I love this quick and simple recipe. It’s great as a canapé, main with sticky rice and green papaya salad or as part of a South-east Asian inspired banquet. I last made these with asian fish cakes and prawn toasts which all go well with sweet and sour dip and satay so everyone could mix and match the canapé with the dip. If you are stretched for time, don’t stress about toasting and grinding the rice, but it is a nice toasty touch.
Ingredients (serves 2 as a main, 4 as starter or tray of canapés)
- 3 tbsp Thai sticky rice
- 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 lemongrass stalks, tough outer leaves removed and finely sliced
- 1-2 fresh red chilli deseeded and chopped finely
- 4 Thai shallots or 2 normal shallots chopped finely
- 300g minced pork (or you can use minced chicken)
- 1 tbsp runny honey
- 1/2 tbsp fish sauce
- 3 limes
- 4 spring onions
- 1 bunch coriander
- 1 bunch mint
- 1 bunch Thai basil
- 4 little gem lettuces, leaves separated
Heat a wok or large frying pan on a low heat and toast your rice dry, stirring continuously until it turns golden brown and smells fragrant (like popcorn). This can take about 10-15 minutes. Leave to cool then grind in a pestle and mortar to a course powder.
Now add the vegetable oil to your wok/pan and heat to med/hot, add your lemongrass, chilli, shallots and cook for a minute before adding the pork to the pan and frying, breaking into small pieces. Once browned, add 1 tbsp runny honey, mix through until it coats the pork and becomes sticky then remove from heat.
Add 1 heaped tbsp of the rice powder to the pork with the fish sauce, juice of 1 lime, spring onions, handful or each herb then season and mix together adjusting the lime juice and fish sauce to taste.
Serve spoonfuls in lettuce cups with a sprinkle of the rice powder and more of the fresh herbs and limes quartered.