Deep Fried Laab

Recipe by Lace ZhangDifficulty: Medium

2 to 4

Prep time


Cooking time



We were on a street food jaunt one pouring night in Bangkok, our disposable raincoats from the nearby convenience store barely keeping us dry, as we sought refuge in a North-Eastern style eatery by the roadside. Out came little tubs of hearty sticky rice, fiery vegetable-laden soups and this plate of deep fried laab meatballs. It was my first time trying this dish deep fried and boyyyyy, you've got to try it! Trumps the salad version in my opinion, but... well, it IS deep fried.

Recipe is taken from my second cookbook, Around the Dining Table - An Asian-Inspired Modern Feast.


  • 45 g glutinous rice

  • 2 kaffir lime leaves, sliced finely

  • 2 lemongrass stalks, tough outer leaves removed

  • 5-6 shallots, peeled

  • 400g fatty minced pork

  • 2 Tablespoons fish sauce

  • 3-4 Tablespoons lime juice

  • 1 to 2 teaspoon chilli flakes

  • 1 teaspoon white sugar

  • bunch of cilantro leaves, to tase

  • canola oil, enough for deep frying

  • crunchy veggies/lime wedges, for serving


  • Make the toasted rice powder. Heat the glutinous rice up in a dry saucepan until it turns golden brown. Set aside. Pound it up in a mortar and pestle, until it becomes a rough powder.
  • For the lemongrass, we're only using the tender inner stems and the bottom half. If using a mortar and pestle, pound up your shallots, lemongrass, galangal and lime leaves together. You could also mince everything up by hand.
  • Add the pounded up aromatics and toasted rice powder to your pork. Season with fish sauce, lime juice, chilli, sugar and add in your cilantro leaves. Mix everything up and work the mixture using a kneading/pressing motion, until it becomes a sticky, lightened mass.
  • Portion and roll out into meatballs of your desired size.
  • Deep-fry in sufficient oil until the exterior turns golden brown. You will have to do this in batches to avoid overcrowding your pan. After all your meatballs are done frying, plate them up and serve alongside some lime wedges and crunchy fresh vegetables.

Recipe Video

About Me


When not working on recipes in her kitchen, cranking up her overused commercial (yes, you read that right) oven at home, Lace can be found reading about food, writing impassioned paragraphs about food, thinking about food till the wee hours of the night, shopping for groceries as a serious sport, or gazing longingly at bakery displays.




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