Delicious Vegetarian Larb Recipe – Healthy & Flavorful

Are you looking for a meat-free version of the traditional larb recipe without compromising on flavor? Look no further than this vegetarian larb recipe!

As a vegan chef, I have crafted this recipe to capture the essence of the authentic Thai-Lao dish while taking out the meat and fish sauce components. Using a combination of firm tofu and mushrooms, this plant-based version delivers the sought-after texture and savory taste that makes larb a beloved dish.

In addition, this vegan larb recipe incorporates fresh herbs like mint leaves and green onion, as well as vegetables such as cucumber and lettuce, to add a vibrant crunch and balance out the flavors. And let’s not forget about the aromatic toasted rice powder that imparts a nutty undertone to the dish.

Whether you are a long-time vegetarian or just looking to switch up your protein sources, I assure you that this meat-free version of larb will not disappoint. Plus, with easy-to-follow instructions and plenty of tips for success, you’ll be able to recreate an authentic vegan Thai-larb salad right in your own kitchen. So grab your ingredients 1 and let’s get started on this delicious journey!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Vegetarian Larb
Vegetarian Larb

Are you looking for a satisfying and flavorful meal that is also plant-based? Look no further than this vegetarian larb recipe. It’s packed full of fresh herbs, crunchy veggies, and protein-rich tempeh or tofu. This dish satisfies all cravings, and is perfect as a light lunch or a hearty dinner.

What makes this recipe even more special is that it is an authentic vegan twist on the traditional Thai and Lao larb salad which usually made with ground meat. By using plant-based substitutes like tofu, tempeh or mushrooms instead of meat, you get all the flavor and protein without any of the guilt. Plus, this meat-free version contains plenty of fresh herbs like mint leaves that provide anti-inflammatory properties while adding a refreshing burst of flavor.

You’ll love that this recipe is easy-to-follow and won’t keep you in the kitchen for hours. With just a few simple steps, you can have flavorful caramelized vegetables tossed with spicy chili peppers mixed with delicious soy sauce and aromatic lime juice for a bowl of goodness in your plate.

So whether you’re a vegetarian, vegan or simply looking to try out something new, give this vegan larb recipe a try. You won’t be disappointed by the fresh burst of flavors and satisfying textures that it provides.

Ingredient List

 A satisfying bowl of flavors and textures.
A satisfying bowl of flavors and textures.

Here are the ingredients needed to make this flavorful and healthy vegetarian larb recipe:

Ingredients 1:

  • [ ] 8 oz of tempeh, crumbled
  • [ ] 1 red onion, chopped
  • [ ] 2 green onions, chopped
  • [ ] 1/2 cup of fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • [ ] 1/2 cup of fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • [ ] 1/4 cup of roasted sticky rice powder
  • [ ] 1 medium-sized cucumber, chopped
  • [ ] 2 tbsp of peanut oil
  • [ ] 2 tbsp of soy sauce (use tamari for a gluten-free version)
  • [ ] 1 tbsp of chili pepper (optional)
  • [ ] Juice of 1 lime

Ingredients 2:

  • [ ] 8 oz of firm tofu, drained and crumbled
  • [ ] 1 red onion, chopped
  • [ ] 1/2 cup of fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • [ ] 1/2 cup of fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • [ ] 1/4 cup of toasted glutinous rice powder or regular rice powder
  • [ ] 1 cup of green beans or lettuce leaves (to serve on the side)
  • [ ] 2 tbsp of peanut oil
  • [ ] 3 tbsp of soy sauce (use tamari for a gluten-free version)
  • [ ] Juice of 1 lime
  • [ ] ¼ teaspoon of smoked paprika

These ingredients are easy to find in most grocery stores or Asian markets. You can also add more vegetables such as bell peppers or carrots to your liking.

The Recipe How-To

 The perfect mix of spicy and fresh.
The perfect mix of spicy and fresh.

Let’s get right to it and prepare this vegetarian larb recipe!


Here’s what you’ll need:
– 8 oz of firm tofu, drained
– 1 cup of sticky rice
– 2 tbsp of peanut oil
– 1/4 cup of soy sauce
– 1 tbsp of tamari
– 1 lime, juiced
– 1 chili pepper, diced
– 1/4 red onion, diced
– 1 green onion, thinly sliced
– 1 cup of fresh herbs (such as mint leaves, lettuce leaves and green beans)
– 2 tbsp of rice powder


  1. Start by cooking your sticky rice according to package instructions.

  2. While the rice cooks, begin preparing the tofu. Heat up a pan over medium-high heat with peanut oil. Once hot, add in the tofu and cook for about 5 minutes on each side or until golden brown.

  3. In a separate bowl, combine the soy sauce, tamari, lime juice and chili pepper. Set the mixture aside.

  4. Using a food processor, pulse the cooked tofu until it is finely chopped.

  5. In a large mixing bowl, combine the chopped tofu, diced red onion and green onion.

  6. Add in about half of the soy sauce mixture and mix thoroughly.

  7. Fold in the fresh herbs and toss until evenly mixed.

  8. Serve your larb salad on top of lettuce leaves with a side of sticky rice.

  9. Before you serve it up, garnish with toasted rice powder for an added layer of flavor.


Don’t feel limited to using tofu for this vegetarian larb recipe! You can also substitute it with tempeh or even mushrooms for a variation in texture and taste.

Substitutions and Variations

 Vibrant colors, fresh ingredients, and bold flavors.
Vibrant colors, fresh ingredients, and bold flavors.

As with any recipe, there are countless substitutions and variations for this vegetarian larb recipe. Here are some ideas to help you make this dish your own:

– Tofu: if you don’t have tempeh on hand or simply prefer tofu, feel free to swap it in. Firm or extra-firm varieties work best, and be sure to press out any excess moisture before cooking.

– Mushrooms: for a meaty texture and earthy flavor, try using mushrooms instead of tempeh or tofu. Any type of mushroom will work, but shiitake or portobello are particularly delicious.

– Green beans: add some extra crunch to the dish by adding blanched green beans to the mix. Simply trim the ends and cook in boiling water for 2-3 minutes until crisp-tender.

– Peanut oil: while peanut oil is traditional in many Thai dishes, you can use any neutral oil you have on hand, such as vegetable or grapeseed oil.

– Lettuce: while butter lettuce is optimal in this recipe because of its cup-like shape that holds all the salad goodness, iceberg lettuce works great too.

– Sticky rice: sticky rice is considered one of the best complimentary carbs for Larb but any rice will do perfectly fine.

No matter how you choose to customize your vegetarian larb salad, it will surely satisfy all your plant-based cravings. Have fun experimenting with different ingredients and flavors!

Serving and Pairing

 A vegetarian dish that's bursting with flavor.
A vegetarian dish that’s bursting with flavor.

Now it’s time to serve and enjoy your hearty vegan larb salad! You can choose to eat it by itself or pair it with some delicious side dishes for a complete meal experience.

For a fresh and crunchy side dish, you can chop up some cucumber or lettuce and serve them on the side. Mint leaves can also be a refreshing addition to your meal. If you want to add some heat to your dish, slice up some chili peppers and sprinkle them over your salad.

Sticky rice is a traditional accompaniment for larb salad. You can prepare this ahead of time and have it ready for serving. The texture of the sticky rice balances out the strong flavors of the salad and provides a nice contrast.

Another great pairing option is green beans. Quickly blanch them in boiling water until they are crisp-tender, then toss with soy sauce and lime juice. This simple yet flavorful vegetable dish complements the bold tastes of the vegan larb nicely.

Lastly, you can also pair your vegan larb salad with a light and refreshing beverage such as coconut water or sparkling water with lime wedges. This will help cleanse your palate between bites and provide a refreshing contrast to the strong flavors of your dish.

Overall, you have plenty of options when it comes to serving and pairing your vegan larb salad. Whether you decide to enjoy it alone or enhance it with some classic Thai side dishes, this meat-free version of a traditional Thai Laos meat salad is sure to become one of your new favorite plant-based recipes!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 A healthy and delicious way to switch up your weekday meals.
A healthy and delicious way to switch up your weekday meals.

One of the best things about this vegetarian larb recipe is that you can make it ahead of time and store it for easy meals throughout the week. Simply cover the larb with plastic wrap or transfer it to an airtight container and place it in the refrigerator. The dressing will actually continue to marinate the tofu, mushrooms, or tempeh, which deepens the flavor as time goes on.

When ready to serve, divide your larb into portions and let it come to room temperature before enjoying. You can eat it cold or reheat the larb for 1-2 minutes in a pan or microwave.

For longer storage, freeze your larb in an airtight container for up to 3 months. When reheating from frozen, do so carefully on the stove or in a microwave.

Whether making ahead or freezing for later, this vegan larb recipe holds up well thanks to its flavorful ingredient combination. Perfect for meal prep or an easy weekday dinner when you’re short on time.

Tips for Perfect Results

 The ultimate party dish that's sure to impress.
The ultimate party dish that’s sure to impress.

As a vegan chef, I know that even the simplest ingredient can make a huge difference in taste and texture. When it comes to making a vegetarian larb salad, there are certain things I have learned along the way to help achieve the perfect results. Here are some tips that will help you prepare a flavorful, plant-based larb salad.

1. Use freshly squeezed lime juice

Lime juice gives larb salad its tangy and refreshing taste. To make sure you get the most flavor out of each lime, use a citrus press to extract the juice. Freshly squeezed lime juice will give your larb recipe an authentic Thai flavor.

2. Toasted rice powder is essential

Authentic larb recipe requires toasted rice powder which adds aroma and nuttiness to it. To make toasted rice powder, dry roast uncooked glutinous rice until lightly golden brown then grind it into fine powder using a coffee grinder or food processor. Alternatively, you can buy it packaged from Asian grocery stores or online markets.

3. Marinate tempeh or tofu overnight

For the best flavor, marinate your tempeh or tofu overnight in soy sauce and lime juice with some chili flakes added for extra heat. This will allow the protein to absorb more flavor and intensify the taste.

4. Add fresh herbs just before serving

Fresh herbs such as mint leaves and green onions add brightness and lightness to your vegan larb salad. Add them just before serving to avoid wilting and keep the crispy texture of your lettuce salad base.

5. Prepare sticky rice

Sticky rice is traditionally served with larb salad as a common side dish in Laos and Thailand. Rinse 1-2 cups of glutinous rice 2-3 times for a couple of hours until water runs clear then cook it by steaming or simmering until tender but chewy. Season it with salt, sugar, or coconut milk for an authentic twist.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to create an authentic vegan larb that’s packed with flavor and texture, and pairs perfectly with sticky rice!


As you prepare to make this delicious vegetarian larb recipe, you might have some questions on your mind. Fear not! In this section, I’ll address some of the most frequently asked questions about this dish, so you can feel confident and informed as you dive into the cooking process. From ingredient substitutions to storage tips, I’ve got you covered. So, let’s get started!

What is the difference between larb and laab?

After conversing with Nilas, it was revealed that laab consists of multiple dishes instead of a singular one. The method of handling the produce is referred to as laap, whereas larb entails chopping ingredients for the dish.

What does larb mean in Thai?

Larb is a famous Lao meat salad and is considered as the national dish of Laos, alongside sticky rice and green papaya salad. Additionally, it is also called lap, larp, lahb, or laab and is well-known in Thai cuisine as well.

What is larb usually made of?

Larb is a vibrant and zesty salad from Thailand, traditionally prepared with ground meat like chicken, beef, pork or lamb. Among the essential ingredients are plenty of aromatic herbs such as mint, Thai basil or cilantro, lemongrass, garlic, fresh chilies, red onions, as well as lime juice and green onions.

Is laap the same as larb?

This salad, known as larb, comes from Southeast Asia and is made with minced meat. It has a variety of spellings and versions, with origins in both Laos and Thailand.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this vegetarian larb recipe is not only delicious but also a healthy, plant-based alternative to the traditional meat salad that is usually made with ground meat. This authentic vegan version uses either mushrooms, tofu or tempeh, and includes a combination of fresh herbs such as mint leaves, lettuce, green onion and cucumber. The lime juice and soy sauce add a tangy flavor while the toasted rice powder enhances the dish’s texture.

The versatility of this dish is just as remarkable as its taste. You can serve it with sticky rice for an authentic Thai-Lao experience or create your twist by adding green beans or other vegetables. You can also make a smoked tofu larb or use lemongrass instead of chili pepper for a different twist on the recipe.

If you are looking for a delicious, meat-free version of the iconic larb salad, this vegan larb recipe should be your go-to recipe. Not only is it easy to make and customize according to your preferences, but it’s also filled with nutrients that support a healthy lifestyle.

So why not give this vegan larb recipe a try, I guarantee that you will love it!

Vegetarian Larb

Vegetarian Larb Recipe

A vegetarian version of one of my favorite Thai dishes. (adopted from non-veggie version Recipe #11375)
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Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Thai
Calories 303 kcal


  • 8 ounces tempeh, crumbled
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 lime, juice of
  • 1/4 cup green onion, sliced
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon roasted rice powder (may buy it already powdered or make your own by roasting Thai long grain sticky rice till brown and)
  • chili pepper, as much as you like (I like a lot)
  • 2 tablespoons mint leaves, chopped
  • lettuce
  • cucumber


  • Heat the sesame oil.
  • Sauté the crumbled tempeh. Turn off heat.
  • Add soy sauce, lime, chilies, onion, rice powder and mint.
  • Play with the proportions. I like mine more lime-y and hot than this but I start out this way.
  • Serve on a bed of lettuce and cucumber or eat like lettuce wraps or in Napa cabbage leaves.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 637gCalories: 303kcalCarbohydrates: 16gProtein: 22.6gFat: 19.1gSaturated Fat: 3.5gSodium: 516.7mgFiber: 0.9gSugar: 1.7g
Keyword < 15 Mins, Asian, Easy, Egg-free, Free Of..., Lactose-free, Spicy, Thai, Vegan
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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