Get your hands on Marion’s LATEST cookbook, Just As Delicious. Order Now
Get your hands on Marion’s LATEST cookbook, Just As Delicious. Order Now

Get your hands on Marion’s LATEST cookbook, Just As Delicious. Order Now

Crispy Thai Laab Meatballs


If you thought meatballs were always bland and tasteless, think again. These gorgeous bites are crunchy and gnarly on the outside, but jam-packed with freshness and flavour on the inside. So good, you won’t be able to stop.




5 minutes

30 minutes

Makes 20

1 tbsp raw glutinous rice (also known as sticky rice)* 

1 tbsp palm sugar 

3 tbsp fish sauce 

2 tbsp lime juice 

3 tsp chilli powder (or to taste) 

500g (1 lb) pork mince 

2 small red Asian shallots, finely chopped 

1/4 cup mint leaves, finely chopped, plus extra leaves for serving 

1/4 cup finely chopped coriander (cilantro) 

1/4 cup finely sliced spring onions (scallions)

vegetable oil for deep frying 

cucumber slices, to serve 

Step 1

Toast the rice in a dry frying pan over high heat until golden brown. Use a mortar and pestle to ground the toasted grains to a fine powder. 

Step 2

To make a seasoning/dipping sauce, in a small bowl, mix half the rice powder with the palm sugar, fish sauce, lime juice and chilli powder. Set aside for later. 

Step 3

In a large bowl, add the pork mince, shallot, mint, coriander, spring onion and the remainder of the rice powder. Add three-quarters of the spicy seasoning sauce you made earlier (reserve the remainder and serve as a dipping sauce). Mix well and form into small bite-sized meatballs. 

Step 4

Fill a wok or saucepan about one-third full with oil. When the oil is hot, add the meatballs in batches and cook for about 3 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Drain on paper towel. Serve warm with extra mint leaves, cucumber and the reserved dipping sauce. 

Note Icon

– Using glutinous or sticky rice will give you a softer rice powder. If glutinous rice is
unavailable you can still use regular long grain rice to add a similar toasty flavour with a slightly crunchier texture 

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What our customers say

Rated 4.8 out of 5
4.8 out of 5 stars (based on 6 reviews)
Very good17%
January 12, 2023


Absolutely fabulous I did use ground chicken because. Delich!,

January 11, 2023

Yum! Spruced it up with a laab dressing glaze

I really love this recipe. The toasted rice flavor didn’t really come through, so in future I plan to add more, at least double. I also made a bunch of extra of the laab dressing, used half of it to marinade a cucumber shallot salad. The other half I added extra palm sugar and some corn starch and heated it, then coated the meatballs in the glaze. Side of curry fried rice. This is going to become a regular for me for sure!

December 20, 2022

A twist on a old favourite!

Never thought to present larb this way, but it was absolutely delish. Don’t forget to add fresh minced keffir lime leaf and lemongrass to the spice mix before adding it to the mince. Baked on a rack at 200c for 25 minutes. Served with hot sticky glutinous rice and slices of cucumber and jicama. Perfectly yum!

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