2 cups glutinous rice
1 tablespoon palm sugar, grated
juice of 3 limes
3 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon dried hot chilli flakes
3 carrots, finely julienned
½ teaspoon salt
2 (double) makrut (kaffir) lime leaves
600g tempeh
3 tablespoons peanut oil
2 shallots or 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
2 stalks lemongrass, tough outer layers removed, inner thinly sliced
2-3 fresh red chillies, finely sliced
4 spring onions, sliced
1 cup coriander leaves
½ cup mint leaves
½ cup Thai basil leaves

In an effort to cut down on meat, I am loving this not-quite vegetarian version of tangy larb with tempeh. Fish sauce has a distinctive taste and is key to a true larb, but the dish can still be delicious without it, by substituting soy sauce or
you will find many vegan ‘fish’ sauce recipes online.


1.Place all but two tablespoons of the rice in a bowl and cover with water. Leave to soak for at least one hour (you can soak it up to 12 hours).
2.In a large bowl mix together the palm sugar, juice of two limes, 1 tablespoon fish sauce, 1 tablespoon vinegar and ½ teaspoon of the chilli flakes. Add the carrots and mix well.
3.Set aside for one hour, or up to 3 days, stirring occasionally.
4.Heat a wok or frying pan to very hot. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of rice and heat, shaking constantly until it is golden and pops, about 4-5 minutes.
5.Put in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle, grind to a coarse powder and set aside.
6.Drain the rice and combine with the salt and makrut (kaffir) lime leaves. Put in a bamboo or metal steamer lined with muslin, place this over a pan of boiling water, cover and steam for 20 minutes.
7.Break the tempeh into small pieces, like mince.
8.Heat the wok to hot. Add the peanut oil then add the tempeh and cook, stirring for about 5 minutes until browned.
9.Turn off the heat and stir in the shallots, lemongrass and fresh chilli then transfer to a bowl and add the remaining fish sauce, vinegar, lime juice and chilli flakes and toss well.
10.Taste and adjust seasoning. Leave to cool to room temperature.
11.To serve, add the remaining toasted rice powder, spring onion, coriander, mint and Thai basil and toss well.
12.Serve with the sticky rice and carrots.

Recipes & food styling Fiona Smith / Photography Aaron McLean Styling Fiona Lascelles

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