Herbs Recipes Spices

Laap of the North

As long as attention is focused on Chiang Mai’s distinctive flavors, how about a recipe for northern Thai laap? You know this dish, right? It’s one of my most favorite of favorites. I usually go for a more Lao-style version (minus the buffalo parts), with bounties of fresh herbs, tangy citrus and crunchy toasted rice powder. At home, I make it my own way, often with tofu. But this is something else. This one catches my attention, too. It’s my own concoction, closely mirroring the recipes from a few different cooking schools in northern Thailand:

Northern Thai Laap


2 T vegetable oil

150 grams minced pork

3 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped

1 tsp shrimp paste

1/4 cup chicken stock

2 T Northern Thai Chile Powder (or more to taste)

1 bunch each: green onions, culantro (Mexican coriander), cilantro, Vietnamese mint (available at Asian markets)

crispy fried shallots

fish sauce to taste


Chop all herbs and set aside.

Heat oil in wok. Add garlic, then pork; fry until tender. Add chile powder, shrimp paste and stock; fry until liquid has cooked off. Add fish sauce if necessary for taste. Remove from heat.

Mix meat with chopped herbs. Serve on a bed of lettuce. Top with crispy fried shallots. Very simple.

4 replies on “Laap of the North”

Crispy fried shallots? Oh, yum! This really looks good. I just cut and pasted it into my cyber recipe box and will try it soon. And I loved being side tracked by culantro. I’d never heard of that variation. Thanks for linking all this information together. Fun post (as always).

Yes, this versatile dish is prepared and spelled in many different ways. It will appear on menus as laap, laab, larb, larp… and probably in a few other interesting ways.

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