How about this to get some more greens on your plate? These eat-with-your-hands lettuce cups are a celebration of all things crunchy, fresh and spicy, and I love to serve them family-style, so everyone around the table can dive in and help themselves.
80g dried glass noodles (also known as mung bean, cellophane, bean thread vermicelli noodles)
300g (14 oz) chicken mince
6 small Asian red shallots (or 1 large French eschallot), sliced
4 tbsp finely chopped sawtooth coriander (use regular coriander as an alternative)
¼ cup mint leaves, plus extra to serve
¼ cup finely sliced purple cabbage
sliced cucumber to serve
lettuce leaf cups to serve
1 tbsp raw glutinous rice (also known as sticky rice)*
4 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp finely shaved palm sugar
2 tsp chilli powder (or to taste)
4 tbsp lime juice
Place the noodles in a large bowl and cover with warm but not boiling water. Allow to soak for 5-6 minutes or until just tender. Drain and set aside in a large bowl.
For the dressing, toast the rice in a dry frying pan over high heat until golden brown. Remove from heat and use a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder to grind rice to a fine powder. Mix the rice powder with the remaining dressing ingredients.
Place a non-stick pan over high heat. When it’s hot, add in a ¼ cup of water. Then add the chicken mince. Break up the mince as it cooks. When cooked, use a slotted spoon to transfer the mince to the bowl containing your noodles (discard the cooking liquid). While the chicken is warm, add the shallots and a couple of tablespoons of the dressing and toss. Add the coriander, mint leaves, cabbage and the remaining dressing and toss until well combined. Adjust the seasoning with more fish sauce/chilli powder or lime juice to taste.
Serve with cucumber, extra mint leaves and lettuce cups.
– Using glutinous or sticky rice will give you a softer rice powder that creates a thick and soft coating for the finished salad. If glutinous rice is unavailable you can still use regular long grain or jasmine rice to add a similar toasty flavour with a slightly crunchier texture.