You asked for it - a vegetarian version of everyones fav larb recipe from the cookbook... Mushroom Kale Larb Bowls!
We've made Larb a handful of ways before here on WGC and in my cookbooks! There's chicken larb, beef larb, larb lettuce wraps and if you have my most recent cookbook, salmon larb. These Mushroom Kale Larb Bowls aren't at all traditional - but they are DELICIOUS!! And today, we're bringing one to the table for the vegetarians out there / people who are just cutting back on meat but don't want to skip on flavor. If you’ve never heard of Larb before – it’s a staple dish of both Laos and Thailand. The Laotian version of Larb uses fish sauce and the Thai version omits the fish sauce and relies more on spices.
These bowls are obsession worthy. If you're new to mushrooms, or don't LOVE the texture, this would actually be a great recipe to start with since they get really caramelized and golden and are loaded with various flavors. Its also amazing how the two main ingredients in this dish also go into the kale and mushroom bread pudding- two great and very different dishes!!
A few notes on the recipe below:
- Kale - you can use either lacinato kale or curly kale. Both will work in this recipe although I prefer the lacinato kale.
- If you can't find the mushrooms listed below, any mushroom would work, either wild or conventional. Just be sure to chop them up so they have a medium to small dice.
- Coconut rice - always use the full fat coconut milk! If you don't have coconut milk, you can use equal amounts of vegetable stock and add 2 tablespoons of coconut oil to get that hint of coconut flavor.
Vegetarian Mushroom Kale Larb Bowls
For the quick pickled vegetables
- 2 Persian cucumbers finely sliced
- ½ red onion finely sliced
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
For the Mushroom Mixture
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 10 ounces kale stems removed and chopped
- 1 ½ pounds Shiitake and Maitake mushrooms finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 6 green onions thinly sliced
- 3-4 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2-3 tablespoons sambal oleek 2 for medium spice, 3 for super spice!
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
For the Rice
- 2 cups jasmine rice
- 2 ½ cups water
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 teaspoons white sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 lime zested and juiced
- Fresh mint
- Fresh basil
- Fresh cilantro
- Combine the cucumbers, red onion and rice vinegar in a small bowl and toss to combine.
- In a large heavy bottom skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium high heat. Once hot, add the kale and sauté over medium high heat until wilted, about 5-6 minutes. Season with salt and carefully remove the kale and transfer to a medium bowl.
- In the same heavy bottom skillet, add the chopped mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms are caramelized, about 12-14 minutes. Once cooked, add the kale mixture back in the pan and stir to combine.
- Once everything is back into the skillet, add the garlic and green onions and sauté for 1 minute until fragrant. Add the soy sauce, sambal oleek and brown sugar and stir to combine. Season with salt as needed and reduce heat to low and simmer until ready to use. Add in the kale and toss to combine.
- Place the water, coconut milk, sugar and salt in a medium saucepan, and warm over medium-high heat until the mixture starts to simmer. Add the rice and bring back to a low simmer. Cover the pot with lid, then reduce the heat to low. Cook, undisturbed, for about 15 minutes, then turn off the heat and let the rice steam for another 5 to 10 minutes. Uncover, fluff, and season with the zest and juice of 1 lime.
- To assemble, place equal amounts of the coconut rice at the bottom of 4 bowls, followed by equal amounts of the mushroom kale mixture, pickled vegetables and plenty of the fresh herbs. Serve immediately.