Spicy Pork Salad – Lab Moo

A Classic Thai Food Favorite – Lab Moo (Spicy Pork Salad)

Lab Moo (Lahp or Lap Moo) is a traditional Thai food favorite across the nation. It is simply made, but the taste is really something special as you’ll see when you eat this lab we show for you below!

One of my husband’s favorite meals is Lab Moo or Lab Gai. We have even had Lab Cobra when my brother made it from a cobra his dog killed at our home up in Sisaket, Thailand while our family was up there for SongKran one year. My brother kept the vertebrae bones in it though and it made it horrible to eat! The taste was nice though!

Lab Moo can also be found in Thai restaurants across the globe as most Thai people will want to eat it when they are living in other countries. Lab is a staple food for Thais and one that they don’t ever seem to get tired of. It is not quite as addictive as Som Tam, but the spicy, salty, and sour tastes are what Thais love in their food!

Lab Moo Ingredients

7 oz. Sliced Pork
7 oz. sliced pork entrails (optional)
3 oz. sliced pork skin (optional)
2 tbsp. ground roasted uncooked rice
1 group coriander
3 leaves parsley
1 group scallion
1/2 cup mint
Sliced red chilis as much as you can stand!

2 tbsp. sliced red onion
1 tsp. dry pepper powder
2 tbsp. fish sauce
5 -6 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup water

A plate of sliced vegetables ready for adding to Lab Moo dish at Joy's.
Sliced vegetables ready for lab moo.

Cooking Instructions for Lab Moo Recipe

A big plate of lab moo with larger pieces of pork for dinner at Joy's house.
These mint leaves are also delicious for lab moo.

1. Cut coriander, parsley leaves, scallion finely.

2. Nip off the mint leaves.

3. Cook the sliced pork, entrails, and pork skin in 1 cup of boiling water for 8 minutes. Add salt.

4. Take the pot off the stove. Put lemon juice, roasted uncooked rice, coriander, parsley, scallion, red chilis, red onion, dry pepper powder, fish sauce, and 1/2 cup of mint leaves.

5. Dress with mint leaves on the top. Serve with sticky rice, and fresh vegetables; cabbage, lettuce, cucumber, eggplant, or string beans.

6. Don’t use a spoon or fork!! Eat sticky rice and lab moo with your fingers, you’ll get the real taste. πŸ™‚

More about Lab Moo and Where It Originated

Lab Moo, also known as Spicy Pork Salad, originates from the northeastern region of Thailand, known as Isaan. My home is in Sisaket, which is in the heart of Isaan (Isarn/Esarn). This dish is a staple in Isaan cuisine and is beloved for its bold flavors and simplicity.

The dish typically consists of minced or finely chopped pork that’s cooked with a combination of spicy, sour, salty, and sometimes sweet flavors. It’s often seasoned with fish sauce, lime juice, roasted rice powder, chili flakes, and fresh herbs like cilantro, mint, and green onions. This mixture is usually served atop a bed of fresh lettuce, cabbage leaves, or both.

What makes Lab Moo so distinctive and beloved is its balance of flavorsβ€” the heat from the chili, the tanginess from the lime, the depth from the fish sauce, and the crunch from the roasted rice powder all come together harmoniously to put a smile on your dinner guests’ faces!

It’s a dish that showcases the essence of Thai cuisine: the perfect balance of sour, salty, and spicy tastes.

Traditionally, this dish is enjoyed as part of a meal with sticky rice (known as “kow niao” (kow nee-ow) to balance out the spiciness. It’s a popular choice for gatherings and social events in Thailand due to its vibrant taste and ability to be shared among friends and family.

Lab Moo’s versatility also allows for variations; some might add additional vegetables or tweak the spice levels to suit personal preferences. Its simplicity in preparation, coupled with its explosive flavors, has made it a favorite not just in Thailand but also among food enthusiasts worldwide.

Once you eat it, it’s like Som Tam, you just can’t get enough of it! My husband had it today and he took the photo at the top of this recipe. The iPhone is like magic for photos, isn’t it? πŸ˜›

Sawasdee Ka - Joy

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