hope that you and your hubby enjoy it.


  9. OK, so what is the point of the toasted sticky rice? Is it a binder? Seems so, given that it will swell as it soaks in your liquids…

  10. Hola Hank,

    The Toasted Sticky Rice is used for its flavour, aroma and crunchiness. After being toasted in a hot pan, it is too hard to soak up any juices, and must be pounded with a Pestle and Mortar to release its almost nutty taste, and texture.

    It is used in many Lao dishes, though most notably a “larb”, whether it is Meat, Fish or Tofu.

    You have an intereting site BTW. 🙂

  11. Thanks for the kind words!

    On the sticky rice, I see about the crunch: Since you put them in late in the game, right before service it looks, then yeah, they’d be crunchy and not soft. Interesting. I bet I could do that Italian-style by using toasted, ground farro (an ancient form of wheat).

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  14. Are the lime leaves required for this recipe?  I can’t seem to find any around my area, even in the asian supermarkets.

  15. Hi Dean,

    You can make the Larb without the Lime Leaves and it will still taste great. Mostly the leaves are in the frozen section of Asian stores. Hope you enjoy it!

  16. Do you have a recipe that is the traditional “Uncle’s” version of raw larb? The at home recipe that you put everything you want to in it? I’ve eaten versions that they put eggplant and all sorts of other stuff in it but I never found out how to make it.

  17. Hola Lu,

    Lao people are very good at adding things to recipes! The Larb recipe is pretty straight forward with the main ingredients (as stated above, minus the oil), only last year was I introduced to adding beansprouts to it! I guess that everyone has their own recipe, perhaps based on where they were raised in Laos and what ingredients they had available.

    Stick with the basic recipe, then add anything you want!

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