Vegetarian Mushroom Kale Larb Bowls

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You asked for it - a vegetarian version of everyones fav larb recipe from the cookbook... Mushroom Kale Larb Bowls!

Vegetarian Mushroom Kale Larb Bowls from (@whatsgabycookin)


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 from (@whatsgabycookin)

Vegetarian Mushroom Kale Larb Bowls

Author: Gaby Dalkin
5 from 6 votes
A vegetarian larb bowl loaded with kale, mushrooms, coconut rice and all the toppings your heart could ever desire!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Main Course
Cuisine Thai
Servings 4 people


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.   


Shredded carrots are also a great option for a quick pickle.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 620kcal | Carbohydrates: 104g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Sodium: 1415mg | Potassium: 1197mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 7314IU | Vitamin C: 79mg | Calcium: 263mg | Iron: 5mg
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  1. 5 stars
    Yum! I wasn't sure if I'm a big enough mushroom fan for this, so I used about 4 oz of baby bellas I had leftover from another recipe and then a full can of chickpeas. The dish was still so flavorful!

  2. Excited to make this for guests this Saturday. Can you clarify when the kale is supposed to go back into the mushroom mixture? Is it before you add all the sauces or is it right before you serve? Thanks! 🙂

  3. Gaby, do you think that red kale will work in this recipe too? I'm having lots of red kale harvest now and I'm looking for various recipes to use it. In particular, I'm talking about 'Sympatic' variety - maybe you know this one by name. Let me know if you have tried it!

  4. 5 stars
    This was a phenomenal recipe-- I may prefer it to other versions of larb I've made which used ground meat! I made an easier version of the coconut rice in my rice cooker: 2 cups white rice, 1 can coconut milk, set to sushi rice in the rice cooker-- once the rice was done cooking, I added the juice and zest of one lime and a huge handful of chopped cilantro.

    Highly, highly recommend this recipe.

    1. 5 stars
      This was outstanding!!!! I could seriously eat this everyday. Wow!!! I did sub the jasmine for basmati and it worked out great. Also, roasted some cauliflower which added some toasty crunch. Thank you so much for this fabulous recipe.

  5. 5 stars
    This was amazing!! I have been eyeing the larb bowls for a while thinking about a tofu sub but I’m so glad to have a dedicated veggie version. I used a baby bella/white mushroom combo since that was all available in my town, worked just fine!

  6. This sounds so good! Do you think I could sub the shiitake/maitakes for baby Bella mushrooms? I live in Alaska and those are really hard to come by and very expensive if I actually can find them.

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