Laap is a dish that really takes me back to childhood. My grandma lived with us and helped to raise me, and this was a dish that she would frequently make. The recipe is fairly straightforward, yet it takes a lot of love to get it just right. It’s from the region of Thailand where my mom and grandma are from, so it has the connection of love and family, and it’s a dish that I distinctly remember her making for us and one that I would often enjoy after school. This will always be a favorite recipe of mine, and to know that it’s a favorite at Chao Baan is very special.
Tofu laap is one of the most popular dishes at Chao Baan.
1 package tofu (16 oz), dried with a paper towel
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 green onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, sliced
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp toasted jasmine rice powder
Chopped cilantro (to preference and taste)
½ cup mint leaves, chopped
¼ red onion, thinly sliced
1 jalapeño, sliced (optional)
Roasted Thai chili powder to taste
Remove the tofu from the package and drain and dry with a towel to soak most of the liquid out of the block. Cube the tofu into your preferred bite-sized pieces. Once cubed, quickly sauté all tofu in two tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil until crispy. Remove crispy tofu and set aside.
Add onions and garlic to the pan and sauté on medium heat until fragrant (do not brown). Add the crispy tofu to the pan with fish sauce, lime juice and toasted rice powder. Mix well. Once heated through, mix in fresh herbs. Remove from heat and serve warm with sticky rice.
*Adjust herbs and spices to preferred taste.
Yields four servings.
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