Thursday, October 4, 2007

Larb Gai, Thai Chicken Salad

This is similar in flavours to the Thai Beef Salad and is a lovely fresh tasting salad that is very simple to make.

Ingredients: serves 4 as part of meal

2 chicken breasts, minced or chopped fine
4 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
Small knob ginger, peeled and very finely chopped
2 (or more) Thai chilli, chopped fine
4 Lime leaves, left whole
1 red onion / shallot, quartered
1 stalk lemongrass, chopped very fine
3 tbsp good quality chicken stock

1 small cucumber, seeded and cubed
4 or 5 cherry tomatoes, quartered
Small handful beansprouts, cleaned and blanched in boiling water for about 1 minute
Small handful fresh coriander, chopped fine
Small handful celery ‘leaves’, chopped fine
1 or 2 spring onions, chopped fine
Small handful fresh mint, chopped fine

3 tbsp fresh lime juice
3 tbsp cold water
3 tbsp fish sauce
2 tsp caster sugar

1 tbsp toasted rice, roughly powdered in a mortar and pestle
5 or 6 leaves of romaine lettuce, washed and roughly torn into large pieces

Toast rice in dry wok until brown. Pound to rough powder in mortar and pestle
Blanch bean spouts in boiling water for 1 min, drain.
Put spring onion, celery leaves, cucumber, mint, coriander, tomatoes, half of toasted rice, in a big bowl.
Make nam pla by combining sugar, lime juice, water and fish sauce.
In wok heat 1 tbsp groundnut oil. Gently fry onion, ginger, chilli, garlic, lemongrass, lime leaves. When very fragrant, add stock and chicken and cook until all done.
Take off heat and put in bowl with salad ingredients.
Add nam pla and mix well.
Lay lettuce leaves along bottom of large shallow plate / bowl. Spoon chicken mix on top. Place bean sprouts to one side and sprinkle rest of toasted rice all over.

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