Tofu Laab Salad

Tofu laab copyLaab is a traditional Lao dish, typically made with minced meat (where the name comes from) – here we’re using tofu!
1 Tablespoon toasted rice powder (from 3 Tablespoons glutinous rice)

2 blocks Hodo Firm Tofu (If you can get your hands on some of our medium tofu, that offers a great consistency -available at SF Sat Farmers’ Mkt – Saturdays at CUESA

2 Tablespoons fish sauce, substitute with soy sauce for vegan version

2 Tablespoons lime juice

Herbs:

1 stalk lemon grass, white part only, very finely sliced
3 kaffir lime leaves, vein removed, chiffonaded
3 Thai red chilies, deseeded and chopped finely
3 Tablespoons cilantro leaves and stems, chopped
3 Tablespoons green onions, sliced thinly
3 Tablespoons mint leaves, chiffonaded

Dressing:

Juice from 1 lime
1 Tablespoon fish sauce, substitute with soy sauce for vegan version
½ teaspoon palm sugar
1 Tablespoon lime zest

Garnish:

Cilantro or mint sprigs for garnish

Preparing the toasted rice: Dry-fry the glutinous rice (without any oil) under medium heat till golden brown.  Remove, let cool slightly and grind into a powder with a spice mill, or a mortar and pestle.  Set aside.

Drain and pat dry tofu.  Crumble into pea-sized pieces.  Toss with lime juice and fish sauce.  Just before tossing, drain any liquids.

Preparing the dressing: In a small saucepan, combine lime juice, fish sauce and sugar and heat till the sugar is dissolved.  Remove from heat, let it cool a little then mix in lime zest.  Set aside.

Preparing the herb:  Slice lemongrass, kaffir, and chilies.   Zest lime.  Mince green onions, cilantro and mint.  Toss all together and set aside.

Assembly:  Mix in the rice powder, herb mixture and dressing tofu and toss to combine.  Let sit for 10 minutes for the flavor to come together.

Serves: 6

Credit: Flavor Explosions

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