Raw Vegan Thai Larb Inspired Salad

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raw vegan Thai larb inspired salad food processor dehydrator optional
I love Thai food, and my husband does too. Especially the refreshing and spicy salad called Larb. Larb is traditionally a ground meat salad, but I raw veganify-ed it using Oyster mushrooms and walnuts. It’s called raw vegan Thai Larb inspired salad, because I couldn’t get the dressing to taste 100% like traditional Larb. And the reason is because of a little ingredient used in the traditional version called fish sauce. Fish sauce is commonly used in Thai food and has a very intense fishy, salty flavor, since it’s basically fermented anchovies with salt. This distinct flavor is what makes Larb unique, but it was a little hard to accurately recreate, as you can suggest the “fishy” flavor by using sea weed, but its not quite the same. So I ended up opting for a Larb “inspired” version. It might not be exactly Larb, but it’s a very tasty, vibrant and refreshing salad with the fresh cilantro, mint and lime dressing.

For this raw vegan version, I’ll be using the oyster mushroom and walnuts to substitute for the ground meat. If you are not familiar with oyster mushrooms, they look like this. They’re large, meaty and delicious, and commonly used in Asian cuisine. They don’t have a distinct flavor like portobello, so work great in this recipe. I recommend looking for them in an Asian market. You’ll get the best deal. You could find it at Whole Foods too, but they jack up the price about 3 times!!! If you can’t find oyster mushrooms, you can use portobello mushrooms instead.

raw vegan Thai larb inspired salad
First we need to marinate the oyster mushrooms.
Roughly chop up the mushrooms like so.

raw vegan Thai larb inspired salad Put them in a bowl and add coconut aminos and salt. Coconut aminos is a soy sauce substitute made from fermenting coconut sap. It’s soy free and has a very mild, watered down soy sauce kind of flavor. It’s great to use as savory background flavor in recipes, and also if you want to avoid soy. I like using it in Asian dishes when I don’t want a distinct soy sauce flavor. It’s perfect for this recipe as I don’t want the soy sauce taste to dominate the dressing. Toss well and let it sit for 30 minutes.

raw vegan Thai larb inspired salad Once you’re done marinating, you’ll notice the oyster mushrooms released quite a bit of water. Pour out the water, and keep this liquid, setting it aside. It contains umami that has been released from the mushrooms, and you’ll notice the water tastes slightly sweet. We’ll be using this liquid to make our dressing. Soak and dry the walnuts in a dehydrator before hand. If you don’t have a dehydrator, you can lightly toast them but the recipe won’t be raw anymore. Place the oyster mushrooms (without the marinating liquid) and walnuts into the food processor and pulse until it sort of looks like crumbles. Don’t over process it, as it’ll end up becoming a paste.

raw vegan Thai larb inspired salad Transfer the oyster mushroom and walnut crumbles into a bowl. Now it’s time to mix up the dressing. To add some fishiness to the dressing instead of using fish sauce, we’ll be using dulse flakes and kelp powder. If you can’t find kelp powder, you can blend up kelp in a blender to make it into powder form (Btw, this is perfect as instant dashi in vegan miso soup, so you can skip the soaking of the kelp sheets). You can also just skip the kelp powder all together! Make the dressing using the marinating liquid you saved from the oyster mushrooms. Pour in 2 Tablespoons of the dressing into the crumble mixture and toss well.

raw vegan Thai larb inspired salad
If you own a dehydrator, you can dry the crumbles for a few hours, and it’ll dry up and become more like sautéed crumbles. If you don’t own a dehydrator, just skip to finishing up the salad. It’s delicious regardless.

raw vegan Thai larb inspired salad
Now we just have to prepare the salad. Chop up the romaine lettuce and plate it. Mix in the mint and cilantro leaves into the crumble mixture and toss gently. Place the crumble mixture on top of the lettuce leaves. Garnish with some more mint and cilantro leaves, sliced shallots, and sliced green onions. Drizzle the dressing generously and dig in! It’s sour, sweet, and savory. Great refreshing and filling salad. Enjoy!

raw vegan Thai larb inspired salad

Raw Vegan Thai Larb Inspired Salad
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Cuisine: raw food, raw vegan, gluten-free
Serves: 2-3
Ingredients
  • 1 head of romaine lettuce
  • About 16 mint leaves or more if you'd like
  • About 16 cilantro leaves or more if you'd like

Oyster mushroom & walnut crumble
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 bag of Oyster mushrooms (9.5oz) or 2 large portabello mushrooms
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut aminos
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Dressing
  • 1 Tablespoon aminos
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 7½ Tablespoons lime juice (3 limes)
  • 1 teaspoon dulse flakes
  • ½ teaspoon kelp powder
  • ½ teaspoon- 1 teaspoon chili flakes
  • A pinch of salt

  • Some mint and cilantro leaves, sliced green onion, and some sliced shallots for garnish
Instructions
  1. Roughly chop up the mushrooms and put them in a bowl and add coconut aminos and salt. Toss well and let it sit for 30 minutes.
  2. Once you're done marinating, you'll notice the oyster mushrooms released quite a bit of water. Pour out the water, and keep this liquid, setting it aside. *Soak and dry the walnuts in a dehydrator before hand. If you don't have a dehydrator, you can lightly toast them but the recipe won't be raw anymore.
  3. Place the oyster mushrooms (without the marinating liquid) and walnuts into the food processor and pulse until it sort of looks like crumbles. Don't over process it, as it'll end up becoming a paste.
  4. Transfer the oyster mushroom and walnut crumbles into a bowl. Whisk together the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Pour in 2 Tablespoons of the dressing into the crumble mixture and toss well.
  5. If you own a dehydrator, line the tray with a mesh sheet, then a silicone sheet. Spread out the crumble mixture thinly and evenly. Put it in the dehydrator and dry on 115℉ (46℃) for 2-3 hours. If you don't own a dehydrator, skip to 6.
  6. Thinly slice the romaine lettuce and plate it. Mix in the mint and cilantro leaves into the crumble mixture and toss gently. Place the crumble mixture on top of the lettuce leaves.
  7. Garnish with some more mint and cilantro leaves, sliced shallots, and sliced green onions. Drizzle the dressing generously on top.
Notes
I recommend purchasing oyster mushrooms in an Asian market. You'll get the best deal. You could find it at Whole Foods too, but they jack up the price about 3 times!!! Oyster mushrooms are naturally sweeter than portabello mushrooms. If you are using portabello mushrooms, adjust the sweetness to taste.

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