Mushroom and Tofu Larb

I was looking through my YouTube account, gathering recipes to try, and ran across a recipe from Bon Appetit for Spicy Mushroom Larb. I clicked on it because I was curious. I had never heard of Larb. Come to find out it is the unofficial national dish of Laos. It’s also eaten all over Thailand. The ingredients are pretty simple. I looked all over the web to see what you could use to make larb you could use meat or mushrooms. Bon Appetit used just mushrooms. Right off the bat I see there will not be enough protein for us. However, I think I can make a simple change to add more protein and stay true to the dish. I am also going to ditch the cabbage leaves for scooping. The only reason is because it doesn’t freeze well. To keep this vegetarian, I will be using tofu as my main protein source. Here are the original stats:

The calories are a bit high for what you get.  The sodium is really high and the vitamin A and protein are low.  Here’s what I changed:

  • I deleted the cabbage because it doesn’t freeze well.
  • I lowered the amount of oil to reduce the calories.
  • I deleted the added salt to lower the sodium.
  • I added a block of extra firm tofu to increase the protein.
  • I reduced the amount of mushrooms to add room for the tofu.
  • I added in butternut squash for flavor and vitamin A.
  • I added in red bell pepper for vitamin C.

Here are the final stats:

Here is the final recipe:

Mushroom and Tofu Larb

Serves 6

  • ¼ cup roasted, skinless peanuts
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil, divided
  • 10 oz. shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, quartered
  • 36 oz extra firm tofu
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 1 1″ piece ginger, peeled, finely grated
  • 1 medium shallot, thinly sliced into rings, rinsed, drained
  • 1 red chile, such as Holland, Fresno, or Thai, thinly sliced
  • 6 oz. Red Bell Pepper, chopped
  • 8 oz. Butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 1 cup mint leaves, torn if large
  • 1 Tbsp. fish sauce
  • Lime wedges (for serving)
  1. Take out the tofu from its package and place between two plates and place a light weight on top to squeeze out the liquid.  Let sit for 20 minutes, draining the water from time to time.  After 20 minutes, cut into cubes.
  2. Coarsely crush chop the peanuts and set aside.
  3. Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high until shimmering. Add mushrooms, butternut squash, and tofu. Cook, undisturbed, until bottom sides are golden brown, about 5 minutes. Toss and continue to cook, tossing occasionally and reducing heat as needed to avoid scorching, until golden brown all over, about 4 minutes more.
  4. Add scallions, garlic, and ginger, and red bell pepper followed by remaining 1 Tbsp. oil, and cook, stirring often, until softened and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Mix in shallot, chile, mint, fish sauce, and half of peanuts. .
  5. Serve with lime wedges, and remaining peanuts alongside.
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3 thoughts on “Mushroom and Tofu Larb

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