This spicy salad is perfect for a light lunch or supper, or served with rice to make a more substantial meal. It's really easy to make - being more about assembly than cooking. I like very spicy food, so do use less chilli if you're less of a fan.
Serves 2-4 depending on greediness and what else you eat with it ...
1/8 cup risotto rice (to make roasted rice)
300g tenderloin pork, minced
1/2 knorr stock cube, or a teaspoon of stock granules
1 spring onion, chopped
1/2 red onion (or shallots), chopped
handful each of mint leaves and parsley, chopped
1 tbspn crushed dry chillies
2 tbspn fish sauce
red chilli, sliced for garnish
little gem lettuce leaves, to serve
Let's make the roasted rice first. The salad will still be yummy without it, but it adds a really authentic texture to the dish. I think this is usually made with sticky rice but, as I don't have any, I use ristotto rice (my reasoning being that risotto rice is also quite starchy) and it works fine. I'm pretty sure normal rice would work too - worth a try before buying anything specially anyway!
1. Heat a pan, and pour in the rice. Keep turning and stirring it on a low heat until it turns light brown (in about ten minutes).
2. When it's cool (burning grains are so not fun), crush until fine - a pestle and mortar is good, a hammer or rolling pin would do. I use a coffee bean/spice grinder which makes it really easy!
Get the other ingredients together ....
... and chop and slice the onions, herbs and chilli.
I use tenderloin of pork as it's what I was originally taught to make the dish with, and for the same reason, I like to mince it by chopping it. You could just throw it in the food processor - I tried this today for the first time and it worked perfectly. Or, of course, you could just buy mince in the first place.
3. Heat a pan (I just used the same one as the rice had been in) and when hot tip in the minced pork and squeeze over the juice of one lime.
4. Keep stirring until the pork is thoroughly cooked which will take 5-10 minutes - but don't overcook it. Add the stock cube or granules in the last couple of minutes.
5. Tip the pork into a bowl and stir in the spring onion, red onion, mint and parsley, and mix together.
6. Add the roasted rice powder, dried chillies, lime juice from the remaining 1-2 limes (to taste) and fish sauce and mix again.
Served in little gem lettuce 'cups' and garnished with red chilli - this is easy to eat and really fresh tasting.
I would love to know if you liked this recipe, or if you tried it with different meat, or amended it at all ... do let me know.