Vegan Laab Moo (Thai Mince Salad)

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Yields: 2 Servings Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 5 Mins Cook Time: 15 Mins Total Time: 20 Mins

Laab moo or larb moo is a meaty Thai salad traditionally made with pig meat. The meat is seasoned with fish or soy sauce, lime juice, and chilli flakes, as per Thai modus operandi. But this vegan laab salad has a lovely crunch from a special secret ingredient – khao kua, or toasted sticky rice powder. Mixed with a bunch of fresh aromatics and herbs, this salad is a punch of flavour!

For this vegan laab moo, I used OmniMeat. However, you can use any vegan protein that will mince or even mushrooms. Tofu also works well but it has to be very firm to start or it will just become a scramble.

It is important to note that the original recipe uses only chilli flakes for the spice. If you cannot get Thai chilli flakes, try to get Korean or something similarly spicy. If you find the chilli flakes are not spicy enough, feel free to add a couple of bird’s eye chillies, as I did.

Laab is an easy and fresh Isan salad that is usually served at room temperature with Thai Green Papaya Salad (Som Tam) and plain steamed sticky rice.

If you like laab, you will probably enjoy this Vegan Nam Tok Het (Thai Waterfall Salad) too!

Tips

  • If you are scared of the raw onion burn, marinade the onion and spring onions in the lime juice first.
  • You can use mushrooms and tofu for the laab, but make sure that you cook them till dry. Otherwise, it will make the whole salad soggy.
  • You can use normal short grain rice instead of sticky rice, but I think sticky rice tastes better.

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Ingredients

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Instructions

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  • Toast 2 tbsp of sticky rice over medium heat in a non-stick pan. Don't use any oil!
  • It will take about 15 minutes to get the sticky rice to a golden brown colour. Then pound or blend into a powder. The powder should have a toasted rice fragrance.
  • Very thinly slice the shallots. Chop the spring onions. Juice the limes. Remove the mint leaves from the stems.
  • Heat 1 tbsp of oil over medium heat in a non-stick pan and fry the OmniMeat. Press the meat with the back of your spatula to break up any clumps and keep it in a mince-like texture. Once the meat is cooked, turn the heat off.
  • Add 2 tbsp of toasted sticky rice powder (khao kua), the chilli flakes, soy or fish sauce, sugar, and lime juice. Mix well.
  • Then add the shallots, spring onions, mint. Mix well and taste. Add optional bird's eye chilli, more soy or fish sauce, lime juice, or sugar to taste.
  • Garnish with fresh mint and basil leaves.

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