Laab Lettuce Wraps

30 minutes
to prep

20 minutes
to cook

3–4 servings

About this Recipe

Laab, pronounced “larb,” is considered the unofficial national dish of Laos. It is known for its mix of protein, lime juice, mix of fresh herbs, and spice. This delicious version of laab is served with lettuce and made with tofu and mushrooms.

Recipe by: Tina Phoumalvahn
Photos by: Andrew Real & Sierra Barsten

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon toasted rice powder
  • 2 tablespoons vegan fish sauce
  • Juice of 4 limes or more
  • 8 ounces sliced white button mushrooms (chopped finely)
  • 1 (14oz) package extra-firm tofu
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin oil olive
  • 2 small shallots, finely diced
  • 2 spring onions, finely sliced
  • 3–4 Thai chilis, finely sliced
  • 1 bunch mint leaves, chopped
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1 bunch perilla leaves
  • Sliced cucumbers, halved and longwise
  • Dried whole-roasted red chili peppers
  • 1 head of lettuce or cooked steamed rice or sticky rice

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1

Drain and press tofu for at least 30 minutes. You can press it by wrapping a clean kitchen towel cloth around the tofu block and placing a cutting board on top. I also place a frying pan on top of the cutting board. This should help squeeze excess moisture from the tofu. Then crumble it with your hands, or you can throw it in the food processor.

Step 2

Heat up 2 tablespoons of oil in a wok. Once hot, add the ground mushrooms and brown for 5 minutes.

Step 3

Add in tofu, mix, and cook for 7–10 minutes. Squeeze a lime in the mix and stir fry for a few minutes until browned in places.

Step 4

Add in shallots, spring onions (white part only) and fresh Thai chilis (depending on the level of spiciness you desire), and stir-fry for another minute or so.

Step 5

Once you take the wok off the heat, mix in 2 tablespoons of vegan fish sauce and limes according to your preference. Also add 1–2 tablespoons of toasted rice powder and the rest of the chopped herbs.*

* Make sure to leave some on the side if making wraps

Step 6

Serve with cooked rice or with wraps. For wraps, you can spoon the laab into fresh lettuce leaves with extra herbs, the green part of the sliced onions, perilla leaves, and cucumbers, and top it off with roasted red peppers! Enjoy!