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Recipe courtesy of Terry Hope Romero

Thai Seitan Larb in Lettuce Cups

A wonderful contrast of hot and cold, spicy and crunchy, this seitan version of a traditional Thai dish of spicy minced meat and veggies tucked into large edible leaves (or lettuce) is lovely to behold and fun to eat.
  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 25 min
  • Prep: 15 min
  • Cook: 10 min
  • Yield: 3 to 4 servings
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Seitan Larb: 

3/4 cup coarsely chopped shallots

2 tablespoons thinly sliced lemongrass

3 kaffir lime leaves, thinly sliced, or 1 teaspoon unpacked grated lime zest

1 to 3 small red Thai chiles, seeded and chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger

2 teaspoons Thai light soy sauce or regular soy sauce

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons peanut oil or mild vegetable oil

One 18-ounce package "chicken-style" seitan, such as WestSoy, roughly diced

10 or more large, crisp lettuce leaves (cupped, rounded iceberg or butter lettuce leaves are best), hearts of romaine leaves, or 4 to 6 cups of mixed spring greens

Chile Lime Dressing:

1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice

2 tablespoons Thai light soy sauce or regular soy sauce

2 rounded tablespoons coconut sugar or organic brown sugar

2 teaspoons Sriracha


1 cup lightly packed cilantro sprigs (use tender stems with the leaves)

1/2 cup roasted, chopped peanuts


  1. In a food processor, pulse together the shallots, lemongrass, lime, chiles, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, and salt. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat and add the pulsed mixture. Saute for 3 to 4 minutes, until the shallots are translucent. Meanwhile, chop the seitan in the food processor. Add the seitan to the skillet and continue to fry for another 4 minutes, or until seitan is heated through. If the seitan starts to stick, deglaze the pan with a few tablespoons of water or vegetable broth. Make the dressing: whisk together all of the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and set aside until ready to serve. 
  2. Serve the larb! Scoop the hot seitan larb into lettuce leaves and arrange on a serving dish. Or for a nontraditional, casual meal, pile it on top of salad greens arranged in serving bowls. Drizzle with a little dressing, garnish with cilantro and chopped peanuts, and eat immediately, passing around any leftover dressing.

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