Vegan Tofu Larb Salad

BY : PUBLISHED : May 24th, 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.

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. Michelle says

    5 stars
    Such a unique recipe, it was really tasty!

    • Andrea White says

      Unique and so so tasty! Glad you enjoyed it 🙂

  2. Amanda says

    5 stars
    Such a great summer recipe! Yum!!

    • Andrea White says

      Yay to summer recipes!

  3. Teodora says

    5 stars
    A perfectly healthy and delicious recipe for summer!

    • Andrea White says

      Gotta love those light summer recipes!

  4. Sara says

    5 stars
    I especially love the lime, cilantro; and jalapeño in this vegan tofu larb salad. What a unique recipe! I was happy to find it because I love trying new dishes.

    • Andrea White says

      It's the best combo of flavors! So glad you enjoyed it 🙂

  5. Emily says

    5 stars
    This really was a quick lunch recipe! I loved the lime on the tofu.

    • Andrea White says

      Love how quick and easy it is too. So good!

  6. Agnieszka says

    5 stars
    I love the classic laar gai made with chicken and never thought to try it with tofu! What a fabulous idea!

    • Andrea White says

      It's definitely a great sub!

  7. Tina says

    5 stars
    Love how easy to make this tofu larb salad is! Perfect for busy weekdays.

    • Andrea White says

      Definitely! Tasty, simple, and quick!

  8. kate says

    5 stars
    love how you made this traditional dish plant based - delicious!

    • Andrea White says

      It's always awesome to veganize the best dishes to make them even better!

  9. Genevieve says

    5 stars
    I've never heard of larb salad, but this looks like such a healthy and refreshing recipe for the warmer temps this summer!

    • Andrea White says

      You'd love it! It's super tasty and delicious!

  10. Keri says

    5 stars
    Wow, this was the perfect combination of favors for tofu. Such an amazing recipe. Everyone here loved it.

    • Andrea White says

      Right?! Such a nice combo of yumminess!

  11. Kayla DiMaggio says

    5 stars
    This tofu larb salad was so delicious! I loved how easy this was to make and perfect for a warm summer day!

    • Andrea White says

      So good! It's one of those light and refreshing dishes that always hit the spot in the heat!

  12. Giangi Townsend says

    5 stars
    Refreshing and full of flavor, thank you, we all love it

    • Andrea White says

      So glad you guys enjoyed it! It's a tasty one!

  13. Peter says

    5 stars
    This was delicious! We made a Taco Salad Bowl with it, and drizzled Sriracha, so good!

    • Andrea White says

      Love that! I'll have to make it into a salad bowl next time!

  14. Natalie says

    5 stars
    Great for my working days at home, loved it, thanks!

    • Andrea White says

      Perfect for a quick recipe 🙂 Glad it could keep you fueled for work 🙂

  15. Anaiah says

    5 stars
    These are perfect for a light lunch or appetizers. Love the flavors in it!

    • Andrea White says

      Agreed! Such an epic combo of flavors!

  16. Sean says

    5 stars
    This was delightful and I love recipes like this. Larb is a favorite of mine I haven't used tofu in it so this was a nice treat.

    • Andrea White says

      Tofu is the best kind of sub! So glad you enjoyed it!

  17. michele says

    5 stars
    This was very easy to make even though it was brand new to me. Delicious too!

    • Andrea White says

      Glad you gave it a go and enjoyed it!

  18. Nancy says

    5 stars
    My family loved your recipe. It was easy to make and perfect for these hot days we are having.

    • Andrea White says

      So glad everyone enjoyed it! It's definitely a great one for summer!

  19. nancy says

    5 stars
    what a tasty and healthy recipe

    • Andrea White says

      So glad you enjoyed it! It's a tasty one!

  20. Andrea White says

    5 stars
    So quick to make and so flavorful!

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