Chef Yia Vang joined "GMA3" recently to demonstrate a variation of a Hmong laab dish inspired by his father.

The James Beard Foundation finalist for Best Chef Midwest is known for his Hmong cuisine, which draws on Southeast Asian flavors and ingredients.

Check out his full recipe below.

Grilled Duck Laab

PHOTO: Grilled duck larb from chef Yia Vang.
Yia Vang
Grilled duck larb from chef Yia Vang.

"My father was known for his duck laab (also spelled larb), and he'd go the extra mile to make it. He would source a whole duck from his Amish farmer friend, meticulously debone it and grind it up. It was a true a labor of love. My version is inspired by dad's traditional Laotian laab, except I use skin-on duck breasts that are grilled over an open hardwood fire until crispy, juicy and smoky," Vang said. "There are many variations of laab and the key to this version of the dish is the finely chopped lemongrass, which has a floral fragrance that helps cut through the richness of the duck."

Level: Easy

Total cook time: 40 min

Yield: 4 servings


2 tablespoons canola oil

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon coriander

1 teaspoon granulated garlic

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Four 7-ounce skin-on duck breasts

1/4 cup toasted rice powder

1/3 cup chopped lemongrass

2 tablespoons fish sauce

1/2 cup chopped shallots

3 to 4 Thai bird chiles, chopped

Juice of 3 limes

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

1/3 cup finely chopped scallion

10 to 12 fresh mint leaves

10 to 12 Thai basil leaves

1/3 cup matchstick-sliced carrots

Radishes, sliced, for garnish

Watermelon radishes, sliced, for garnish

2 cucumbers, sliced

10 to 12 gem or butter lettuce leaves


 Place your duck skin side down onto the grill/pan and start from cold, you will leave on the skin side for 8-10 minutes over medium heat until fat is rendered and skin is crispy.

Mix 2 tablespoons of oil, cumin, paprika, coriander, garlic, and salt and pepper and use mixture to evenly coat the non-skin side of the duck.

Liberally sprinkle with 4 to 5 tablespoons of salt and several grinds of pepper on both sides.

Then flip to the non-skin side for 3-4 minutes to make sure the duck is cooked through.

Remove the duck and allow it to rest for 10 minutes.

Halve the duck breasts lengthwise, then slice into bite-size pieces.

Transfer to a large bowl. Toss together with the rice powder, lemongrass, fish sauce, shallots, chiles, lime juice and garlic. Season with pepper.

To serve, have a platter with all the fresh herbs and veggies on it. In another platter have the duck that's seasoned with the aromatics in it. On a plate, ensemble the full dish together.

Cook's Note: If you are using an open flame, make sure to use untreated hardwood, such as cherry, hickory or mesquite that is safe for cooking.