Ground Turkey Laap


In Laos, this laap (a ground meat dish) is usually made with duck and can be eaten alone or with sticky rice. The recipe here substitutes ground turkey, which is more readily available in the US and less expensive. But to make it the authentic way, use an equal amount of duck breast trimmed of fat, freeze it for 10 minutes and then finely chop by hand.

Ground Turkey Laap.
Photo: © Petrina Tinslay
Total Time:
35 mins


  • 1 tablespoon long-grain white rice

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • 1 pound ground turkey

  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons chicken stock or low-sodium broth 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon

  • Asian fish sauce

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

  • 2 large stalks of lemongrass—tender pale inner core only, minced

  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced

  • 1 medium shallot, thinly sliced and separated into rings

  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro

  • 1/2 cup chopped mint

  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

  • Small romaine or Belgian endive leaves and lime wedges, for serving


  1. In a small skillet, toast the rice over high heat, shaking the skillet a few times, until the rice is golden brown, about 3 minutes. Transfer the rice to a spice grinder and let cool completely. Grind the rice to a powder.

  2. In a large skillet, heat the oil. Add the turkey and cook over moderately high heat, breaking up the meat evenly, until no pink remains, about 4 minutes. Add the stock and cook, stirring, until bubbling. Remove from the heat and stir in the fish sauce. Season with salt and black pepper and stir in the lime juice. Let stand for 5 minutes, then stir in the lemongrass, scallions, shallot rings, cilantro, mint, crushed red pepper and rice powder.

  3. Arrange the lettuce and lime wedges on a platter. Spoon the laap on top and serve.

Suggested Pairing

Rieslings from Australia's cool Eden Valley often have a distinctive lime flavor that goes nicely with the herbs and chiles used in this dish.

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