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Beef Larb

Easy, 30-minute Beef Larb is easy to make and has all the great flavors you know and love from Thai food. It's packed with fresh herbs and the beef is coated in the best savory sauce. Serve the beef over coconut lime rice for a filling meal.
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Thai
Keyword beef larb
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 230kcal
Cost $6.28



  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil (or olive oil)
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced garlic ~3-4 cloves
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger ~1-inch piece
  • 1 cup thinly sliced green onions white and green parts (~4-6 onions)
  • 1 pound lean (90/10) ground beef
  • 2 cups zucchini (diced)

Quick Sauce

  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup regular, all-purpose, (not light) soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice and 1 teaspoon zest (~1 large lime)
  • 1 tablespoon Sambal Oelek (ground chili paste) (See Note 1)
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 to 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • Fine sea salt and pepper
  • 1 cup chopped fresh herbs (I use/recommend a combo of cilantro, mint, and basil (See Note 2)
  • Optional: 2-3 Persian cucumbers or 1 English cucumber, additional lime wedges (for serving), fish sauce

Coconut Lime Rice (optional)

  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (1 can) full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 large lime (~1 teaspoon zest and 2 tablespoons juice)


  • COCONUT-BASMATI RICE: Get the rice started first (if making). Combine 1 cup basmati rice, 1 and 1/2 cups full-fat coconut milk, 1/2 cup water, and 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste). Stir and place over high heat. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and cover the rice. Allow to simmer for 13-18 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat, keep covered, and let stand for 10-15 minutes; don't rush or it will be sticky! Fluff the rice with a fork and then add in the zest and juice of one lime. Stir and evenly divide onto plates.
  • SAUCE: In a small bowl, add the 1 teaspoon cornstarch and the 1/4 cup soy sauce. Whisk with a fork until smooth and then add in the 2 tablespoons lime juice, 1 teaspoon lime zest, the 1 tablespoon Sambal Oelek (See Note 1), 1 teaspoon white sugar, and 1 and 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar. I add 2 tablespoons, but add slowly to personal preference. Season with 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper (leave out salt if you're concerned about saltiness with soy sauce; you can always add some more at the end). Whisk with a fork until smooth and set aside.
  • BEEF: Melt 1 and 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil in a large cast-iron skillet set to medium-high heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add in the 1 tablespoon minced garlic, 1 tablespoon minced ginger, and 1 cup of thinly sliced green onions. Sauté for 3-4 minutes or until fragrant and tender. Push the veggies to the edges of the pan, increase the heat to high and add the ground beef to the center of the pan. Let stand for 30 seconds without moving, then flip to the other side and let stand for 30 seconds. Season the beef with salt and pepper to taste (I add a tiny pinch of each). Then, using a wooden spoon, break up the beef and cook until no longer pink inside and fully cooked. Drain off any accumulated grease and add in the 2 cups of diced zucchini. Stir until softened, about 3-4 minutes. Reduce heat to medium low. Quickly whisk the sauce again with the fork and then pour it over the beef and cook for another 1-3 minutes or until beef is glossy and sauce has thickened and coated everything. Taste and adjust any of the sauce ingredients -- flavors should really "sing," so add additional lime juice or salt until they do. You can also add in some fish sauce to taste here if desired (to add a more authentic Thai flavor). Remove from heat and stir in the 1 cup of coarsely chopped herbs. Stir gently.
  • SERVE: Add even amounts of beef to the coconut basmati rice. If desired, top with sliced Persian cucumber and lime wedges. Enjoy immediately.


Note 1: Sambal Oelek: Sambal Oelek adds a lot of flavor and is fairly spicy. If you're sensitive to heat, start with 1 teaspoon of the sauce and increase from there. You can also try Sriracha sauce in place of the chili sauce (Note that a lot of the flavor in this dish does come from the Sambal Oelek).
Note 2: Fresh herbs: The herbs add so much to this dish, but if you prefer, use a combination of two of the herbs instead of the three suggested.  When measuring the herbs, coarsely chop them and very loosely measure to get 1 cup.
Nutrition information is for the Beef Larb and does not include the optional coconut lime rice. A serving with the rice is 402 calories.


Serving: 4servings | Calories: 230kcal | Carbohydrates: 13.9g | Protein: 26.7g | Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 67.8mg | Sodium: 168.3mg | Fiber: 1.5g | Sugar: 3.8g