Saturday, August 23, 2008
Vietnamese style crispy pork and little gem salad
1tbsp sunflower oil
450g pork mince
2tsp freshly grated ginger
1 red chili, seeded and finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
4 spring onions, trimmed
2tbsp chopped fresh coriander
2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
2tsp soy sauce
2tbsp fish sauce
2tbsp rice vinegar, or white wine vinegar
1tsp soft light brown sugar
50g dry roasted peanuts, chopped
4 little gem lettuces
Fresh coriander sprigs, to serve
Heat half the oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Add half the pork and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and crispy. Remove from the pan and put into a bowl or dish, then cook the remaining mince in the same way.
In another bowl, mix together the ginger, chili, and garlic. Finely slice the spring onions, and add to the bowl with the herbs. Add the soy sauce, fish sauce, vinegar, sugar and the juice of 1 lime. Give it a good mix, then pour the mixture over the crispy pork. Scatter the peanuts over the mince.
Cut the remaining limes into wedges, and separate the leaves of the lettuces.
Scoop some crispy mince onto each lettuce leaf, add a squeeze of lime and top with a sprig of coriander.
This type of salad became really popular a while ago. All of a sudden I was seeing them everywhere. They looked good, but I tended to avoid them, as I’ve never been a terribly fashionable person. Still, they looked so good that eventually I was worn down.
I decided to try this one from Ainsley Harriott's Feel-Good Cookbook , as his happened to be the one I was looking at when I made up my mind to take the plunge.
I’m really glad I did it. This was delicious! It was beautiful to look at, it was fast to make, and it was so tasty that I wanted to make it and eat again right away. The filling of the individual leaves was a bit fiddly, and I would think that if you were serving it casually, to the family, you could probably serve it in a bowl with the leaves on the side and let people do that part themselves. Either way, it will be a crowd pleaser.