Tofu Larb


  • 3

    tablespoons uncooked glutinous (sticky) or jasmine rice

  • 2

    (14-ounce) packages extra-firm tofu, drained and patted dry

  • 1

    tablespoon neutral oil, such as grapeseed or vegetable

  • 1

    lemongrass stem, outer layer removed, tender stem finely chopped

  • 1

    shallot, halved and thinly sliced

  • 4

    makrut lime leaves (optional), thinly sliced

  • 1

    cup mixed soft herbs, such as mint, Thai basil, basil, cilantro and chopped scallions

  • 1

    teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed

  • 1

    head butter lettuce, leaves separated

  • ¼

    cup store-bought crispy fried shallots or onions


  1. Make the toasted rice powder: Heat a medium (10-inch) skillet over medium-high. Add the rice and stir constantly for 4 to 6 minutes until golden, with a nutty aroma. Transfer rice to a mortar and pestle or spice grinder and grind until it is a coarse powder. (You don’t want it too fine; some texture is nice.) You should have about 3 1/2 tablespoons. Set rice powder aside.
  2. Make the dressing: In a small bowl, combine the lime juice, brown sugar, soy sauce and red-pepper flakes; whisk until the sugar is dissolved.
  3. Crumble the tofu into small chunks and place in a large bowl.
  4. Heat the medium skillet over medium-high and add 1 tablespoon oil. Add the lemongrass and shallot and cook, stirring constantly, until softened and aromatic, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add to the tofu, along with the lime dressing, rice powder, makrut lime leaves, herbs and salt. Taste and add more salt if needed.
  5. To serve, spoon the tofu larb into the lettuce leaves and garnish with crispy fried shallots.