Let’s start with “what is larb?” This is a traditional Thai dish that is usually made with chicken or pork mince, or sometimes a mix of both. It’s very delicious, savoury, and fragrant but I wanted to make its plant-based version and it took me some time to find adequate replacements for some of the ingredients. Yet another challenge was to create different textures that the traditional version has. Read on to find out what the secret ingredients are for this totally fabulous Vegan Larb.
As I said, Thai larb has a combo of different textures and its base is minced meat. In my Vegan Larb, I used cauliflower for that minced meat texture and mushrooms for the meaty flavour. The next ingredient I had to think about was fish sauce, which is used in the traditional recipe, and I found a perfect replacement. It’s Umeboshi plum vinegar; you can find it in any health food store and it’s absolutely gorgeous.
A quick note here – I opt for plant-based ingredients not because I’m into vegan or vegetarian dieting; I’m into good, wholefood dishes that are prepared from ingredients with the least human interference. If you are also not a fan of fancy diets but want to learn how to prepare meals that truly nourish your body, join me in my online cooking classes.
Coming back to the main topic, this recipe also calls for a lot of veggies and herbs like tomatoes, spring onions, shallots, mint, and coriander but the last key ingredient that brings all of this together is rice. For this to happen, I had to roast and then grind some beautiful jasmine rice into fine powder. Once you add this powder to the mix of all the other ingredients, a magical thing happens. It soaks up all the moisture and brings the ingredients together into this beautiful mix I call Vegan Larb.
Chef’s pro tip: To keep your herbs crisp and fresh before you add them to a dish, just place them in a bowl and cover them with water. I use the same method for shredded cabbage, especially when I add it to salads or as garnish to my Vegan Ramen Soup.
I’ll be waiting for your comments and feedback on this Vegan Larb! Whether you just started your wholefood journey or you have been in love with it for years, feel free to subscribe to my YouTube channel to get notifications every time we have something new cooking.
With love, from my kitchen to yours,
Chef Cynthia Louise xx
Chef Cynthia Louise is an Internationally acclaimed MasterChef, speaker, author, restaurant consultant, teacher and television presenter in wholefood, dairy-free cooking. She also has the worlds first online cooking classes focused on dairy-free plant-based whole foods with recipes that people are raving about and changing people's health, one delicious bite at a time. Chef Cynthia loves nothing more than educating people about the simplicity and vitality of a plant-based, whole foods lifestyle. Each dish is like art on a plate and her flavour combinations nourish the soul and get everyone talking.