Herbs for Health Recipe: Mint – Thai Traditional and Vegan Style Laab

Herbs for Health Recipe: Mint – Thai Traditional and Vegan Style Laab

1. Thai Laab Recipe (Traditional Style)

Video Recipe

Larb (aka Laab) is a spicy and flavourful Thai cooked salad or meat dish. Traditionally combining minced meat, herbs, chile and citrus, larb provides a flavourful zesty punch to any dining table. The key herbs used are polyphenol-packed coriander (cilantro) and mint, plus lemon grass.


  • 400g (14 oz) chicken mince

  • 3 Asian red shallots (or 1 large shallot), sliced
  • 3 tbsp finely chopped coriander
  • 3 tbsp finely chopped sawtooth coriander (cilantro) (optional)
  • ¼ cup mint leaves
  • 2 spring onions (scallions), finely sliced
  • cabbage, snake beans and extra herbs, to serve


  • 2 tbsp raw glutinous rice
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tsp grated palm sugar or brown sugar
  • 2 tsp chilli flakes (or to taste)
  • 2 tbsp lime juice


1. For the dressing, toast the rice in a dry frying pan over high heat until golden brown. Remove from heat and use a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder to grind rice to a fine powder. Mix the rice powder with the remaining dressing ingredients.

2. Place a non-stick pan over high heat. When it’s hot add ½ cup of water. Then add in the chicken mince. Break up the mince as it cooks in the water. When cooked, use a slotted spoon to transfer the mince to a large bowl (discard the cooking liquid). While the chicken is warm, add the shallots and toss. Add the dressing and mix to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning with more chilli powder, fish sauce and/or lime juice if needed.

3. When you’re happy with the flavour, add the coriander, sawtooth coriander, spring onion and mint leaves and mix well. Serve warm with cabbage, beans and herbs.

  • Using glutinous or sticky rice will give you a softer rice powder that creates a thick and soft coating for the finished salad. If glutinous rice is unavailable you can still use regular long-grain or jasmine rice to add a similar toasty flavour with a slightly crunchier texture.


2. Laab with Tofu & Corn Recipe (Vegan Style)

Video Recipe

Chermoula - a Moroccan delight that enlivens your palate with a burst of flavours. This vibrant sauce is a harmonious blend of fresh parsley and  coriander, zesty lemon, aromatic garlic, and an array of warming spices like ground coriander, paprika and ginger.

Popular all over North Africa, chermoula is a versatile and aromatic condiment that effortlessly elevates a variety of dishes. Its bold and tangy profile makes it an ideal marinade for succulent meats, a zesty dressing for salads, or a delightful accompaniment to grilled vegetables.

For a basic Chermoula use this recipe... Just remember, there are no strict rules of what is right and wrong, if you can't quite get all the ingredients just roll with it. Find substitutes, taste as you go along, and even look for alternate recipes.


  • 2 Tbsp uncooked jasmine rice or sticky rice (for toasted rice powder)
  • 1 kaffir lime leave (optional, for toasted rice powder)
  • 2 pc pressed tofu (170g)
  • ½ cup cooked corn kernels (see note)
  • 1½  tablespoon soy sauce
  • ½ Tbsp Golden Mountain Sauce
  • 3 Tbsp lime juice
  • Roasted chilli flakes, to taste, or use any chilli flakes you have
  • 3 Tbsp thinly sliced shallots
  • 2-inch piece lemongrass, very thinly sliced (optional)
  • 3 Kaffir lime leaves (optional)
  • ¼ cup mint leaves, torn into small pieces if large
  • 6-7 sprigs cilantro, chopped 
  • Lettuce or cabbage leaves for serving, optional
  • Jasmine rice or sticky rice for serving, optional


    1. To make toasted rice powder: In a dry saute pan, add the rice and the kaffir lime leaf, if using, and stir constantly over high heat until the rice has a deep brown colour (see video for colour). Remove from heat immediately and transfer into a mortar and pestle or a coffee grinder. Grind until fine (yes, grind the lime leaf too), but if using a coffee grinder, be careful not to over-grind—you don't want it to look like flour, you still want a bit of grittiness to it.
    2. Crumble the tofu into small pieces with your hands.
    3. In a medium pot, add about 2 tablespoon of water then turn the heat on high. Add tofu and corn and stir until hot.
    4. Turn off the heat then add shallots, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, and chilies; stir to mix well.
    5. Add soy sauce, Golden Mountain Sauce and lime juice.
    6. When ready to serve stir in toasted rice powder, mint and cilantro. (Don't add these too far in advance as the rice will absorb the liquid and make it dry, and the herbs will wilt.)
    7. Serve with lettuce leaves and eat like a bite-sized lettuce wrap, or serve with jasmine or sticky rice as part of a meal.

    As part of a nutritionally rich, whole health lifestyle, at The Whole Health Practice we advocate enjoying herbs (and spices) as a regular part of one’s diet. While some herbs (and their polyphenols) have shown positive results for specific health outcomes, enjoy a variety of foods that work in synergy to promote maximum health. And taste!

    Stay healthy,



    Bonus Read:

    More than just taste, herbs can bring health and joy to our lives. Stay tuned for our complete collection of articles, recipes and more...


    This content is brought to you by The Whole Health Practice. Alastair Hunt (NBC-HWC) is the Founder and Chief Wellbeing Officer at The Whole Health Practice. Based in Singapore, The Whole Health Practice supports individuals and teams around the world to improve their health, performance and vitality. Want to learn more about healthy living or sign-up for regular health content? Visit www.thewholehealthpractice.com

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