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A flavorful dish bringing a dash of excitement into your standard dinner routine.

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Credit: Caitlin Bensel

Recipe Summary

hands-on:
30 mins
total:
30 mins
Servings:
4
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Larb is a traditional Laotian dish (also eaten in Thailand), which features crispy ground meat that’s seasoned with fish sauce, lime juice, mint, scallions, and chiles. This plant-forward rendition swaps in tofu and mushroom for the meat, which you won’t miss. Cooked alongside hearty, umami-rich shiitakes, the result is a filling, delicious dish that is sure to please. After all the ingredients are stir-fried together and the residual heat softens the shallots, you’ll finish the mixture with fresh cilantro, mint, and salty cashews. This dish can be served warm or at room temperature with juicy lime wedges and your choice of leafy vegetables (we love to pile it on crunchy cabbage leaves). To round out the meal, larb is traditionally served with sticky rice; look for glutinous rice at grocery stores or sub in sushi rice. And if you're vegan or exclude seafood from your diet, a dash of tamari steps in for fish sauce.

Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Press tofu between paper towels to absorb liquid. Crumble into a bowl, leaving some large pieces.

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  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add half of mushrooms and cook, undisturbed, until golden, about 3 minutes. Toss; cook until browned, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with 1 tablespoon oil and remaining mushrooms. Season with salt.

  • Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high. Add tofu; cook, undisturbed, until golden brown on underside, about 5 minutes. Toss; cook until golden and crispy, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in mushrooms, lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, and crushed red pepper. Add shallot, scallions, and half of cilantro; toss. Top with cashews, mint, and remaining cilantro. Scoop onto cabbage leaves; serve with rice and lime wedges.

Tofu

This go-to plant protein, made from soybeans, is a nutritional powerhouse, since it boasts all nine essential amino acids. It also has a range of vitamins and minerals, including bone-building calcium and energy-boosting iron.

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