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Thai Tofu Larb Recipe (Egg Tofu Salad)

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This Thai tofu larb recipe is easy to make with fresh herbs and Thai seasonings. It’s a very versatile Thai egg tofu salad where you can easily adjust the flavors to your liking, making it perfect to serve as a refreshing snack, side-dish, or light dinner during the summer.

Top-view of Thai tofu larb with fresh herbs served in a wooden dish.

Thai larb salads are one of my favorite Thai salads. Why? Well, with just one easy recipe, you can achieve a variety of flavors and textures simply by swapping out the choice of protein. For example, the egg tofu in this recipe can be replaced with vegan extra firm tofu, or minced meat as used in larb gai salad and pork larb recipe.

Be sure to serve this refreshing summer salad with tofu with a side of jasmine rice or Thai sticky rice. If you’d like to jump straight to the instructions, you can do that below, or keep reading for some fun insider tips!

What is larb tofu

Larb tofu is a refreshing Thai salad featuring tofu seasoned with fresh herbs such as mint and coriander, along with Thai seasonings like fish sauce and chili flakes. This salad combines a tangy, spicy, and umami-rich dressing with Thai flavors in a meat-free version of the classic ground meat dish.

Tofu larb recipe

This laab tofu is an excellent choice for those seeking a light and refreshing summer meal that comes together quickly. As mentioned, it’s highly customizable to suit your taste preferences.

Larb is a popular Thai street food in Isan cuisine and Lao cuisine that’s traditionally made with minced meat like chicken or ground beef larb, fresh herbs, and seasonings. This recipe is a personal creation that’s ideal for those seeking a meat-free version.

Close-up of Thai larb tofu with fresh herbs, red pepper flakes, and toasted rice powder.

Finding authentic Thai vegan and vegetarian dishes can be challenging, since fish sauce is a staple in Thai cuisine. However, many recipes are suitable for a pescatarian diet. So, for a plant based vegan larb tofu salad, you can simply substitute egg tofu with firm or smoked tofu and use a vegan fish sauce alternative.

On this Thai food blog, we always use authentic Thai cooking styles, which is often not the case in Westernized larb tofu recipes. It’s important to know that larb is not a stir-fry. When prepared with meat, the meat is cooked and not fried in oil. In this fried egg tofu salad, we’ll first deep-fry the tofu and then toss it with the herbs and seasonings.

If you’re looking for more delicious egg tofu recipes, don’t forget to check out this Thai basil recipe vegetarian later!


Now that you know the key features of this tofu salad, we’ll quickly go over the ingredients, and then you can start cooking one of the tastiest Thai salads around. Make sure to check out the serving suggestions at the end of the recipe!

Ingredients

Ingredients can be sourced at Asian grocery stores and Asian markets.
The exact measurements are in the recipe card at the end of this post.


Ingredients for Thai tofu larb labeled: egg rolls, tempura flour, chili flakes, shallots, mint, coriander, MSG, fish sauce, fresh lime juice, and toasted rice powder.
  • Egg tofu – Egg tofu, made from soybeans and eggs, becomes deliciously crispy when fried with tempura flour.
  • Tempura flour – This is a light and crispy flour mix often used for battering and frying foods. In this recipe, the egg tofu is first fried with tempura flour, which gives it a crispy layer.
  • Fish sauceFish sauce, a salty umami-rich condiment made from fermented fish, is a staple in Thai cuisine for adding depth and umami to dishes.
  • Fresh lime juice – This adds a zesty and acidic touch, brightening up the laab salad.
  • MSGMSG is a flavor enhancer that brings out the natural flavor of ingredients. If MSG isn’t your thing, you can add a sprinkle of white sugar to balance the flavors.
  • Toasted rice powderToasted rice powder (khao khua) is ground glutinous rice, which adds a nutty flavor and a slight crunch. It’s a key ingredient in larb salads. You can make this yourself with my recipe for toasted rice powder, or get it online at Amazon.
  • Red pepper flakes – With Thai chili flakes, you can easily add a spicy flavor. Adjust the amount depending on how hot you want the dish.
  • Fresh mint & coriander – These fresh herbs are essential for freshness and flavor. Feel free to use alternatives like green onions.
  • Shallots – Shallots are another essential, adding a sharpness and a hint of natural sweetness. You can also use red onions.
  • Oil – For frying egg tofu, it’s best to use a neutral oil with a high smoke point, such as canola or vegetable oil. Avoid using olive oil, as it can impart an unwanted flavor to the dish.

How to make tofu larb salad

Egg tofu being coated in tempura flour for frying.

Step 1: Coat the cut tofu pieces in tempura flour. Make sure they’re lightly covered on all sides. This helps create a crispy outer layer when fried.

Golden brown fried egg tofu in a wok.

Step 2: Heat some oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Once hot, add the tofu pieces. Fry them until they are golden brown and crispy on all sides.

Draining of fried egg tofu excess oil with a colander.

Step 3: After frying, transfer the tofu to a wire rack or a plate lined with paper towels, or use a spider strainer like I did. This step helps to get rid of any extra oil, keeping your tofu crispy.

Salad dressing tossed with fresh herbs in a large salad bowl.

Step 4: While the tofu is draining, prepare the salad dressing. Mix fresh herbs, chopped shallots, toasted rice powder, fish sauce, MSG, red pepper flakes, and fresh lime juice in a large bowl.

Thai egg tofu salad ready in a black salad bowl.

Step 5: Once the tofu has drained, toss it with the herb and shallot mixture in a large bowl. Serve your fried egg tofu warm with rice or as a side-dish. Enjoy!

Kitchenware

  1. Measuring spoons and cups
  2. Thai mortar and pestle or spice grinder (for making toasted rice powder and crushing chili flakes)
  3. Cutting board and a sharp knife
  4. Spider strainer (for draining excess oil)
  5. Cast iron pan or wok
  6. Large mixing bowl

What to serve laab tofu with

In Thailand, larb salads are often served with a side of rice and fresh vegetables like green beans, cucumbers, and Thai eggplants. Laab tofu pairs well with other dishes like som tum Thai (papaya salad) and shrimp larb. For a fun twist, try making tofu larb lettuce wraps, using my recipe for ground beef lettuce wraps for inspiration.

What to do with egg tofu salad leftovers

Egg tofu larb is best enjoyed fresh, but if you have leftovers, they can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days. It’s not recommended to freeze this dish as the texture of the fried egg tofu and freshness of the herbs will be affected. For best results, toss the salad with the dressing just before serving.

Authentic Thai larb salads

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Thai Tofu Larb Recipe

Top-view of Thai tofu larb with fresh herbs served in a wooden dish.
This Thai tofu larb recipe is perfect for a refreshing summer salad with egg tofu, fresh herbs, and Thai seasonings.
Praew
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Cuisine Thai
Course Salad
Serving Size 1 people

Ingredients

  • 2 egg tofu diced
  • 50 g tempura flour
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1.5 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp MSG or white sugar
  • 0.5 tbsp toasted rice powder
  • 1 tsp Thai chili flakes
  • 10 g mint chopped
  • 10 g coriander chopped
  • 30 g shallots sliced thinly
  • oil for frying egg tofu

Instructions

  • Coat the cut tofu pieces in tempura flour. Make sure they’re lightly covered on all sides.
    2 egg tofu, 50 g tempura flour
  • Heat some oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Once hot, add the tofu pieces. Fry them until they are golden brown and crispy on all sides.
    oil
  • After frying, transfer the tofu to a wire rack or a plate lined with paper towels, or use a spider strainer like I did
  • While the tofu is draining, prepare the salad dressing. Mix fresh herbs, chopped shallots, toasted rice powder, fish sauce, MSG, red pepper flakes, and fresh lime juice in a large bowl.
    1 tbsp fish sauce, 1.5 tbsp fresh lime juice, 1 tsp MSG, 0.5 tbsp toasted rice powder, 1 tsp Thai chili flakes, 10 g mint, 10 g coriander, 30 g shallots
  • Once the tofu has drained, toss it with the herb and shallot mixture in a large bowl. Serve your fried egg tofu warm with rice or as a side-dish. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Use the nutrition card in this recipe as a guideline.

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