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
- 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)
- 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.
- Coarsely crush chop the peanuts and set aside.
- 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.
- 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. .
- Serve with lime wedges, and remaining peanuts alongside.