Saturday, July 18, 2020

Mushroom Larb In Cabbage/Lettuce Cups (Vegan Minced Mushrooms With Ginger & Mint)

Shiitake & Cremini Mushroom Larb
Flavorful Mushroom Larb In Cabbage/Lettuce Cups is a fabulous treat composed of tasty, toasty mushrooms flavored with scallions, garlic, ginger, and mint. The brilliant mix of fragrant fresh herbs, crunchy toasted peanuts, the umami of the browned caramelized mushrooms, and the pungent, salt, sweet, and hot flavors make every bite of larb very interesting and extremely satisfying. This is one of my favorite way to enjoy mushrooms. Mushroom Larb makes a protein-rich, easy, and sumptuous lunch, light dinner or an appetizing and refreshingly pleasing starter.

Mushroom Larb is gluten and dairy free. 

Delicious Mushroom Larb is a one-pot dish as all cooking is done in one pan; after the mushrooms are done, all the other ingredients are added right into the same pan. I like to call them Laos/Thai tacos; the larb is served in lettuce/cabbage cups/boats and picked up with hands to enjoy without any need for utensils. Although one can serve them on fancy plates with knife and fork, it works great to pick up and eat - the bonus is less dishes to wash.

I love using assorted mushrooms for the larb as they all contribute their special flavors to the dish. Shiitake or other mushrooms like cremini are great by themselves or combined with other mushrooms. Although only shiitake and cremini mushrooms are given in the recipe, feel free to change up and add your favorite fresh mushrooms.

We enjoy serving and eating the warm larb in small assorted lettuce leaves (Romaine, Butter, Red or Green leaf, Belgian Endive, etc) and red or green cabbage cups. Besides making the dish gorgeous, the lettuce and cabbage provide a fresh sweet crunch and added nutrition.

When serving as a main meal, you may like to accompany larb with some hot cooked rice, tofu, and or other accompaniments.

Mushroom Larb

Instead of coconut aminos, soy sauce maybe used - be sure to check for gluten ingredients. If using soy sauce, you might like to add a couple of pinches of brown sugar.

I used a fresh red jalapeño this time and used only a little more than half. Chiles vary in heat so be careful to add less at first. You can add more chile after the taste test. If fresh red chiles are not handy, use 1-2 tsp Red chile flakes or to taste.

Larb is delicious with plain rice. Larb enclosed in a rice ball makes a lovely sushi-like snack.

Makes about 12 appetizer OR 4 Meal size Servings


2 Tbsp Uncooked Rice, toasted and ground (optional)
1/2 cup Roasted Peanuts, coarsely chopped
12 oz Shiitake Mushrooms
12 oz Cremini Mushrooms
1-2 tsp Oil
1-3 fresh Red Thai or other chiles, thinly sliced or minced 
4-5 cloves Garlic, minced
2-3 Tbsp Freshly grated Ginger
6-7 Green Onions, thinly sliced
2-3 Shallots, thinly sliced
1-2 Tbsp Coconut Aminos 
1 large handful Coriander/Cilantro, roughly chopped
1 large handful Fresh Mint, large leaves torn

Lettuce/Cabbage leaf cups for serving
1 head Red/Green Cabbage
1-2 heads small Lettuce
Lime Wedges


Prepare Toasted Rice: Toast the dry rice in a small pan stirring constantly until golden and puffed. Cool completely and grind coarsely using a spice grinder or mortar and peste. Toasted rice maybe prepared a few days ahead and reserved in an airtight container. If you have leftover toasted rice, it maybe added to any dish to thicken or add texture and nutty taste.

Roasted Peanuts: Toast the peanuts if raw and cool. If using roasted peanuts, crush or chop coarsely. Peanuts maybe prepared a few days ahead and reserved in an airtight container.

Lettuce/Cabbage leaf cups: Wash and drain the greens thoroughly. Separate the leaves of lettuce and use the smaller inner leaves. Cut them to desired size. Cut the cabbage into quarters if large and gently separate the desired number of leaves without tearing. Save the rest of the lettuce and cabbage for other recipes. The leaf cups maybe prepared one or two days ahead and reserved in a resealable bag in the fridge.

Prepare Larb:
Wash briefly/clean and wipe the mushrooms dry. Remove stems from the Shiitake mushrooms. Cut  both type of the mushrooms into small pieces (no need to mince); fine to leave them a bit chunky.

Heat a large skillet or wok over medium heat and add oil, mushrooms and a pinch of salt. Let the mushrooms cook undisturbed until the bottoms turn golden. Stir and continue cooking until all the pieces are browned.

Sprinkle the ground roasted rice over the mushrooms and mix well.

Stir in the chile, garlic, ginger and shallots; cook for about a minute. Turn off heat.

Stir in the green onions and the coconut aminos.

Fold in the cilantro and mint; mix well.

Reserve 2 tablespoons of the peanuts for garnishing and mix in the rest into the larb.

Taste the larb and adjust seasonings - more chile, coconut aminos, a pinch of salt, etc.

Serve warm in the cabbage or lettuce leaf cups garnished with the reserved peanuts. Pass the lime wedges. Fill only the a few leaves at a time and eat right away before the the larb wilts the cabbage/lettuce.

Promptly refrigerate any leftovers; gently reheat and serve.


Thursday, July 16, 2020

Mexican Style Street Corn Salad

Mexican Style Street Corn Salad, vibrant with the flavors of the roasted corn, lime juice, fresh and crisp greens, and zippy south of the border seasonings, is a truly delicious salad.This is a naturally gluten, dairy and oil free recipe.

Mexican Style Street Corn Salad is filled with tasty morsels of corn, peppers, assorted greens and nutty seeds. The mango is the perfect cool sweet touch to the refreshing and spicy fresh flavors of the other ingredients.
Mexican Style Street Corn Salad with Mangoes

Canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce is available in most markets; puree the contents of the can and store in jars in the fridge.

Frozen corn maybe used instead of fresh; pan toast in a skillet until slightly browned. Some markets sell frozen roasted corn which just needs thawing out.

Chipotle Crema Dressing dressing is lovely slathered on barbecued corn on the cobs or toasted frozen corn kernels; so save any extra in a covered container.

Instead of vegan mayo, vegan sour cream or cashew cream maybe used.

Instead of the mango, watermelon or other fruit maybe used.

4 servings


Chipotle Crema Dressing
2-3 Tbsp Vegan Mayo
1-2 tsp Chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
1-3 tsp Mexican Seasoning Mix
1/2 tsp ground Cumin
1 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast
Fresh Lime juice to taste (1-2 limes)

4-6 handfuls fresh baby arugula, torn into bite-sized pieces
4-6 Leaves Romaine Lettuce, thinly sliced
4 ears Corn on the cob (see Notes)
1 sweet Red Pepper, chopped
1 handful of fresh Cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup Vegan Jack type Cheese, crumbled (optional)
1/4 cup roasted Pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
6-8 Red Radishes, thinly sliced
Chile powder or Smoked Paprika for sprinkling (optional)
Lime wedges to serve
Nutritional Yeast for sprinkling
1 large ripe Mango, cut into bite-sized pieces


Prepare the dressing: Mix the mayo with the spices and juice from 1 lime. Stir well and taste. Add more lime juice and seasonings until just right. If the dressing is too thick to drizzle, add a little water a teaspoon at a time. Reserve in the fridge until needed.

Roast the ears of corn over a hot grill, or on the stove top. You can remove the husks, or keep them on. Roast them over high heat turning every couple of minutes, until they start to steam and get dark spots. Put them aside to cool.

When the corn is cool enough to handle, slice the kernels off with a sharp knife. If made ahead, reserve in the fridge and warm the corn before adding it to the salad. Add a spoonful of  the dressing and mix well.

Assemble the salad: Arrange the arugula, romaine, and radish slices in a large shallow salad bowl or individual bowls. Scatter the warm corn over the greens. Sprinkle the cilantro top, and drizzle with the dressing. Distribute the cheese crumbles (if using) and red pepper on top. Garnish with the pepitas and a sprinkle of chile powder and nutritional yeast. Pass the lime wedges.

Serve and eat immediately while the corn is still warm.