Food & Drink

Ed Smith’s sausage laab and fried egg bun recipe

The breakfast bap just got tastier.

Ed Smith’s sausage laab and fried egg bun recipe
Ed Smith’s sausage laab and fried egg bun recipe

Laab is a ‘salad’ made from minced or finely chopped meat or fish. Styles vary, but typically the protein (cooked or raw), is seasoned with aromatics such as lemongrass, galangal, lime, fish sauce, chilli and fresh herbs, and topped with toasted rice powder.

“It’s the national dish of Laos, prominent in northern Thailand too, and personally, if I see one on a menu, I can’t resist it,” says cook Ed Smith.

“Also, while not in any way traditional, it makes total sense (to me, at least) to turn the meat inside sausages into a laab, put that in a soft bun, and add a crisp fried egg for good measure.”

Sausage laab and fried egg bun


(Serves 2)

200–220g plain pork sausages

Neutral cooking oil, for frying

2 cloves garlic, minced

20g ginger, peeled and finely grated

1 stick of lemongrass, finely sliced

2 makrut lime leaves, finely sliced

3 bird’s eye chillies, finely sliced

1tsp caster sugar

1⁄2tsp Kashmiri chilli powder

1⁄2tsp Chinese five spice

Juice of 1⁄2 lime

2tbsp fish sauce

A handful of Thai basil leaves (or fresh mint)

2 eggs

2 soft brioche burger buns, halved and lightly toasted

Pinch of rice powder

Ed Smith's sausage laab and fried egg bun recipe
Ed Smith’s sausage laab and fried egg bun recipe (Sam A. Harris/PA)


1. Toast the rice powder: Toast a pinch of rice in a small, dry pan for two to three minutes until tinged bronze. Grind to a fine grit using a pestle and mortar.

2. Score the sausages with the tip of a sharp knife. Remove the meat and discard the skins, then ball the meat into a flat patty.

3. Heat the oil in a wok set over a high heat. Add the sausage meat and squash it down using the back of a spatula. Let this fry for around 45 seconds, so that it begins to colour. Then start to break up the patty, again using a spatula to squash and chop away at it. Keep going until the meat is in a fine, minced meat-like consistency.

4. Add the garlic, ginger, lemongrass, lime leaves and three quarters of the fresh chilli. Cook the aromatics for 45-60 seconds, continually stirring and shaking the wok.

5. Then add the sugar and spices and cook for another 45-60 seconds, stirring frequently and adding a tablespoon of water if the meat is sticking.

6. Squeeze in the lime juice, add the fish sauce and Thai basil, then immediately remove from the heat. Stir and set aside, allowing the basil to wilt a little while you fry two eggs in neutral oil and toast the buns.

7. To assemble, spoon the fragrant pork over the base of each bun. Sprinkle generously with rice powder, then place an egg on top before closing the bun and tucking in.

Also consider: Using minced beef (a burger mix works well) or chopped chicken livers, instead of the sausage meat. Eating the laab and fried egg with rice or flatbreads, instead of the burger bun.


Good Eggs by Ed Smith is published in hardback by Quadrille, priced £22. Photography Sam A. Harris. Available now.