Tempeh Larb

By Chef Philip Gelb of Sound & Savor

2 Tablespoons Raw Brown Rice


3 Tablespoons Soy Sauce

3 Tablespoons Palm Sugar

1/4 Cup Lime Juice


8 Ounces Tempeh, Cut into 1/4-Inch Cubes

Oil for Frying


2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil

1 Stalk Fresh Lemongrass, Minced

4 Cloves Garlic, Minced

3 Teaspoons Ginger, Minced

1 – 10 Thai Chilies, Minced

1/2 Cup Green Peas, Fresh or Frozen

1/2 Medium Red Onion, Diced

1/4 Cup Fresh Thai Basil, Chopped

1/4 Cup Fresh Mint, Chopped

1/4 Cup Fresh Italian Basil, Chopped

1/4 Cup Fresh Cilantro, Chopped


Crisp Lettuce Leaves, Such as Romaine or Bibb Lettuce, to Serve


In a hot frying pan over medium-low heat, dry toast the raw rice. Shake the pan continuously for 2 minutes until the rice smells nutty. Transfer to a mortar and pestle and crush it until it’s powdery. Set aside.

Combine the soy sauce, palm sugar, and lime juice and set aside.

Deep fry the tempeh until crisp and golden brown. Set side.

Place the coconut oil in a hot wok. Add the lemongrass, garlic, ginger, and as many chilies as you like. Stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add the peas and onion and stir-fry for another minute. Add all of the fresh herbs and cook for only 10 seconds before add the soy sauce mixture. Give it just 1 more minute on the stove before turning off the heat.

Add the toasted rice powder and fried tempeh and stir everything together. Serve with lettuce leaves and let diners wrap parcels of larb with the lettuce.

Makes 2 – 3 Servings