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Three plates of vegan tofu larb sitting atop a marble table. The plates are casually arranged with tofu larb, topped with fresh chillies and toasted peanuts, as well as lots of fresh lettuce, cucumber and herbs. A bowl of vegan nuoc mam sits in the back left corner of the image.

FODMAP friendly tofu larb (gluten free, nut free option)

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Food Intolerance Friendly
Servings 4 people


For the vegan nuoc mam dressing:

  • 1/4 cup (60ml) fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) vegan fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1-2 tsp Tamari or gluten free dark soy, to taste
  • Chopped chilli, optional
  • Small handful of Thai basil or Vietnamese mint, optional

For the tofu larb:

  • 1/4 cup toasted rice (see notes)
  • 3 tbsp vegetable (or another bland style) oil
  • 30g ginger, microplaned
  • 2 tsp galangal, microplaned (see notes)
  • 1-2 stalks of lemongrass, microplaned or finely sliced
  • 6-7 spring onion greens, finely chopped
  • Pinch of dried thyme and dried sage powder (see notes)
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) water
  • 450g firm tofu, crumbled
  • 2 tbsp Tamari or gluten free dark soy (see notes)
  • 1 tbsp vegan fish sauce (see notes)
  • 1/2 - 1 tbsp light brown sugar
  • White pepper, to taste
  • chilli powder, to taste (optional)
  • Grated makrut lime zest, to taste (I use about half a lime)

To finish:

  • Lettuce, for cups
  • 1/2 cup toasted peanuts
  • Chillies, chopped, to finish
  • Thai basil and Vietnamese mint, to finish


To make the vegan nuoc mam:

  • Combine all the ingredients and adjust according to your tastes. Set aside to allow the flavours to mingle.

To make the tofu larb:

  • Toast the rice in a dry saucepan over a medium heat. Allow it to toast until a medium brown with a nutty scent, about 5-7 minutes. Once cooked, remove from the heat and allow to cool. Once cool, grind to a relatively fine powder in a spice grinder or a mortar and pestle. Set aside.
  • Heat the oil in a large skillet over a medium heat. Once warmed, add the ginger, galangal, lemongrass and spring onion greens. Cook for a minute or so until the mixture is verdant green and fragrant. Add the water and the ground rice and stir to combine, cooking for an additional minute or so.
  • Add the crumbled tofu and stir to incorporate. Add the Tamari or dark soy and stir again until the mixture is a uniform light brown colour. Taste for salt levels, as the mixture can be easy to over-salt with the vegan fish sauce. If you feel good about it, add the fish sauce. If it's already salty enough, omit it and save it for the dipping sauce. Add a little extra water if you'd like the larb to be a bit more juicy/
  • Add the brown sugar, some white pepper and chilli powder if you're using it, and stir to combine. Finally, add the makrut lime zest and stir again to combine. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary.

To finish:

  • Assemble the ingredients as you see fit. You can make lettuce cups or simply serve the greens as a salad. Sprinkle with the peanuts, fresh chillies and herbs. Serve the vegan nuoc mam alongside the larb.


Generally speaking, larb uses toasted glutinous rice. I was unable to find any in my 5km radius so I have used regular white rice here. If you can find glutinous rice, use that. The toasted rice adds such a unique, nutty flavour and I don't recommend omitting it. 
Galangal is a delightfully zingy and fresh addition, but you can omit it if you can't find it. I would suggest adding extra lemongrass to compensate. 
Dried thyme and dried sage powder are very untraditional ingredients here, but they serve to make the dish taste more meaty. You can omit if you don't have them, they're just a little bonus hit of umami-ish flavour. 
Make sure to taste the mixture before adding the vegan fish sauce. I have found that you can easily overdo it if you add too much vegan fish sauce. All brands have differently salinity levels so add accordingly.
On that note, use reduced salt Tamari or dark soy if you have it! That will give you more wiggle room if you want to add a bit more vegan fish sauce. 
You can also use regular fish sauce if you don't need it to be vegan. Again, add accordingly. 
Keyword low fodmap vegan
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