Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Thai-Inspired Ground Turkey Larb Salad Recipe with Sriracha, Mint, Cilantro, and Peanuts

Thai-Inspired Turkey Larb Salad with Sriracha, Mint, Cilantro, and Peanuts
A Thai-inspired salad with ground turkey, Sriracha, Mint, Cilantro, and Peanuts.

Last Saturday about 20 Denny family relatives gathered at my house in Salt Lake and moved all my belongings to my new house in Bountiful, which is the suburb of Salt Lake where I grew up.  I've done plenty of complaining about how hard it was to move 25 years of accumulated stuff, and I'm grateful beyond words for all the family members and friends who helped with the move, either on that day or in the weeks of packing that came before.  Now all my belongings are in the new house, including 23 boxes of cookbooks!  Most of my stuff is not that organized yet so there's not much cooking going on, but luckily I made this delicious Thai-Inspired Ground Turkey Larb Salad a few weeks ago so I'd have something to share with you today.  The dressing for the salad has the sweet-sour-savory-spicy flavor combination that makes Thai food so appealing and Jake and I loved this salad when we tried it.

Quite a few people on Twitter and Facebook have asked for pictures of the new house, and I promise to post some kitchen photos as soon as the kitchen is presentable!  However, as unusual as it is in this age of sharing every aspect of your life online, I don't really want to post photos of every part of my new house.  I hope people will understand if I choose to keep some things private and just join me in celebrating the fact that I finally have a house that's big enough that my whole family can come for a party!

This salad is loaded with flavor from minced garlic, minced shallots (or red onion), minced jalapeno, chopped cilantro, chopped mint, and a spicy dressing made from lime juice, fish sauce, sweetener or sugar, and Sriracha Sauce.

The inspiring recipe for Thai Ground Pork Salad used pork, but I switched it for lean ground turkey with great results.  Mix the garlic, shallot, and jalapeno into the raw turkey.

Heat the peanut oil in a large frying pan, then cook the turkey over medium-high heat until it's nicely browned, about 7-8 minutes.

Turn off the heat and mix in about half the dressing mixture, stirring so it seasons all the meat.

Chop romaine, wash in a salad spinner or in the sink, and spin dry or dry with paper towels.

Cut up some fresh limes to squeeze on at the table, and chop some peanuts to garnish the salad.

After the meat has cooled about 4-5 minutes, stir in the chopped mint and cilantro.  (If you're not a cilantro fan, I'd use thinly sliced green onion instead.)

Fill a salad bowl with lettuce and top with the turkey mixture, then drizzle over a little more dressing if desired.  Serve salad garnished with chopped peanuts, and with fresh limes to squeeze on at the table.

Thai-Inspired Ground Turkey Larb Salad with Sriracha, Mint, Cilantro, and Peanuts
(Makes 4 main-dish salads; recipe adapted from Thai Ground Pork Salad from Food and Wine.)

1 lb. lean ground turkey (less than 10% fat)
2 tsp. peanut oil (or slightly more if you're not using a non-stick pan)
1-2 tsp. finely minced garlic
2 large shallots, minced (or use red onion)
1/2 large fresh jalapeno pepper, minced
6 cups coarsely chopped and washed romaine lettuce (about 3 heads of romaine hearts, with outer leaves removed)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro (or more)
1/4 cup chopped mint (or more)
1/2 cup chopped peanuts (for garnishing salad)
fresh cut limes to squeeze on at the table (optional)

Dressing Ingredients:
2 T fresh-squeeze lime juice (or use fresh-frozen lime juice)
2 T fish sauce (I like Three Crabs Fish Sauce.)
2 tsp. Stevia In the Raw Granulated Sweetener, Splenda, or brown sugar (use Stevia or Splenda for South Beach Diet)
2 tsp. Sriracha Rooster Sauce

Mince the shallot, garlic, and jalapeno pepper, and chop the mint and cilantro (or green onion.)  Mix together the lime juice, fish sauce, sweetener, and Sriracha sauce to make the dressing.

Use a large spoon to mix the garlic, shallots, and jalapeno into the ground turkey.  Heat the peanut oil in a large non-stick frying pan and cook turkey mixture over medium-high heat until it's well cooked and nicely browned, about 7 minutes.  Turn off heat and mix in about half the dressing mixture, tossing it with the meat so all the meat is seasoned with dressing.

Chop the romaine and wash and spin dry with a salad spinner (or wash in a colander and dry with paper towels.)  Chop the peanuts and slice a few lime slices (if using.)  When the meat mixture has cooled 4-5 minutes, mix in the chopped mint and cilantro.

To serve the salad, fill the bowl with lettuce and top with a generous scoop of the seasoned turkey mixture.  Drizzle over a little extra dressing as desired, and top with a few tablespoons of chopped peanuts.  Serve with fresh lime slices to squeeze over at the table if desired. 

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South Beach Suggestions:
Using lean ground turkey and switching the traditional brown sugar for Stevia or Splenda makes this low-glycemic salad a great choice for any phase of the South Beach Diet.

Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.

More Delicious Ideas with Ground Turkey:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Greek Turkey Burgers with Yogurt and Feta ~ The Perfect Pantry
Ground Turkey Green Chile Soft Tacos with Black Bean Cilantro Salsa ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Thai Turkey Burgers with Peanut Sauce ~ Iowa Girl Eats
Grilled Sriracha-Sesame Turkey Meatballs ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Mom's Ground Turkey and Peppers ~ Simply Recipes
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)

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Posts may include links to my affiliate account at, and this blog earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!


  1. Looks and sounds delicious! Welcome back and hope the move went well. I am sure you are glad that at least everything is moved to organize the cook books, lol!

  2. Taya, thanks! And the cookbooks are definitely more organized than most of my stuff.

  3. I love Larb and how you lightened and brightened this version up Kalyn. Congrats again on the new house - your family sounds awesome!

  4. Thanks Alyssa, and I have to say, my family is the best!

  5. Again, congratulations on the new house. This is a beautiful recipe. The meat-lover in me is loving how it looks, and the dieting me isn't protesting because it's turkey and it's a salad. Thanks for sharing this despite your being busy settling in.

  6. You beat me... I think I had 13 boxes of cookbooks, but now I don't remember for sure. I do have pictures to refresh my memory, but moving is so hard, I rather not look at them...

    good luck with your new place, it's exciting to start a new phase!

    Loved this recipe, I am a Sriracha-addict and a lover of laarb in all its forms. Have not done it with turkey, genius!

  7. Another yummy recipe!! I was just thinking too, you should have a paleo category as the paleo diet is so popular right now and so many of your recipes fit in that diet!

  8. Becky what stops me is the idea of going back through over 1,000 old recipes to see which ones fit that category!

  9. Wow Kalyn, that salad dressing sounds wonderful and low cal. I will be making soon.


  10. Another fantastic recipe from you, Kalyn. I'm so excited for you and hope that you are settling into your new home easily.

  11. Can't wait to try this salad, Kalyn. Welcome back and good to see you yesterday.

  12. I'm so happy for you Kalyn! Your new house sounds wonderful!!

  13. Hi Kalyn! I am new to your blog (and to the blogosphere). I really like your blog..the wonderful stories shared and the beautiful pictures are awesome. I need to get back into eating healthy again, and I'm so glad I found your site to add to my resource for healthy cooking.

  14. Thanks everyone for the nice thoughts about this recipe and the new house.

  15. Congrats on your new house Kalyn! Hope you can easily unpack boxes and start enjoying your new kitchen! This salad sounds so tasty! Healthy and filling! Love the flavor party in it!

  16. Thanks Zerrin. Slowly but surely I am getting a functional kitchen again.

  17. Congratulations on the successful move, Kalyn! I can just imagine the boxes piled high everywhere. Good luck with all of that! wish I lived closer and I'd come help you unpack the kitchen or something.

    Thanks for this larb recipe - I so rarely make Thai because of my hubby's diabetes since Thai food often contains sugar, but this recipe will work. I'll be trying it soon.

    Happy unpacking .. . .

  18. Thanks Carolyn. If only you did live closer, then we could cook together! Glad you like the salad.

  19. Beth, it is spelled "Larb" on Thai restaurant menus all over the U.S. and since my recipe says "Thai-inspired" I don't think there is anything wrong with how I spelled it.

  20. I've made this about 5 times since discovering this recipe. It's now become a (crave-able) staple for me! Thanks!

  21. Kalyn,

    I love this recipe. What would you recommend as a side dish for it?

  22. Thanks Cynthia. I would probably just eat this as a whole meal, but if you want a side dish, some kind of slaw would be good, maybe Spicy Lime Coleslaw. Really any kind of salad with Asian flavors would be good.


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