Tag Archives: Bragg’s Liquid Aminos

Veganizing and Noodle-izing My Ma’s Thai Larb

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Recently I saw an episode of the ever so classy Diners, Drive Ins and Dives where Guy visited a dive that made all these amazing Thai dishes including larb! Larb (also known as laap, laab, larp or lahb) is a traditional Thai dish that originated in Laos. I fondly remember eating my ma’s version as a youngin’. The larb I ate growing up was made with pork pig. The meat made up a majority of the dish. But when I saw Guy stuffing his face with it, I had a huge nostalgic craving for the rich spicy, tangy and briny flavor combination of my ma’s larb. So I made it vegan (and easy) style!

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To replace the pig, I used a combination of chopped oyster mushrooms and small veggie soy protein chunks that I get at my local Asian market. My ma served her larb with rice and fresh cold and crunchy veggies on the side, like cucumbers and lettuce to help alleviate the spicy heat.

I decided to pair the rich soy protein and mushroom mixture with a wheat based Asian vermicelli noodle and the cucumbers. Rice vermicelli would also work. Or go gluten free and serve it in lettuce cups.

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There are different components to this salad and when I put it all together, I like to have some of these components at different temperatures. Traditionally it’s all eaten at room temperature. But I like it when there are a whole bunch of contrasty things going on. Tender warm mushroom/soy protein (“pork”) contrasted against cold, crisp cucumbers, fresh cilantro and thin slices of red onion. All of it soaked in a spicy, tangy-lime “fish” sauce!

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Thai Larb Noodle Salad

Ingredients

This makes about 4-6 servings.  It was a lot for the two of us.

“Pork” Mixture

  • 2 cups soy protein chunks
  • 2 cups chopped oyster mushroom
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbs finely chopped lemongrass (optional)
  • salt
  • pepper

Sauce

  • 3/4 cup of Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
  • 1 tbs + 1 tsp Sriracha Sauce
  • 7 tbs lime juice
  • 4 1/2 tsp maple syrup
  • thin slices of fresh Thai peppers (optional if ya like it extra spicy!)
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced

Accompaniments

  • a large handful of vermicelli noodles (cooked according to package)
  • 1 chopped cucumber
  • fresh cilantro
  • fresh lime slices (for garnish and extra tang)
  • (edited to add that Thai Basil and mint are also great add ins, not included here)

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Directions

Soak the soy protein in water or broth for about 20-30 minutes until softened and then drain (different brands/packages of soy protein may require different soaking times). Throw the garlic, lemongrass, soy protein and mushrooms in a lightly oiled pan on medium heat. Cook for about 10 minutes or so, until mushrooms are tender and cooked. There should not be much, if any, liquid in the pan. Season the mushroom/protein mix with salt and pepper to taste. I used about 1-2 tsp of each. Set aside so it cools. I like it warm, but not pipin’ hot. While that is cooling, make the sauce.

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For the sauce, whisk together the Bragg’s, Sriracha, lime juice, maple syrup, and Thai peppers. Reserve 3/4 cup of the sauce for later. Add the remaining sauce to the mushroom/protein mixture and stir thoroughly. Also stir in most of the sliced red onions, reserving a few for garnish later.

Now it’s assembly time. Start with a layer of noodles. If the noodles have gotten clumpy or sticky just run them under cool water to rejuvenate them and drain. Then add a fresh layer of cucumbers. Next add a generous layer of “pork”, a handful of cilantro and few slices of fresh red onion. Serve with the extra sauce and several slices of lime.

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It’s up to you if you wanna add more sauce to your individual bowl. Neal likes things extra saucy which is why I had the “reserve” for him. After assembling my bowl I like to drizzle just a lil’ more sauce on top, squeeze the fresh lime slice all over and give it all a good stir!

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This would be a great “make it yerself” type of meal for guests if all the components were put out buffet-style to be assembled. That way, each bowl can be custom made. The Thai peppers can also be omitted from the sauce and served in a separate bowl for those who like to cry and sniffle when they eat like my ma. Love ya ma!

It’s a wrap

This is so quick and easy and the payoff in my belly is beyond words. Here’s what you do to make easy-peasy and cheap vegan “chicken” lettuce wraps:
(1) Take whatever veggies you have on hand that you like and dice ‘em up!

(2) Dice up some vegan protein (we used mock chicken, but tofu, tempeh, and/or seitan would work just as well) or skip this step and just go with a veggie blowout—-the results will be equally delicious!

(3) Stir fry it all up in a wok with some minced garlic and ginger and a touch of cooking oil. Season with Bragg’s liquid aminos, salt, pepper, fresh basil, a little veggie broth if more moisture is needed and whatever tastes good to you!

(4) Serve with various sauces and condiments of your liking (we kept it simple and used store bought hoison sauce, Thai sweet chili sauce and of course some Sriracha sauce), some big iceberg lettuce leaves and diced cucumbers for an added cold crunch.

(5) Pour filling into lettuce leaf, add some cucumbers, drizzle with sauce, roll it up and savor the goodness…..ahhhhhh…..yummmm.

(6) Repeat step (5) until maximum satiation has been achieved and/or until the food is gone.

Of course we’ve been cooking!

So, another week has gone by again with no time to post 😦 . But as the post title says, we have plenty of homemade foods to share. First, I’ll start with the vegan cheesecake which I mentioned several posts ago and finally got around to making. This recipe is the main vegan one that seems to be floating around the internets. It can be found here, and recently the Little Vegan made it too.

Ok, so I followed the recipe exactly and it came out perfect. I haven’t had “real” cheesecake in a long time but I seriously think this could pass for the real thing. I made the crust by crumbling cinnamon graham crackers and mixing it with a little bit of canola oil and blackstrap molasses to make it just moist enough to press into a pan. For the strawberry topping, I just warmed up some thawed and halved frozen strawberries with some sugar to taste and pureed half of the strawberries to make a thick sauce. This sauce also went well with some Van’s Belgian waffles later in the week.

After eating these waffles I have now added waffle iron to my long list of culinary wants! (UPDATE: As brought to my attention by Veggiegirl, these waffles are NOT VEGAN! I thought I checked the ingredients carefully, but alas, I am not perfect. I managed to miss the bee vomit (i.e. honey) on these waffles. That is the only non-vegan ingredient in these…why can’t they just take it out?!? Oh well, live and learn! We will not be buying these anymore and all the more reason to get my own waffle iron! 🙂 )

I also tried my hand at another raw dish this week. Every time I go to our co-op I see a raw spinach quiche in their refrigerated section but it costs mucho dinero, so I decided to try and make my own. I used the pecan-spinach quiche recipe I found on this page as a guideline. For the bottom “crust” of the quiche, I blended almonds that had soaked overnight with some spices and pressed it into the plate (which I then let dry out via the method I used for my flax seed crackers). For the filling, all I did was puree about 2 cups of spinach with 2-3 cloves of garlic, a cup of pine nuts, a couple of slivers of avocados, some mushrooms, and spices (nutmeg, salt, pepper, paprika, and garam masala). I topped it with some mushrooms that had soaked in Bragg’s liquid aminos (not entirely sure if this is considered raw or not) and paprika.

I’m not really sure if I liked this or not. I ate about four bites but to me it seemed more like something I would spread on crackers and not something I could eat a whole plate of, so I actually did finish it by eating it with crackers. So technically I didn’t eat totally raw that night but I am glad that I tried the dish and still haven’t given up on experimenting with raw dishes! Hsauce stayed away from this dish because it looked too much like guacamole to him and he doesn’t like guacamole…weirdo!

This week, Hsauce wanted to have “sushi night”. Sushi making is so fun and so incredibly easy and waaay cheaper than if you went out for sushi. Hsauce had already made the sushi rice (refrigerated cooked sushi rice mixed with rice vinegar, some sugar and a tiny amount of salt) while I was at work so all that was left to do was prep some ingredients and start rolling when I got home.

Here you can see some of what we used: avocados, baked tofu, carrots, cucumbers, Sriracha sauce, hoison sauce, and Tofutti cream cheese. We also used some sesame seeds, sweet chili sauce, and homegrown sprouts. When making sushi, we always have two water cups. One large cup of warm water to put the sushi cutting knife in to prevent stuff from sticking to it and another smaller cup of cooler water for our fingers when we spread the sushi rice onto the wakame to prevent it from clumping on our fingers. And as usual, we ended up with a ton of sushi!

Just as pretty as what you pay for at a restaurant don’t you think? We had it with miso soup (made with miso barley, which you can buy in a tub, seaweed slivers, cubes of tofu and mushrooms) which I didn’t get a photo of.

Another Asian inspired meal we had this week was fried rice with grilled tofu. Fried rice is also really easy and works best with day old rice. In this case I had Hsauce make some rice while I was at work and then stick it in the fridge. When I got home I threw some chopped veggies into a wok on medium high with some Earth Balance, threw in the rice, added a handful of fresh basil leaves, some Bragg’s Liquid Aminos and some salt and pepper and was done. Hsauce grilled the tofu slabs which had been marinating in a sweet chili soy sauce marinade all day. I had this dish for leftovers for work one day and my office mate commented on how it smelled “really good”. Yay!

To celebrate the arrival of fall weather (finally!!!), I also made a si
mple squash side one night. I just halved an acorn squash and hollowed out the seedy inside. I then put a few tablespoons of Earth Balance in each half along with a couple of tablespoons of brown sugar, sliced Gala apples, nutmeg, cinnamon and a bit of salt and pepper. I put this in the toaster oven on about 400F for about an hour. When I ate this, I smooshed all the liquidy goodness with the squash to make “sweet mashed squash”.

And this weekend I made some carrot-raisin muffins from VV. As usual, Isa’s recipe came out perfect! I can’t wait to be able to order her new cookbook, Veganomicon.