Larb Het (Thai Spicy Mushroom Salad)

Larb Het is the way to go if you are in for a really umami, really delicious vegan dish. Combining the best of all flavors most common in Thailand’s Isaan kitchen: sour, salty and spicy. For hearty appetites. Serve with sticky rice.

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What is Larb Het?

So, what is Thai Larb Het? Or should I say: Lap, Laap, Larp, Lahb or Laahb? Traveling through Thailand, you will encounter many variations of spelling. That all comes down to some confusion about how to best translate from Thai to Western transcription. But it will all refer to the same dish, that has a traditional, plant-based stir-fried mushroom version.

As most Isaan dishes (meaning: food that originates from the North Eastern part of Thailand), Larb Het balances salty, citrusy and spicy tastes perfectly. Traditionally you would eat it with sticky rice and some fresh raw veggies on the side.

The umami taste of well-seasoned mushrooms, as well as their meat-like texture, makes this Thai mushroom salad an excellent choice when having a hearty appetite.

We really fell for the taste of the Thai sweet basil, ever since we tasted Pad Makua Yao (Thai Stir-fried Eggplant Salad). But if you can’t find Thai sweet basil where you live, simply put half mint and half basil and you will get very close.

Ingredients

Main dish: 2 servings | Side dish: 4 servings

The ingredients for a plant-based traditional version of Thai Larb Het.
  • 800 grams of mixed mushrooms, chopped up into very small pieces
  • 4 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 4 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoons of lime juice (preferably fresh)
  • 2 teaspoons of roasted chili powder
  • 4 hands of Thai sweet basil (or substitute with half basil, half mint)
  • 3 spring onions, sliced
  • 4 tablespoons of sticky rice, toasted and grounded
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

Garnish (optional)

  • Fresh raw vegetables. Traditionally often Chinese long beans, cucumber and cabbage, but you can use whatever you like
  • Some fresh herbs

Kitchen utensils

  • Mortar and pestle (or substitute with cutting board and a large knife)
  • Big wok

How to make Larb Het 

Prep: 15 min. | Cook: 10 min. | Total: 25 min.

Prepare your Larb Het ingredients before you put the wok on the heat.
  1. Put uncooked sticky rice into a pan until it browns just a little bit. Use a mortar and pestle to ground the toasted rice. (If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, use a large knife or firm spoon and crush the rice on a cutting board.)

  2. Heat a big wok on medium heat, then put in the 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Wait a minute for the oil to get hot.

  3. Add the chopped up mushrooms. When they start to get soft and begin to release water, take the pan off the heat.

  4. Add the thinly sliced shallots, 4 tablespoons of soy sauce, 4 tablespoons of lime and 2 teaspoons of chili powder.

  5. Toss the salad with the sweet basil, spring onions and ground toasted rice. 

Serve with raw vegetables and sticky rice.

More traditional vegan Thai recipes? Take a look the ones we’ve collected so far.

Larp-Het-result

Summary 

Recipe: Larb Het
Country: Thailand
Prep: 15 min.
Cook: 10 min.
Total: 25 min.
Ingredients: mushrooms, shallots, sticky rice, soy sauce, roasted chili powder, sweet basil, lime, spring onion, vegetable oil
Type of meal: lunch, dinner, side dish

Leave a comment and make our day!

Did you make Larb Het? Did it taste like any spicy mushroom salad you tasted in Thailand or maybe a Thai restaurant? Or was it your first Larb-Het-meal ever? We’re curious, so … leave us a note :-).

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