Northeastern-style Spicy Duck Salad (ลาบเป็ด) by Bangkok Royal Restaurant in Lyon, France
Recipe type: Main Course Salad
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-3
  • One skin-on large duck breast or 2 skin-on smaller ones, totaling 1½ pounds
  • ¼-1/2 cup chicken broth (see notes) or water
  • One large shallot, weighing 1½-2 ounces, peeled and sliced thinly lengthwise
  • One tablespoon fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon packed grated palm sugar or brown sugar
  • One tablespoon tamarind pulp (see notes)
  • One tablespoon toasted rice powder (see notes)
  • Dried red chili powder, to taste
  • ½ cup loosely-packed chopped cilantro leaves
  • ½ cup loosely-packed chopped mint leaves
  • Green lettuce and tomato slices for garnish, optional
  1. Score the skin of the duck breast(s) and sear the duck, skin side first, in a skillet set over medium-high heat until the skin side is golden brown, some fat has been rendered, and the meat side is browned on the outside. This should take a total of 3-4 minutes. The duck breast(s) should still be raw inside.
  2. If you work with one large duck breast, cut it lengthwise into 4 pieces and slice each piece thinly crosswise. If you deal with two smaller duck breasts, halve each lengthwise and cut each half thinly crosswise. Reserve the juices.
  3. Measure the reserved juices. You should have roughly ¼ cup of it. But if you end up with less, that's okay. Add just enough chicken broth or water to the reserved duck juices so that the combined liquid measures a total of ½ cup.
  4. Transfer the duck slices to a medium saucepan or skillet set over medium-low heat. Add the juice-broth mixture to it. Saute just until the duck is barely pink. (Duck laab really tastes better when it's slightly undercooked.)
  5. Take the saucepan off the heat.
  6. Add the shallot slices, fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, and tamarind pulp; mix well. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. The salad should be primarily sour, followed by salty with just a hint of sweet.
  7. Stir in the toasted rice powder and dried red chili powder. Taste again to see if more heat is needed; if so, add more chili.
  8. Once the salad tastes good to you, stir in the cilantro and mint. Plate (with the garnishes, if desired) and serve immediately.
If the broth which you use contains sodium, adjust the amount of fish sauce accordingly.
You can use store-bought tamarind concentrate or make your own tamarind pulp:
You can use store-bought toasted rice powder or make your own: (read the post on how the chef at Bangkok Royal spikes her toasted rice powder)
Recipe by SheSimmers at