This is a style of larp, or salad, from the north of Thailand, although it’s really a stir-fry served on lettuce. The heat from the chillies and the flavour of fresh lime make it irresistible; with a bowl of rice, it’s truly a great meal. Think of it as the Thai Sang Choi Bao.
- 150 g (5½ oz) skinless chicken thigh fillets, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 4 small wild green chillies, chopped
- 2 tablespoons peanut oil
- A pinch of sea salt
- ½ small Spanish onion, halved and finely sliced
- 50 g (1¾ oz) green beans, trimmed and finely sliced
- A pinch of caster (superfine) sugar
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 small handful of combined mint and coriander (cilantro) leaves
- ½ baby cos (romaine) lettuce, leaves separated and washed
- 1 teaspoon ground roast rice
Pound the garlic and chillies in a mortar with a pestle to form a fine paste.
Heat a wok until just smoking. Add the peanut oil and, when hot, stir-fry the chicken, sea salt, onion and beans for about 1 minute. As soon as the chicken turns white, remove from the heat and add the pounded garlic and chilli, sugar, fish sauce, lime juice and herbs. Stir together, taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
Put the lettuce leaves on a plate and spoon the chicken mixture over the top. Sprinkle with the ground roast rice to serve.
First published in Neil’s cookbook Balance & Harmony. Photography by Earl Carter.