I love larb. The first one I tried was fish larb made with tilapia in a Minnesotan Hmong restaurant. Since that we found some recipes for fish larb, and we usually use this one.
I had made a vegetarian version a few times before. Some recipes I had found use some wheat based stuff, but I prefer TVP. Wheatless and glutenfree.
Here’s the rough recipe;
1 cup (dry) TVP (aka textured soy protein)
1.4 cups water
Thai fish sauce, to taste (salty – start with 1 tbsp, and taste, add more, test…)
Red pepper (fresh Thai stuff, or dry will work too)
Herbs: cilantro, basil, mint, vietnamese coriander, chives, garlic, oregano etc
Measure TVP in a heat proof container. Boil the water. Add the boiling water to TVP, mix. Let cool covered while you mince the herbs (scissors, knife, blender – as you like). Add the herbs (see a few examples of larb to see how it needs to look like, so add some, stir, add more etc until it looks and tastes right). Add on the same way the fish sauce (if anyone finds a really good vegan replacement for fish sauce, let me know), and last the lime juice to adjust the flavor. All the time make sure the ingredients are well stirred together.
Enjoy with sticky rice, or as a side with veggies or other foods. Or even on crackers.
The TVP version is much faster to make than the fish version, and it’s still packed with protein. I recommend using enough herbs, especially mint and basil, to make it taste extra fresh.
Having a glutenfree version is awesome – also if you need a quick vegetarian dish for a potluck etc that works.
TVP works great for taco filling too, instead of meat; usually a TVP/water ratio of 1:1.5 since the spice mixes will absorb water too. Mix the dry TVP and taco spice, add boiling water, stir, let cool covered. Actually I did fancy some tacos today. But no taco shells, so it would have been perilla leaves and the TVP taco mix in it. No taco mix… therefore vegetarian larb for lunch.