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The Hirshon Laotian Spicy Duck and Herb Larb – ເປັດ ລາບ

  • Author: The Generalissimo


Units Scale
  • The Herbs:
  • 2 tsp. chopped Cilantro, including the stems (and roots, if available)
  • 2 1/2 tsp. chopped Spearmint
  • 3 tsp. chopped Lemongrass, outer parts removed and the white part only
  • 1 1/2 tsp. chopped fresh Dill
  • 2 tsp. shredded fresh Kaffir Lime Leaves
  • 2/3 cup chopped Shallots
  • 3 1/2 Tbsp. chopped Scallions
  • ***
  • The Seasonings:
  • 1 Tbsp. roasted Chili Flakes – Use dried Chilies de Arbol that have been dry roasted in a hot pan, then coarsely ground in a spice blender or with a mortar and pestle
  • 5 Tbsp. Red Boat 40 fish sauce combined with 2 mashed Ortiz Anchovy fillets
  • 5 Limes (juice only)
  • 1/2 Tbsp. MSG (optional but recommended)
  • 4 Tbsp. freshly-ground roasted Sticky Rice
  • 3 Tbsp. chopped Garlic
  • ***
  • The Meat:
  • 1 whole Duck, about 5 lb. – the skin, meat and innards are removed and finely-chopped by hand and should yield:
    • 23 oz. Duck Meat
    • 3 oz. Innards (Heart, Liver and Gizzards)
    • 8 oz. Skin
    • Keep the Carcass, Wings and Neck for another recipe – I love making duck soup from them!


  1. In a medium-hot Wok, add the Garlic and Duck Skin. There is no need to add oil as the Skin will render its own fat. Stir-fry until the Skin and Garlic are brown. As it cooks the Skin will shrivel up.
  2. Remove about 3 Tbsp. of the rendered duck fat, then turn up the heat a bit – add the innards and duck meat, stir-fry until JUST cooked – keep it juicy, do NOT let the meat become dry.
  3. Once cooked, remove from the Wok and place into a mixing bowl. The fat and meat juices will help keep the dish moist. If you find that the meat is on the dry side, add the 3 Tbsp. of reserved fat.
  4. Add the seasonings in the order listed in the instructions. It is best to add a little at a time, tasting to correct spiciness, saltiness and sourness to your personal taste. Once the ground roasted sticky rice is added, it will absorb most of the juices.
  5. Add the herbs and mix well – serve immediately garnished with more herbs and chiles, as you see fit. All larbs go well with crispy and crunchy pickled vegetables served on the side.
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