Tofu and Mushroom Larb

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(2)

Mushrooms and tofu combine for a flavorful larb dish, bringing a dash of excitement to your standard dinner routine.

Top View of Tofu and Mushroom Larb Dish in a Large Gray Plate with a Metal Spoon for Serving
Photo: Caitlin Bensel
Hands On Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
30 mins
Servings:
4

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

  • 1 14-oz. package extra-firm tofu, drained

  • ¼ cup melted unrefined coconut oil, divided

  • 8 oz. sliced shiitake mushrooms (about 4 cups), divided

  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

  • 3 ½ tablespoons fresh lime juice (from 2 limes), plus wedges for serving

  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce or tamari

  • 2 ½ teaspoons packed light brown sugar

  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper

  • 1 shallot, very thinly sliced

  • 3 scallions, white and light green parts finely chopped (¼ cup)

  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves (from 1 bunch), divided

  • ½ cup chopped roasted, salted cashews

  • ½ cup lightly packed fresh mint leaves, torn if large

  • 1 small head red cabbage, quartered and leaves separated

  • Cooked sushi rice, for serving

Directions

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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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