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Vegan Thai larb
For the dressing
- Drain off any liquid from the tofu. Crumble the tofu onto a clean tea towel, then fold the towel over to cover and press down firmly to remove as much moisture as possible. Tip the pressed tofu crumbs into a bowl and set aside.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil in a large frying pan over a medium–low heat. Add the shallot and cook, stirring often, for 7–10 minutes, until starting to turn golden. Add the chilli and lemongrass and cook, stirring, for a further 2 minutes. Finally stir in the ginger and garlic and cook for 1 minute.
- Transfer the contents of the pan to a jug and add 50ml/2fl oz water. Use a stick blender to blitz to a smooth-ish paste (alternatively, use a blender or small food processor). Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6.
- Mix the cornflour with the crumbled tofu, stirring to coat completely. Wipe out the pan and return it to the heat, then add the remaining 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Add the tofu and cook over a medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it starts to turn golden and crisp in places.
- Add the paste to the pan and mix well, breaking up any clumps of tofu. At this point it may look very uninspiring, but don’t worry it will come good in the oven. Tip the contents of the pan onto a baking tray and bake for 10-15 minutes, until it begins to brown and crisp up, stirring halfway through cooking to ensure it crisps evenly.
- Meanwhile, combine the dressing ingredients in a jug, stirring well to dissolve the sugar.
- To serve, spoon some cooked rice, if using, into each of the lettuce leaves, then add some of the tofu, a spoonful of dressing and a sprinkle of the fresh herbs.