Vegan Tofu Larb Salad

BY : PUBLISHED : May 24th, 2022 UPDATED: October 17th, 2022

You’ll be surprised at how tender the texture and delicious the flavor is in this easy-to-make, 15-minute tofu larb salad! Serve up vegan larb in romaine lettuce for a tasty healthy veggie wrap that's perfect for lunch on the go or a quick lunch when working from home.

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three completed larb salad servings against a white surface

Tofu larb salad is not your typical tofu salad recipe, but it sure is special!

I grew up with many Hmong friends, who introduced me to the traditional version of this dish. I’ve since given it a healthy, plant-based makeover and my version of vegan larb is crammed with flavor. Are you ready to try something new?

This vegan larb tofu is a perfect example of how you can turn any dish into a plant-based version of it. You can apply this principle to any beloved recipe like plant-based lasagna or vegan steak (like this mushroom one!). Whatever the dish, you can veganize it!

What is Larb Salad?

This dish is originally from Laos but also from a region in Thailand called Isan.

This vegan take on Larb salad uses a tofu crumble and is seasoned with lime juice, cilantro, soy sauce, and more to achieve its traditional taste. Once cooked, the tofu crumble is served warm or hot over lettuce, cabbage, or veggies with a side of sticky rice.

Why This Recipe Works

  • Healthy and delicious: A tasty tofu dish served up in romaine lettuce leaves.
  • Great combination: Savory, sweet, and spicy make this dish taste amazing.
  • Out of the ordinary: A flavorful way to change up lunchtime if you're feeling in a rut!

What Goes Into This Recipe

ingredients for larb salad measured out against a white surface
  • Canola or vegetable oil: Used to cook the tofu. Any neutral-flavored oil will work.
  • Extra-firm tofu: This variety of tofu has a firmer texture and makes the perfect plant-based protein in this vegan larb recipe.
  • Lime juice: A bit of acid adds brightness to the larb tofu.
  • Cilantro: Freshly chopped is best.
  • Soy sauce: Gives the vegan larb salad its umami flavor.
  • Green onion: For color and some onion flavor.
  • Jalapeño: Just a bit for some spice.
  • Onion: Any onion will work, red, yellow or white.
  • Fresh mint: Gives the tofu larb its unique flavor.
  • Romaine lettuce leaves: Get the whole head to use the leaves to wrap around the larb tofu and eat it! You can also use Bibb lettuce or leaf lettuce which both work great for lettuce wraps.

How to Make Vegan Larb with Tofu

  • 1) Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. When it’s hot, add the tofu and 1 tablespoon of the lime juice, and sauté for 4 or 5 minutes or until the tofu is light brown.
  • 2) Transfer the tofu to a medium bowl and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of lime juice, cilantro, soy sauce, green onion, jalapeño, onion, and mint. Mix well.
  • 3) Serve in the lettuce leaves.
three completed larb salad servings against a white surface

Expert Tips

  • Choose the right tofu: Use extra-firm tofu for a more meat-like texture. You can use firm tofu as well just don't forget to press it!
  • Add some spice: If you like things spicy, drizzle some sriracha or chopped fresh chilies over the top.
  • Extra flavor: Serve up tofu larb with a squeeze of lime and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro over the top.
  • Taking on the go? When making for meal prep and to take with you, pack up the lettuce leaves and tofu larb separately so the lettuce doesn't get soggy.

FAQs

Is larb eaten hot or cold?

It is usually eaten warm or room temperature but will taste great cold too which makes it perfect to take with you on the go to eat for lunch away from home.

What does larb taste like?

Larb is generally flavored with ingredients that give it a salty, spicy, tangy flavor. This vegan larb recipe recreates these flavors using plant-based ingredients.

two completed larb salad pieces against a white background

Variations and Substitutions

With simple recipes like this one, you can easily swap ingredients without affecting the outcome. 

  • Don’t have cilantro? You could try parsley or basil
  • Did you run out of tofu? Could mash some chickpeas or lentils
  • Don’t have romaine? Try crispy iceberg or serve over some shredded cabbage.

See? Don’t let the lack of an ingredient unmotivate you to give it a go!

How to Eat Larb Salad

  • Tacos: Vegan larb with tofu would be amazing on corn tortillas with some tomato salsa or even mango salsa!
  • Sandwich: Mix up larb tofu with some vegan mayo and spread on your favorite bread.
  • Wrap: Swap out the lettuce leaf with a flavored tortilla wrap!
  • Make a bowl: Layer it on top of shredded cabbage and lettuce for a delicious lunch bowl.
  • Make it a meal: Add on a side of traditional sticky rice, green papaya salad or brown rice if you want a healthier option.
three completed larb salad servings against a white surface

More Tofu Recipes

Tofu Tacos

Crispy Tofu Sticks

Spicy and Sweet Tofu

Spicy Sesame Tofu Stir Fry

Tofu with Peanut Sauce

Photos by Alfonso Revilla

three completed larb salad servings against a white surface

Vegan Tofu Larb Salad

Toni Okamoto
Tofu larb salad is an easy-to-make meal with plenty of flavor using plant-based ingredients! Serve up vegan larb in romaine lettuce for a tasty healthy veggie wrap that's perfect for lunch on the go or a quick lunch when working from home.
4.89 from 68 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Lunch
Cuisine Asian
Servings 4 servings
Calories 231 kcal
METHOD Stovetop
DIET Vegan

Ingredients
  

  • 1 teaspoon of canola or vegetable oil
  • 14 ounces of extra-firm tofu, pressed and crumbled
  • 3 Tablespoons of lime juice, divided
  • 2 ½ Tablespoons of minced cilantro
  • 2 Tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 1 green onion, sliced
  • ½ Tablespoon of minced jalapeño
  • ¼ cup of thinly sliced red, white, or yellow onion
  • 2 Tablespoons of minced mint
  • 8 iceberg or romaine lettuce leaves

Instructions
 

  • Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the tofu and 1 tablespoon of the lime juice, and sauté for 4 or 5 minutes or until the tofu is light brown.
  • Place the tofu in a medium bowl and combine with the remaining 2 tablespoons lime juice, cilantro, soy sauce, green onion, jalapeño, onion, and mint. Mix well.
  • Serve in the lettuce leaves.

Notes

  • Choose the right tofu: Use extra-firm tofu for a more meat-like texture. You can use firm tofu but may need to press it first.
  • Add some spice: If you like things spicy, drizzle some sriracha or chopped fresh chilies over the top.
  • Extra flavor: Serve up tofu larb with a squeeze of lime and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro over the top.

Nutrition

Calories: 231kcalCarbohydrates: 37gProtein: 18gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 1gSodium: 675mgPotassium: 1748mgFiber: 14gSugar: 23gVitamin A: 5591IUVitamin C: 38mgCalcium: 239mgIron: 6mg
Tried this recipe?Please tag us at @PlantBasedonaBudget! 🙂

Disclaimer: Although plantbasedonabudget.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, kindly note that these are only estimates. Nutritional information may be affected based on the product type, the brand that was purchased, and in other unforeseeable ways. Plantbasedonabudget.com will not be held liable for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information. If you need to follow a specific caloric regimen, please consult your doctor first.

About Toni Okamoto

"They say you are what you eat, so I strive to be healthy.
My goal in life is not to be rich or wealthy,
'Cause true wealth comes from good health and wise ways...
we got to start taking better care of ourselves " - Dead Prez

View all posts by Toni Okamoto

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Vikki says

    5 stars
    This recipe is delicious! I followed the recipe as-is without adjustments, and it was wonderful. Fresh cilantro and mint made it perfect. I'll be making this again for sure!

    • Andrea White says

      Nice! So glad you enjoyed this one. It's super tasty!

  2. Janaye says

    5 stars
    Yummy so good to see this recipe revamped!

    • Andrea White says

      Right?! Such a tasty one!

  3. Gina H. says

    5 stars
    I've always wanted to give larb a try and now I can! It sounds amazing!

    • Andrea White says

      Let us know what you think 🙂

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