Thai Salad Wrapped in Lettuce Leaves
Although this may at first appear to be like San Choy Bau, it is actually quite different. Thai Salad Wrapped in Lettuce Leaves is served cold and has wonderfully fresh aromatic flavours. It is a version of larb, a cold aromatic minced meat dish from Thailand.
Serves: 12 or 6 as an entree
Preparation time: 15 minutes + cooling time
Cooking time: 7 minutes
1 tablespoon (20 ml) peanut oil
500 g (1 lb) chicken breast, finely minced
1 small red onion, finely chopped
2/3 cup chopped coriander (cilantro)
1 tablespoon palm sugar or brown sugar
1/4 cup (2 fl oz) fresh lime juice (3-4 limes)
1/4 cup (2 fl oz) Thai fish sauce (nam pla)
2 tablespoons finely grated ginger
12 small iceberg lettuce leaves
- Heat oil in a large pan over high heat. Add chicken and cook, stirring to break up any lumps, until cooked through, about 6-7 minutes. Remove from heat and place chicken in a bowl to cool.
- Add onion and coriander to cooled chicken. Make a dressing by combining palm sugar, lime juice, fish sauce and ginger. (The palm sugar will dissolve in the lime juice). Add to chicken and mix well.
- Blanch the lettuce leaves in boiling water for 1 minute, then refresh under cold water and drain. Serve each lettuce leaf with a generous scoop of chicken mixture in the centre, wrapping the lettuce loosely around the filling.
Wine: This is sweet, sour and aromatic so drink a riesling or sauvignon blanc.
Recipe from Lyndey Milan, The Best Collection (New Holland 2009, 2013)