Chicken Larb Salad with Red Cabbage

This delicious, Thai-inspired chicken larb salad is bursting with zest and flavour. It’s perfect as a satiating salad for dinner or lunch or can be paired with a side of cauliflower rice, regular rice, rice noodles or quinoa. This recipe is paleo, gluten-free, and keto and Whole30-friendly (omit the sweetener).

Chicken larb salad (paleo, Whole30, keto, gluten-free)
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This chicken larb salad is like Pop Rocks Candy with layers of textures and amazing punchy flavours that unravel in your mouth with each bite. Made with ground chicken, lots of aromatics and red cabbage, it’s a satiating salad that can be served as a main or a starter (say for a dinner party).

What Is Larb Salad?

Originating in Laos and evolving through neighbouring cuisines, this salad is made with different types of cooked ground or minced meat, fish sauce, lots of fresh lime juice, chilli and raw vegetables. Herbs like coriander, Thai basil, and mint can be tossed through the salad. 

I usually make my larb with chicken and lots of fresh vegetables I have on hand. The recipe calls for some ingredients you might not usually have in your kitchen, like lemongrass or Tamari/coconut aminos, but they are very easy to find in speciality stores and online.

I do suggest having some fish sauce and Tamari wheat-free or gluten-free, naturally brewed soy sauce in your pantry – I find I use them in a lot of dishes. Coconut aminos is a sauce made from coconut sap, it has a slightly sweet flavour and resembles soy sauce. You can read more about it here.

Notes For Making Chicken Larb

An authentic larb requires a little sweetness to balance the fish sauce and lime juice. You can use palm sugar or honey, or some keto-alternative like Stevia or monk fruit.

  • Palm sugar is made from the sap of the palm tree which is collected and boiled down to thicken. It comes as a hard block of brown-looking sugar which can be grated or sliced.
  • Like raw honey, I think of palm sugar as a natural sweetener and I use a little bit for baking or in Asian dishes. If you’re concerned about having any sugar at all, remember that we’re only using 1-2 tablespoons for the WHOLE salad so you’re looking at a small quantity per serving, like 3-4 grams.
  • You can toast/roast coconut flakes and cashews in a frying pan over medium heat for about two minutes, or do it in the oven. Keep an eye as both can burn quickly.
  • This salad is very easy to make once you get past all the chopping!
Chicken larb salad recipe (paleo, Whole30, keto, gluten-free)
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The pictures don’t show the full salad and the recipe makes quite a lot so you will have enough to feed a family or to save as leftovers for lunch. You could serve it with a side of green vegetables and mushrooms in oyster sauce or some stir-fried cauliflower rice. You can add a little sweet potato to increase the carbohydrate intake. And of course, for those of you including white rice or white rice noodles, this salad would pair brilliantly.

I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. Feel free to replace chicken with beef, pork, duck or even prawns.


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Chicken Larb Salad Recipe
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Chicken Larb Salad with Red Cabbage

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Author: Irena Macri
Servings: 4
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Thai
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5 from 4 votes
Calories: 492kcal
This delicious, Thai-inspired chicken larb salad is bursting with zest and flavour. It's perfect as a satiating salad for dinner or lunch or can be paired with a side of cauliflower rice, regular rice, rice noodles or quinoa. This recipe is paleo, gluten-free, and keto and Whole30-friendly (omit the sweetener).


For the chicken

  • 1 stalk lemongrass pale section only, finely diced
  • 1 long red chilli finely diced with the seeds (omit seeds for less spice)
  • 2 garlic cloves finely diced
  • A small knob of fresh ginger peeled and finely diced
  • 1/2 bunch of coriander/cilantro stems washed and finely chopped save the leaves for the salad
  • 500 g ground chicken 1.1 lbs. mince
  • Zest of 1/2 lime grated
  • 2.5 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Tamari or other gluten-free, naturally brewed soy sauce (or replace with 2 tbsp. coconut aminos)
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • 1.5 tablespoons coconut oil for frying

For the salad

  • 1/4 head red cabbage thinly shredded (white is also fine)
  • 1 large carrot peeled and grated
  • 1/2 red onion thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped spring onions/scallions
  • 1/2 bunch fresh coriander cilantro leaves
  • A handful of fresh mint or Thai basil if available
  • 1/2 cup cashews crushed and roasted, or some sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup dried fried shallots optional for garnish, available from Asian grocers
  • 2 tablespoons toasted coconut flakes optional for garnish

For the dressing

  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1.5 teaspoons grated palm sugar or 2 teaspoons honey, omit for Whole30
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon coconut aminos or Tamari
  • 1 small red chilli finely chopped (leave it our for a milder version)


  • Prepare the ingredients for the chicken. Then, heat 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in a large frying pan or a wok over high heat. Throw in lemongrass, chilli, garlic, ginger and coriander stems and stir fry for about a minute until fragrant.
  • Add the chicken mince and lime zest. Stir and break apart the mince with a wooden mixing spoon until separated into small chunks (this might take a while as chicken mince is quite sticky). The meat will now be changing to white colour. Add the fish sauce, coconut aminos, tamari and lime juice. Stir through and cook for a further few minutes. Total cooking time for the chicken should be about 10 minutes.
  • Prepare the salad base by mixing the red cabbage, onion, grated carrot, and fresh herbs.
  • Whisk together the dressing ingredients and toss through the salad.
  • Serve the cooked chicken mince on top of the dressed salad and topped with roasted cashews, dried shallots, coconut flakes and extra fresh herbs. I often just mix everything 🙂


Calories: 492kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 108mg | Sodium: 1937mg | Potassium: 1297mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 3996IU | Vitamin C: 76mg | Calcium: 88mg | Iron: 4mg
Keywords: High-Protein, Chicken salad, Thai Dressing, Red Cabbage
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Thai-inspired chicken larb salad (keto, low-carb, paleo, gluten-free)
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Irena Macri
By Irena Macri

About the author: Hi, I’m Irena Macri. I share delicious recipes that I have cooked and loved. I am a published cookbook author, have been food blogging for over 10 years and have a Diploma in Nutrition. You will find many healthy recipes as well as my favourite comfort food. More about me here | Subscribe to my newsletter and freebies

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  1. I stumbled across your blog this weekend. I’m in LOVE with all of your recipes! I made this for lunch today and it is AMAZING! I have a feeling this will become a family favorite. 🙂

  2. Yum! I just made this yummy chicken larb and red cabbage salad, and it tastes fantastic! So fresh and full of flavor! Great recipe, thank you.

  3. Irena! I made this salad for dinner last night – it was fantastic!
    I think next time I’ll have a little more salad, I used 500 gms mince and it was a little too meaty – but the balance of flavors was amazing.
    Also great to have a carb free meal that leaves you totally full.

  4. Made this the other day- absolutely yum! I cheated a little bit and used a big tablespoon of my homemade red curry paste to season the chicken to cut down on a bit of the chopping and it was great!

  5. Just wanted to drop by and say I am currently half way through a bowl of this salad and it’s awesome. Great recipe!

  6. Wonderful recipe! So flavorful! I made this yesterday for the family I cook for & although it is involved/time consuming it’s worth every minute. The meat turned out fantastic, I couldn’t help taking several tastes- of course to make sure it was seasoned properly 😉 I added cashews that I pan fried in coconut oil- yummers! Such an awesome dish! And can be modified for 21dsd which is a bonus

  7. I made this salad for my family tonight- it was awesome! Even 11yo loved it. Have pre-ordered your cookbook Irena, so looking forward to more recipes like this one!

  8. 5 stars
    Awesome, tastes like it’s from a Thai restaurant but without all of the sugar and soy! I dialed back on the sesame oil, I find that it can overpower other flavors but that’s just personal preference. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

    1. Hey Sam, I don’t but I always suggest using something like MyFitnessPal calorie calculator. Copy and paste the ingredients in the recipe, adjust slightly and you should get approximate data.

  9. Hi! I love this recipe. Is the nutrition info for the entire dish (as in if one ate the entire thing) or is that the nutrition per serving (says serves four)? Thanks!

  10. 5 stars
    I’ve used minced pork also and it is just fantastic. My husband works at the produce market and every few weeks he comes home with a red cabbage and I know exactly what he is thinking.

    1. Haha, your husband knows best 😉 Mince pork would work great indeed, glad you’re experimenting with different meat. Thanks for your comment and rating 🙂 Irena

  11. 5 stars
    I keep coming back to this recipe, year after year. It’s so delicious – tangy, salty, crunchy, filling, nutritious.. Just perfect. I’ve ended up making a few different variations based on what I have in the house (eg white or napa cabbage instead of red, different veggies, pork mince instead of chicken, fermented lemon instead of lemongrass) and it’s been delicious every time.

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