Ep 6 Tofu Larb in Lettuce Wraps with Barley Rice

Tofu is extremely versatile thanks to its subtle flavour. It is low in calories, high in protein and iron, and contains all eight essential amino acids, which is why it’s a favourite amongst many vegetarians. It is even thought to provide the same sort of protection against cancer and heart disease as soya beans.

When making the tofu larb, you can use coconut or palm sugar instead of brown sugar, but avoid white sugar as it doesn’t have the same richness and flavour. And if you have fresh mint leftover, save it to make a refreshing drink—just add to plain water with cucumber slices and ice cubes—a perfect accompaniment for this dish!

While it’s perfectly fine to use rice, we’ve chosen to serve the tofu larb with barley, not only for variety, but because it is high in dietary fibre, great for lowering blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol. And conveniently, it can be cooked in a rice cooker like you do rice as well. Just be sure to add more water.


Tofu larb
1 tbsp oil
5-cm piece of lemon grass, white part only, minced
3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
½ tsp ginger powder (or 10 g piece of fresh ginger)
½ tsp chilli powder or flakes
400g firm tofu, roughly mashed
3 tsp low-sodium soy sauce
3 tsp brown sugar (you can also use coconut or palm sugar – blog post only)
½ red onion, diced
3 tbsp fresh mint, chopped (leftovers can be used to make a refreshing drink with cucumber slices – blog post only)
3 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
Juice of 1 lime
1 lime, cut into wedges
Lettuce leaves

Barley rice
1 cup barley
3 cups water
1 cucumber, diced
Handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tsp sesame oil
Salt, to taste


1.    Place barley in rice cooker bowl. Wash and rinse with water. Add 3 cups of water. Program rice cooker to cook.
2.    Allow barley rice to cool when cooked. Mix in cucumber, tomatoes, sesame oil and salt. Set aside.
3.    Drizzle oil in a non-stick pan and fry lemon grass until fragrant.
4.    Add garlic, ginger and chilli. Fry until garlic softens and browns a little.
5.    Add tofu, using a spatula to ensure it resembles mince and does not clump together in the pan.
6.    Add soy sauce and sugar. Fry until tofu dries to your preference.
7.    Stir in onion, mint and coriander.
8.    Drizzle with lime juice. Shape lettuce leaves like a cup and place tofu larb in it.
9.    Serve with lime wedges and barley rice.

4 VIEWS Share 3