Maryah Ananda's Refreshing Tofu Larb in Lettuce Cups
Welcome to Put on a Spread, a recipe series that takes you inside the kitchens – and dining rooms – of some of our favorite home cooks. For this installment, NYC-based home chef, model, and DJ Maryah Ananda shares the recipe for her tofu larb in lettuce cups.
Here at Bed Threads, we love any meal that is fresh, simple to make and packs a punch — which is exactly what can be said about Maryah Ananda's tofu larb recipe.
OK, so you're probably thinking, 'what even is larb?' That four letter word starting with L (no, not 'love' but it's pretty much the same thing) is a ground meat dish seasoned with fresh herbs like mint, basil, garlic, and chili, which originated in Laos and is also popular in the Northeastern and Northern regions of Thailand.
This vegetarian version uses tofu and mushrooms in replace of the meat, which beautifully soaks up the zesty, fragrant sauce. Served in a refreshing lettuce cup (Ananda uses iceberg but she notes butter lettuce would work just as well), and you've got yourself a refreshing dish that can be served as an entree, finger food, or light meal.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
- 400g extra-firm tofu, drained and patted dry
- 1 cup mushrooms, chopped into small pieces
- ½ cup zucchini, chopped into small pieces
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 Thai chilies, minced
- ¼ cup mint, roughly chopped
- ¼ cup basil, roughly chopped
- Juice of one lime
- 1 head iceberg lettuce, leaves separated
- About 2 tbsp neutral oil
Crumble tofu into small chunks and place in a large bowl.
In a non-stick pan over medium heat, add oil. Once the oil comes to temperature, add the mushrooms, zucchini, garlic and Thai chili. Stir constantly for about 3-5 minutes or until softened.
Add crumbled tofu and continue to stir. Cook for another 3-5 minutes. Turn off heat then add fish sauce, soy sauce, lime juice and herbs. Stir and taste to adjust the salt level and seasoning.
Serve by scooping a spoonful of the larb into a lettuce cup. Top with a splash of soy sauce, lime juice and if you like heat, some minced Thai chili.
For more from Maryah, follow her at @maryahananda.