Paleo Thai Lettuce Wraps with Larb

Paleo Thai Lettuce Wraps with Larb by Worthy Pause

I was craving takeout something fierce, so I made these paleo Thai lettuce wraps with pork larb instead.

The thing about larb (sometimes “laab”) is that it’s got that perfect sweet-salty-umami that so many Thai recipes are known for — thanks to the earthly wonder that is fish sauce. I’m still not sure how something that smells like a fish’s buttcheek can make food taste so good.

I mean, it’s literally rotten fish juice.

Fish sauce, in its typical form, is not considered paleo due to the added sugar (and sometimes gluten or MSG). However, Red Boat Fish Sauce is the jam because fermented anchovies and sea salt are the only things that you’ll find in their bottles. I highly recommend that stuff. It’s kind of like coconut aminos in that it opens up a lot of Asian cuisine that would otherwise be impossible to make well without soy sauce and/or fish sauce. 

Amazon is a good resource for both the fish sauce, aminos and other paleo-friendly groceries, but I’ve started using Thrive Market recently and noticed they stock these as well. Hooray! Thrive is like an online Costco for natural, health-minded products. You pay a small membership fee and then get discounted wholesale prices. If you use my referral link, you’ll get a free month and $25 off your first order (baby, you know I take care a’ you).

Paleo Thai Lettuce Wraps with Larb by Worthy PauseNow, enough shopping. Let’s get to the food. Larb is a ground meat Thai dish that’s served at restaurants ’round the globe — typically with pork or chicken. It’s super easy to make and super delicious to eat.

I made a light, herby cucumber salad to go along with this dish and it was the right decision (recipe for that coming soon). I was so hungry after taking pictures that I didn’t have the patience to make more wraps. So because it all went together so nicely, I just mixed everything up and turned the whole plate into a Thai chopped salad. And then I ate it out of a giant mixing bowl while watching Dr. Who.

Because that’s real life, folks.

Paleo Thai Lettuce Wraps with Larb by Worthy Pause

Paleo Thai Lettuce Wraps with Larb by Worthy Pause Paleo Thai Lettuce Wraps with Larb by Worthy PausePaleo Thai Lettuce Wraps with Larb by Worthy Pause

Thai Lettuce Wraps with Larb
  1. 4 T fish sauce
  2. 4 T fresh lime juice (about one lime's worth)
  3. 2 Thai chilies, thinly sliced (you can sub another hot pepper if you like)
  4. 2 T water
  5. 2 T coconut oil
  6. 6 garlic cloves, sliced thinly
  7. 2 T honey
  8. 1 lb. ground pork or chicken
  9. 2 tsp fish sauce
  10. 1 tsp coconut aminos (or soy sauce)
  11. salt and pepper to taste
  12. 2-3 shallots or 1/2 a red onion, thinly sliced
  13. freshly chopped Thai basil, mint and cilantro
  14. 2 heads of butter lettuce
  1. Mix 4 T fish sauce, juice of one lime, Thai chilies and water for the dressing. Set aside in the fridge until you're ready to eat.
  2. In a large pan, fry the garlic in coconut oil for about a minute on medium-high heat, then stir the honey into the pan. Add the ground pork or chicken and brown thoroughly. When the meat is done, stir in the fish sauce, coconut aminos and then the salt and pepper to taste. Top the larb with fresh herbs and shallots. Serve with lettuce leaves and the dressing on the side to create little lettuce wrap tacos (or do like I did and pile it all together with cucumbers like a chopped salad). EAT.
  1. Adjust your heat levels accordingly. Some hot peppers can be weirdly mild, and others might want to murder you.
Worthy Pause
 Paleo Thai Lettuce Wraps with Larb by Worthy Pause

Let me know what you think of these little babies in the comments! Also, if you like Asian tastiness, you should try these potsticker meatballs and/or korean savory crepes.

10 Essential Grill Gadgets For Summer

Best Grilling Gadgets via Worthy Pause

Good cookin’ requires good tools, especially when it comes to meat and flames and whatnot. Last summer, my guy and I bought our first grill that wasn’t a tiny Weber (although, shoutout to tiny Webers!). This new BBQ is nothing fancy, but it feels fancy to us because we can make carne asada and lamb burgers all the livelong day (and for more than… Read More

Cucumber Tomato Salad with Feta

Cucumber Tomato Salad with Feta

I think I ate all the cucumbers in Southern California last year during a heat wave. And this summer, I’m eating all the cucumbers in the Upper Midwest. Sorry if you’re trying to get some to make this recipe — they gone. This fresh, crunchy Mediterranean cucumber tomato salad is in regular rotation in my house throughout the year, but… Read More

Santa Barbara, California

Santa Barbara via Worthy Pause

Santa Barbara was one of my favorite California road trips to date.  My husband planned the whole thing, partially because we had been binge-watching Psych, which is set in Santa Barbara (if you haven’t seen it, for shame). Two best friends solve crimes — it’s totally formulaic and totally awesome. My husband insisted we make a stop at the Santa Barbara Police Department and then was… Read More

Brussels Sprouts Chips

Brussels Sprout Chips

Brussels sprouts do not deserve their reputation. Sure, when you make the frozen kind or overcook them, they are rreal bad… but done right, they are like vegetable candy. Or in this case, vegetable chips. Yay, Brussels Sprouts. Making chips out of things is a fantastic hobby, especially with Brussels sprouts. These little paleo snacks are made from the outer leaves, so… Read More

Skillet Potatoes with Dill

Skillet Potatoes with Dill by Worthy Pause

Dill and potatoes go together like sausage and apples, don’t you think? Not exactly a groundbreaking recipe ahead, but sometimes simplicity and fresh herbs are all one needs. Especially when one is on day seven of a Whole30 and on the verge of hangriness.

Reykjavik, Iceland

Reykjavik, Iceland via Worthy Pause

My husband and I spent our honeymoon traveling all over Iceland last summer, and we both absolutely fell in lurve with Reykjavik. We loved it so much that we’ve talked about doing another trip as soon as we can catch another deal with Icelandair (they fly direct from Minneapolis, y’all!). Reykjavik, you guys. It’s awesome. I can’t really put into words… Read More

Nom Nom Paleo’s Peruvian Chicken with Aji Criollo

Peruvian Chicken with Aji Criollo-2

One thing I love about Michelle Tam from Nom Nom Paleo is that she cooks like I do. She is always experimenting with global flavors with lots of herbs and spices and umami. She doesn’t mess around much with desserts (sweet teeth are overrated) and she’s not out to paleo-fy everything — she just makes really good food. Another thing that I love… Read More

Paleo Treats, A Thing You Should Know About


One of the things I enjoyed about living in San Diego was discovering a cool little community of paleo businesses and eaters.   I had the opportunity to grab coffee with the people of Paleo Treats a while back and I wanted to share a little bit about these five phenomenal desserts that have — NBD — become the best-selling paleo desserts in history…. Read More

Greek Lamb Meatballs

Lamb Meatballs and Greek Salad

If you don’t love lamb meatballs, I just don’t know if I trust you anymore. It’s like people who don’t like ice cream. I don’t care how paleo you are, ice cream is fucking good. And so are these Greek lamb meatballs. My parents used to make a similar dish occasionally when I was growing up, and I remember thinking they were… Read More

Salton Sea, California

Salton Sea, California

On Monday, I shared a bit from my recent road trip to Joshua Tree. On the way back, we detoured south to check out the Salton Sea before our car broke down on the middle of a mountain (yup). The Salton Sea was formed by accident when some people diverted the Colorado River in the late 1800s and flooded the ancient salt flats…. Read More