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A plate of Thai roast turkey salad with cucumber and green onions on the side

Thai Leftover Roast Salad (Laab)

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  • Author: Pailin Chongchitnant
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 1-2 servings


Use up any leftover roast in a Thai laab, a northeastern Thai salad bright with mint and lime juice.


Note: I have provided a small "base" recipe so you can scale up to whatever quantity of leftovers you have. Be sure to scale up all ingredients proportionally; except the chilies, which you just add to taste.

  • 1 Tbsp uncooked white rice
  • Roughly 150 g leftover meat or vegetables
  • 1 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp finely chopped palm sugar or light brown sugar 
  • ¼ - ½ tsp dried chili flakes, to taste
  • 3 Tbsp finely julienned shallots
  • A big handful of mint and any other fresh herbs you have sitting around; cilantro, green onions, and dill are all good options.
  • Optional for serving: cucumber, crisp lettuce (if you want to make a wrap), rice or sticky rice


  1. Make toasted rice powder: In a dry saute pan, add the rice and cook over medium high heat, stirring constantly until the rice has a deep brown colour. Remove from heat and grind into a powder in a mortar and pestle or using a coffee grinder.
  2. For leftover poultry, shred the meat into small strips. If using roast beef, thinly slice into bite-sized pieces. For roast veggies, cut into bite-sized pieces.
  3. Heat the leftovers up slightly so they are warm or room temp.
  4. In a mixing bowl, combine fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, chilies and shallots; stir until the sugar is dissolved. 
  5. Add the leftovers, toasted rice powder and fresh herbs, and toss until well combined.
  6. Serve with cucumber or lettuce (make a lettuce wrap). Add Thai sticky rice for a truly traditional meal.