the taste space

Laotian Larb Tofu Lettuce Wraps

Posted in Favourites, Mains (Vegetarian) by janet @ the taste space on June 5, 2014

Laotian Tofu Larb Lettuce Wraps

I told my friend in Houston that I had reached the height of my vegan eats here. There were no new restaurants I wanted to try. She assured me there were so.many.more to try and convinced me to try a nearby Thai restaurant. Oddly enough, Rob has spotted it earlier that week and was amused by its billboard that announced it was MANGO SEASON!

I was apprehensive but she assured me I would love it. She told me they had vegan ice cream. I was sold.

She did not lie. I loved it. So much so, that I quickly tried to figure out how to recreate the dishes.

Laotian Tofu Larb Lettuce Wraps

This is a spin on Laotian larb. Of note, Rob tells me this is nothing like the original and in fact, if you pronounce the r in larb, that is wrong, too.  Make no mistake about its simplicity, this salad wrap was GREAT!

A few fun points: This was the first time I have steamed tofu. I LOVED it. It made it nice and fluffy and once crumbled, it absorbed the flavours of the marinade incredibly well.  Lime juice, cilantro, in a salty-hot-sweet background, it was nice, fresh and light. After an overnight soak, it was absolutely perfect and lasted for a few days of lovely leftovers for lunch.

Laotian Tofu Larb Lettuce Wraps

I took inspiration from the restaurant to serve it next to a quarter of an iceberg. Its solid leaves make for excellent wraps, more sturdy than most lettuces and is rather mild on the green scale. Besides, it is always good to rotate your greens. :)

Do you have a favourite green wrap? I thought collards were my favourite but I was rather smitten by the iceberg lettuce. ;)

Laotian Tofu Larb Lettuce Wraps

I am sharing this with Souper Sundays, Eat Your Greens, No Croutons Required and Extra Veg.

Laotian Tofu Larb Lettuce Wraps
Adapted from Blissful Bites via  Vanilla & Spice

1 package (14 oz) firm tofu, quartered
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
1 red pepper, finely diced
~5 leaves napa cabbage, thinly sliced
1 large carrot, shredded
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 tbsp fresh lime juice
1.5 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
1.5 tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tsp sriracha
1/3 cup chopped peanuts
Lettuce leaves for serving

1. Prepare a steamer basket: Place 1″ water in a pot, cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low and simmer. Place tofu in the steamer basket. Place basket overtop the boiling water and steam for 10 minutes. Remove from heat.

2. Meanwhile, chop your vegetables and add the red pepper, cabbage, carrot and cilantro to a large bowl. Add the lime juice, soy sauce, maple syrup and sriracha. Taste and adjust seasonings. Once cool enough to handle, crumble the tofu with your hands and mix it into the vegetable mixture. Allow to marinate in the refrigerator for at least one hour, preferably overnight.

3. When ready to serve, chop lettuce into leaves (just lop off a quarter). Place tofu mixture into lettuce and top with chopped peanuts.

Serves 4.

10 Responses

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  1. Shannon Y-I-V said, on June 5, 2014 at 7:51 AM

    I’ve never tried steamed tofu either but it sounds interesting! I remember always liking larb before I went veg so maybe it’s time to give the vegan version a try.

  2. Ellen Lederman said, on June 5, 2014 at 8:26 PM

    Love larb (thanks for the tip of the pronunciation–never knew that the r was silent). This seems like a great hot weather dish. Have not bought iceburg lettuce in years, but may need to make an exception for this.

    Speaking of Thai restaurants, one thing I miss since becoming a vegan is Thai iced tea. Not having condensed sweetened milk any more. Have you ever had it with coconut milk?

  3. Eileen said, on June 6, 2014 at 12:40 PM

    Super interesting! I have never heard of steaming tofu before, but if the results are this good, I think I’m going to have to give it a try. :)

    • janet @ the taste space said, on June 6, 2014 at 7:05 PM

      I still have to try freezing it, too. I hear that is a fun twist but haven’t had enough coordination to figure it out yet :)

  4. mycookinglifebypatty said, on June 7, 2014 at 3:22 PM

    Great tip on steaming the tofu!

  5. shaheen said, on June 9, 2014 at 12:20 PM

    I’ve never tried steaming tofu, really interested in this recipe. Thank you for sharing with Eat Your Greens, please come back end of the month for the round up.

  6. Gaby said, on June 9, 2014 at 1:20 PM

    Yay you made it! I am so glad you let me take you there, I crave these lettuce wraps constantly. I also just love soft tofu, there’s no going back to the spongey fried stuff other places use. I’ve recreated this at home, or tried anyways, but yours is probably better :)

  7. Deb in Hawaii said, on June 15, 2014 at 5:46 PM

    Yum! This looks amazing–light and bright and perfect for the warmer weather.
    I haven’t tried steaming tofu before but now I want to. ;-)
    Thanks for sharing with Souper Sundays.

  8. Jac -Tinned Tomatoes (@tinnedtoms) said, on June 29, 2014 at 11:32 AM

    Why have I never done lettuce wraps before? That’s what I want to know and I’m loving the fluffed up tofu. Thanks for your continued support Janet. The No Croutons Required roundup is now up xx

  9. […] coconut ice cream). It was their seitan mock duck larb that inspired me to make these delicious Laotian Larb Tofu Lettuce Wraps, so at least I will have the ability to make this from miles […]


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