cauliflower laab (ລາບກະລຳປີດອກ—laab kaloapi dok)

Laab(ລາບ) is a traditional Lao salad of minced meat. This variation uses cauliflower for similar texture with the signature spice blend. Lime juice and zest contrast salty and spicy tones, and added mint is an unexpected delight.

Mix the spices and saute with minced cauliflower. Add water as needed to prevent burning. Add toasted rice powder for texture and lime juice and rind for zest.

Serve traditionally with leaves, herbs, and peanuts, or serve alongside other dishes. For a similar dish with very different flavor, try mushroom laab.


(serves 2)

4 clove garlic
2 stalk lemongrass, prepared
4 bird’s eye chili
dash salt
1 head cauliflower, minced
dash water
1 spoonful toasted sticky rice powder
2 lime juice and rind, shredded
1 head lettuce, separated into leaves
2 bunch cilantro (optional)
4 bunch mint (optional)
1 handful peanut, roasted

• pound garlic, chili, salt, lemongrass
• sauté
• add cauliflower, water; sauté until cooked, adding water if dry
• add toasted rice powder, lime; mix well
• serve with rice; wrap in lettuce leaves to eat; garnish with cilantro, mint, peanut