1 tbsp raw glutinous rice (also known as sticky rice)*
1 tbsp palm sugar
3 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp lime juice
3 tsp chilli powder (or to taste)
500g (1 lb) pork mince
2 small red Asian shallots, finely chopped
1/4 cup mint leaves, finely chopped, plus extra leaves for serving
1/4 cup finely chopped coriander (cilantro)
1/4 cup finely sliced spring onions (scallions)
vegetable oil for deep frying
cucumber slices, to serve
Toast the rice in a dry frying pan over high heat until golden brown. Use a mortar and pestle to ground the toasted grains to a fine powder.
To make a seasoning/dipping sauce, in a small bowl, mix half the rice powder with the palm sugar, fish sauce, lime juice and chilli powder. Set aside for later.
In a large bowl, add the pork mince, shallot, mint, coriander, spring onion and the remainder of the rice powder. Add three-quarters of the spicy seasoning sauce you made earlier (reserve the remainder and serve as a dipping sauce). Mix well and form into small bite-sized meatballs.
Fill a wok or saucepan about one-third full with oil. When the oil is hot, add the meatballs in batches and cook for about 3 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Drain on paper towel. Serve warm with extra mint leaves, cucumber and the reserved dipping sauce.
– Using glutinous or sticky rice will give you a softer rice powder. If glutinous rice is unavailable you can still use regular long grain rice to add a similar toasty flavour with a slightly crunchier texture