TB’s Easy Larb Gai

Recipe by Tony Boutagy

I wish I could take credit for this meal, but it must go to my trainer, Tony Boutagy, PhD.

TB, PhD knows everything about everything when it comes to exercise and nutrition.

Notice how he has PhD after his name? That means TB didn’t get his nutrition ‘qualification’ from a six-week course on the interwebs. He went to an actual university and stuff.  And I don’t think I’ve ever heard him say the words ‘wellness’ or ‘bliss balls’ or ‘detox’.

This dude’s the real deal. So when he says to eat something, we should all probably just eat the thing.

Full disclosure: I actually don’t like Thai food. It’s a shame because I love Thailand – and spent most of my 20s bumming around there . . . eating out of 7-Elevens.

Every time I eat Thai food it launches a serious hate crime on my gut and I spiral rapidly into deep MSG regret.

However, I love this meal! It’s fresh, light and doesn’t contain any of the usual, hidden crap you get in most restaurant Thai food.

In fact, TB PhD’s Larb Gai is so delicious and inoffensive that it’s part of my weekly dinner/lunch rotation.

First things first: whack this Neil Finn- and Sting-heavy playlist on


  • 400g chicken thigh, minced (or cheat and use pre-made mince)
  • Lettuce (I used iceberg and radicchio)
  • 3 tbsp chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1-2 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 2 tbsp lemon or lime juice
  • ½ finely sliced red onion red shallot
  • 3 tbsp fresh coriander and mint, chopped
  • Brown rice (optional)
  • Fresh red chilli (optional)


If you’re using brown rice, get that cooking first. Or you could cheat and use the microwave stuff.

(I personally would, but I’m not sure if Tony would approve of me approving of such a bastardisation of his dish. So if you do, just keep in on the down-low.)

Heat the chicken stock in a frying pan and bring to the boil. Now add the minced chicken and salt.

Stir until the chicken is just cooked, then add the fish sauce and cook for a few more minutes.

Meanwhile, add the lemon/lime juice to a serving bowl with the red onion and freshly chopped herbs. Leave to sit for a few minutes.

When the chicken is cooked, add it, along with all its juices, to the onion/herb mix and stir well. Sprinkle in your chilli flakes to taste and stir again.

Peel off and discard the weaker, outer leaves of your lettuce, then carefully remove the more sturdy, inner leaves. Careful not to tear them; you want them to form little cups. I stuck two together to make my cups a bit more hardy.

Spoon your chicken into the lettuce cups and top with more fresh herbs and a spoonful of brown rice.

Here’s where you add a few slices of fresh chilli. You don’t have to, but I did because Cassie likes her chicken spicy!

Wrap it all up and shove in your mouth.

Larb Gai | Bootleg Kitchen

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