1tablespoonpalm sugar, or soft brown sugar (20g/0.7oz approximately)
¼teaspoondried chilli flakes, (optional)
For the tofu larb:
3tablespoonwhite rice, (see recipe notes)
½cupraw red skinned peanuts, (or substitute any kind of peanut)
1smallred onion, sliced
2clovesgarlic, finely chopped or grated
¼cauliflower, finely chopped (about 2 ½ cups)
1blockfirm tofu, (300g/10.5oz approximately)
1bunchfresh coriander, (cilantro) roughly chopped
1handfulfresh mint, roughly chopped
1handfulmung bean sprouts
2spring onions, (scallions) thinly sliced
3makrut (kaffir) lime leaves, very finely sliced
Cooked red or glutinous white rice
Additional fresh herbs
Fresh red or green chilli, finely sliced (optional)
Kecap manis, (Indonesian sweet soy sauce, optional)
For the dressing:
If using palm sugar from a block, crush or finely chop it. Mix all dressing ingredients together until sugar is dissolved. Taste for balance - the dressing should be sharp and sour, salty, a little sweet and spicy. If you like it hot, you can add more chilli flakes to the dressing. Set aside.
For the tofu larb:
Put 3 tablespoon of uncooked rice in a dry frypan over medium-high heat. Keep the rice moving for 3-5 minutes until it turns golden to dark brown, then remove from heat. Allow to cool, then grind to a coarse powder using a mortar and pestle, spice grinder, blender or food processor. Set aside.
Heat the cooking oil and sesame oil in a frypan (skillet) over high heat. Add peanuts and cook, stirring, for a few minutes until they start to colour and smell fragrant. Add red onion and garlic and cook briefly. Add the chopped cauliflower and cook for another minute, then use your hands to crumble the tofu into the pan. Stir to combine, cook for another minute, then pour over the dressing. Add the ground rice and the whole pile of greens - herbs, mung bean sprouts, spring onions and makrut lime leaves - to the pan at once and quickly stir through.
Serve tofu larb fresh from the pan with your choice of rice and accompaniments. Iceberg lettuce leaves can be used to make little parcels of rice and larb to eat with your hands.
Glutinous white rice is the best choice for the ground toasted rice, but any kind of white rice will work.
Quantities for the fresh herbs and mung bean sprouts are estimate - use as much as you like. I like to use about twice the quantity of coriander (cilantro) to mint, and a generous handful of mung bean sprouts.
Nutrition information is estimate and does not include serving accompaniments.