Inspired by the famous Lao dish laap gai, this stir-fry features savory minced chicken paired beautifully with fresh mint and tangy sumac.
What is laap specifically?
From what I’ve read, there are variations of laap from region to region. Many say to make an authentic laap you need khao kua, or lime or some other ingredient. However as this article by Hanuman outlines, the Lanna style laap muang does not use either of these ingredients. There are a lot of other specifics regarding different types of laap. If you want to learn more, go check out that link! This is simply a laap-inspired stir-fry, since I made a lot of modifications.
This is a pretty solid recipe if you want to try cooking with mint. It’s a pretty life-changing experience to taste mint outside of toothpaste and cocktails (and no, it doesn’t taste like toothpaste). The ingredients are not hard to find so long as you have an Asian grocery store nearby. I love sumac so I used that instead of lime, and used sambal oelek instead of chilis because I like it SAUCY.
You can customize this recipe in the way that you like! Sub shallots for onion, chicken for tempeh, add more fish sauce, less soy sauce, more sambal, whatever!
This recipe was for me to see how well mint paired with salty/savory flavors. That’s something I also would love for you to discover in your own way. Cooking is more than following recipes, you can’t really go wrong here as long as it tastes good to you. Just taste the sauce to see if you like it before you add it, if you don’t then adjust!
Chicken Mint Sumac Stir-Fry (‘Almost’ Laap Gai)
- 500 g ground chicken
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 5 cloves garlic peeled, crushed
- 1 thumb ginger julienned into matchsticks
- 3 medium shallots chopped
- 1 tbsp soy sauce light
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tbsp doubanjiang (Chinese broad bean paste) optional
- 1/2 tbsp maple syrup or any sweetener
- 1 tbsp sambal oelek or other chili paste
- 2 tsp sumac more to taste
- 1 tsp white pepper optional
- 1 tsp cumin optional
- 1 small bunch coriander 4~5 sprigs, torn
- 1 small bunch mint leaves, plus more for garnish 4~6 sprigs, torn
- Heat up a wok or large skillet on high and add oil once it’s hot. Add ground chicken and spread across the surface into an even layer.
- Cook chicken for 3~4min, breaking apart and stirring occasionally so it doesn’t burn.
- Add garlic, ginger, and shallot just before chicken is done cooking. Turn down to medium high heat. The shallot will release a bit of moisture, making it easier to scrape up any bits that are stuck to the bottom of the wok/skillet.
- Let this cook for another 2~3 minutes on medium high. Meanwhile, mix soy sauce, fish sauce, doubanjiang, maple syrup, cumin, sumac, white pepper, and sambal oelek in a bowl.
- Pour the sauce over the chicken and stir to coat evenly. If there is too much liquid, turn the heat up a bit higher and stir constantly until evaporated. Taste test & add more fish sauce, soy sauce, sumac or sweetener as you like. Make sure your kitchen fan is on!
- Turn off the heat and stir in the cilantro and mint leaves. Garnish with more mint leaves and other toppings such as fried shallots, peanuts, etc. (which I didn’t do but you totally can!)