I absolutely love Thai food.
Some of my favourite restaurants in Adelaide, Melbourne & Sydney are Thai or based on Thai flavours. There is something about the balance of Basil, Chilli, Kaffir Lime, Lemongrass & Fish Sauce that feels fresh, clean & exciting each time.
Today I would like to share with you a salad that I make regularly that it is healthy, extremely simple and true to those delicious Thai flavours.
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Note: Make sure you open a bottle of 2013 Watervale Riesling to help you through the prep and consumption...
500g chicken mince
1 x red onion
1 x iceberg lettuce
1 x stem of lemongrass
2-3 fresh red chilli
1 x bunch spring onion
1 x bunch thai basil
1 x bunch corriander
4 x stems of fresh mint
2 x limes
1 x lemon
1/2 cup roasted peanuts
2 - 3 cups rice
The how to...
First thing I do is get the rice on. I hope you have a rice cooker, if not, this phase of the prep will add some extra time to my estimate of 30 minutes.
Add approximately a tablespoon of peanut oil to a pan over medium heat and add the chicken mince. Work the mince for 3 or 4 minutes to break it up into very small crumb like pieces.
While the chicken is cooking through, continue to monitor the heat while you take time to prepare the sauce.
In a small bowl add 4 tablespoons fish sauce, the juice of 2 limes, the juice of 1 lemon, 1 teaspoon of shaved palm sugar, 2 tablespoons of sriracha sauce and 2-3cm of chopped lemongrass. Mix well.
To add more salt, use fish sauce, to add more heat, use sriracha and to add more acidity, try more lime or lemon juice. You will need to experiement with this to find your desired taste.
Returning to the chicken now, once cooked through, remove the chicken from the pan into a bowl. Add 3/4 of the sauce to the chicken & mix through. Place to the side.
Wash all the vegetables, leaves and herbs. This is usually pretty important as these leafy herbs tend to need it.
Tear or chop the lettuce into large pieces and place in large bowl.
Chop spring onion, red onion & chilli and add to bowl.
Pluck the mint leaves and corriander leaves (patience required for this part) and addthem to bowl.
Crush the peanuts into crumbs and add those to the bowl.
Mix everything well then add the remaining sauce to the salad.
Combine the chicken and sauce mix to the salad in a large bowl, mix well and serve with rice.
Enjoy with the afore mentioned Riesling.