So it was 40°C here the other day and I was not in the mood for slaving over a hot stove. Hubby was going to be home late so I needed a dish that he could eat later (as there was no way I was going to wait), that wouldn’t wilt from the dressing and would be as nice for him as it was for me. Clearly I am wife of the year and this meal was just the ticket. I can’t tell you how much I loved this dish. It was so fresh and light but full of the fresh, punchy Asian flavours that I absolutely adore. Have I told you lately just how much I love food?
By the way, the leftovers were sublime the next day. You will be the envy of the office with this baby in your lunch box.
Prep time: 20 Minutes Cooking time: 10 Minutes $$ Medium Budget
Oil for frying
800gm of lean chicken mince (preferably free range)
2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
3cm piece of ginger, finely minced
1 stalk of lemon grass, finely sliced and then chopped (you could use a food processor to mince the aromatics)
1 green chilli, sliced (seeds removed if you don’t like it too spicy)
4 kaffir lime leaves, centre spine removed then rolled in a bunch and finely sliced
3 tbs of fish sauce
Juice of 2 limes
1/2 a red onion, halved and finely sliced top to bottom
11/2 tbs of caster sugar
1 bag of bean shoots
1 cup coriander leaves
1/2 cup of mint leaves
1/2 cup of thai basil leaves (double the mint if you can’t get thai basil)
1/2 cup of toasted granulated peanuts
1 sweet crunch lettuce (available at woolies but iceberg will do), core removed and leaves separated
Lime wedges to serve
If using an iceberg lettuce, remove the core by banging the base of the lettuce, quite firmly on the bench. This will loosen the core and it should just pull out. Run cold water into the base of the lettuce, this will make it much easier to seperate the leaves. If using the sweet crunch (my new favourite lettuce), just cut the bottom off and the leaves will pull away really easily, more like a cos lettuce. Rinse the lettuce well and then place in the fridge while you cook the meal. This will ensure a super crunchy lettuce cup.
Heat a wok to nice and hot and add a little oil. Fry the chicken mince in a couple of batches, using a wooden spoon to break it up during the cooking process until it is starting to turn golden and is cooked through. Once all the mince is cooked, place the garlic, ginger, lemongrass and chilli slices to the wok (you may need a little more oil) and fry for 1-2 minutes before adding the mince back to the wok. Toss to combine and then remove from the heat and allow to cool while you prepare the salad. You may want to give it a stir now and then to release the heat.
In a small bowl, whisk the fish sauce, lime juice, caster sugar and kaffir lime leaves until the sugar has dissolved. Just before serving, add the sliced onion and pour the dressing over the mince then toss well to break up the onion and coat the mince.
In another bowl, combine the bean shoots and herbs and toss.
I would serve this platter style like the photo. To assemble, place a little mince in the bottom of the lettuce cup, top with the bean shoots and herbs and sprinkle over peanuts. Serve with an extra squeeze of lime……
If you have leftover Thai herbs, you may want to consider cooking these dishes: