Updated: Mar 5
A laab also called as a larb or laap is a salad from the Northeastern region of Thailand and Laos. It traditionally is a meat salad and is always served with herbs, beans and cabbage. Here is a wonderful vegetarian version.
This salad looks spectacular on the table and tastes just as good. The barely cooked mushrooms are drenched in spices and herbs and enveloped in a crunchy Napa cabbage leaf. The flavours explode on your palate, spicy, tart and sweet all combined with the earthy taste of mushrooms. The crunchy texture of the cabbage and green beans finish the dish well. I usually bring out just one per head, as your guests will want more and will fill up on this salad quickly. I loved the flavours and will keep this on my menu for quite some time.
This is a thin cookbook, filled with vegan recipes that are outstanding. Super simple recipes from traditional salads, fried foods, noodles and curries, like this one, make this my go-to cookbook for vegetarian Thai cuisine. Vatch, as he is known, has published several cookbooks, runs some excellent restaurants around the world and teaches Thai cooking at his school.
For more wonderful recipes from this cookbook, click here.
2 1/2 cups mushrooms, sliced along their length
2 teaspoons light soy sauce
2 teaspoons lime juice
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon chilli powder, or to taste
1 teaspoon lemongrass, finely chopped
1 teaspoon galangal, finely chopped
1 teaspoon kaffir lime leaf, finely chopped
1 scallion, minced
10 mint leaves
2 large Napa cabbage leaves
6-8 green beans,
Blanch the beans in salted water for 1 minute till barely cooked. Set aside.
Blanch the mushrooms in the same water for 2 minutes till half cooked, remove and drain well. Allow the mushrooms to dry out well.
Combine all the ingredients excluding the Napa cabbage and beans well. Taste for salt and spice. You want a well-flavoured laab.
To serve, layer the Napa cabbage leaves on a platter. Spoon the mushroom mixture onto the leaves. Add the blanched beans to the side. Serve as a salad.