Tempeh Larb Moo

Tempeh Larb Moo

Cooks in: around 1 hour plus overnight to marinade the Tempeh
Serves: 20 lettuce cups
Difficulty: Medium


  • 300 grams (1 pound) small dice Tempeh
  • 1 tablespoon of chili flakes (prik bon)
  • ⅛ tablespoon of sugar (just a pinch)
  • ½ tablespoon of soy
  • 1 - 2 limes (I used the juice from about 1.5 limes)
  • 3 - 4 small shallots (Thai shallots are only about the size of grapes, so if you have bigger shallots just use however much you want)
  • A few leaves of Coriander
  • 3 - 5 spring onions
  • About 20 leaves or so of fresh mint
  • 5 tbsp uncooked Thai sticky rice

Toasted sticky rice (khao kua):

  1. First step is to make the toasted rice (khao kua ข้าวคั่ว).
  2. Heat a frying pan on low heat, toss in the uncooked Thai sticky rice (no oil). Stir continuously, kind of like you’re roasting peanuts or coffee. Toast the rice until it turns from white to golden yellow, almost to the point where it looks like brown wheat. It will also be very fragrant and smell almost like popcorn. It took me about 15 minutes or so.
  3. Once the rice is finished toasting, and has cooled off a bit, put it into your stone mortar and pestle. Pound the rice until it turns into a coarse powder (a blender or food processor will also work fine). Put your toasted sticky rice powder in a bowl aside.

Marinade for tempeh:

  • 500ml gf soy or Tamari
  • 300ml water
  • 1 onion cut in half
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 3 star anise
  • 3 cloves
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 10 coriander seeds
  • 1 lemongrass. Pounded and cut into 3
  • 2 chillies
  • Large piece ginger
  • 100g brown sugar
  • 1 bunch coriander
  • 1 bunch mint

Cooking instructions

  1. Have 1 large saucepan at the ready.
  2. You want it hot to toast the spices. Once its hot, toast the black peppercorns, coriander seeds, star anise and cloves and then take out and place them into a bowl to cool down.
  3. Now we want to char the arromats. So place the onion flesh side down into the pan and literally burn it. It will go brown and caramelized and create a deep deep flavour within the marinade. Take out and let it cool down once this has been achieved.
  4. Do the same with the garlic, chilli, ginger and then take out and leave to cool down.
  5. Add the sugar into the pan and turn into a light caramel.
  6. Once caramel has been achieved add the spices, roasted aromats and onion.
  7.  Add the GF soy and water. Bring to the boil and then take it off the stove.
  8. Let it cool down and place all the mint and coriander inside and let it infuse

Larb recipe:

  1. Add 300 grams of minced Tempeh to a large bow. Pour some of the marinade over it and leave overnight.
  2. Next day, drain the marinade and add the Tempeh into a new clean large bowl.
  3. Add 1 heaping tablespoon of the toasted rice powder into the tempeh. Also toss in ½ - 1 tablespoon of chili flakes.
  4. Add a pinch of sugar, ½ tablespoon of soy sauce, and squeeze in the juice from 1 - 2 limes (I used about 1 ½ full limes, but I like it quite sour).
  5. Give the tempeh and the seasoning a quick stir.
  6. Peel and slice the shallots, finely mince about 5 green onions and a few coriander leaves (if you have them), and just pluck about 20 or so mint leaves off the stem. Throw everything into the bowl with the Tempeh.
  7. Give the larb moo a good mix, making sure all the spices and dressing coats the tempeh.
  8. Taste test. See if it needs more soy for saltiness, lime juice, or chili flakes.
  9. Dish it out onto a plate and garnish with more mint leaves, Thai sweet basil, and coriander leaves.
  10. Or put some of the mix into lettuce and cups. Enjoy
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