About this Recipe
“Laab is a traditional dish of Laos, and depending on what village or province the dish is from, ingredients can vary. The word ‘laab’ means LUCKY in Lao, so people always make this dish for any special occasion in order to bring and also spread good luck.
“Now let’s talk about this vegan laap. I just want to look at Lao food from a different angle, and with some help from my family, I visited three grocery stores. I came up with this recipe, and to be honest, I was surprised at how good it tasted. Try it yourself and enjoy!”
Recipe by: Vong Manoroth
Photos by: Kylie Hope
- 1 whole green cauliflower
- 3 shiitake mushroom heads
- 1 pack brown beech mushrooms
- 2–3 whole fresh limes (to your liking)
- ½ tablespoon diced shallot
- 20–25 mint leaves
- 1 tablespoon minced lemongrass
- ½ tablespoon minced garlic
- ½ tablespoon minced galanga
- ½ cup rough chopped cilantro
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil
- ¼ cup toasted rice powder
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- Thai bird chili (to your liking)
- Dried chili flakes (to your liking)
- 3 endive (optional)
Cut the cauliflower into small pieces or flat pieces so they are easily seared.
Heat a pan on high heat until the pan is really hot, and then put the cauliflower in the pan. Add coconut oil a little at a time until you see smoke and the cauliflower begins to brown. Keep flipping until you get the color that you like. (I like mine DARK!)
Cool the cauliflower down and rough chop into smaller pieces. It is okay for the pieces to be uneven as it adds texture.
Cut off the stems of the brown beech mushrooms; cut the shiitake mushrooms into small strips; mince your garlic, galanga, and lemongrass; dice your shallot; and rough chop your cilantro.
Start by mixing both of the mushrooms, the cauliflower, the toasted rice powder, diced shallots, lemongrass, and garlic.
Add ¼ tablespoon of the galanga and continue adding small amounts to your liking.
Add the soy sauce last while you mix the ingredients together.
Squeeze the lime juice, using one lime at a time, adding until it is to your liking.
Add the chili if you like it spicy.
Serve it in a bowl with a serving spoon or you can add lettuce on the side so your friends and family can make their own lettuce wrap. You can also use endive for the crunch and the color it brings to the dish.