This classic dish from the South-east Asian country of Laos traditionally features ground toasted rice as its textural component. I’ve experimented and found that toasted quinoa works just as well, if not better. You can use any mince for this recipe – pork, beef, duck, prawn – and it will be delicious. I like to use organic chicken at home, as it’s a great way to eat organic without breaking the bank.
1 tbsp coconut oil
500g chicken mince
80ml lime juice
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 small red chilli, halved, seeded and sliced
1/2 small red onion, finely diced
handful Thai basil leaves, torn
large handful coriander leaves, torn
handful Vietnamese mint leaves, torn
large handful mint leaves, torn
6 spring onions, green part only, finely sliced
1 Lebanese cucumber, finely diced
120g green beans, finely sliced
1 red cabbage, leaves separated
Heat a wok or frying pan over a mediumhigh heat. Add the quinoa and cook, shaking the pan constantly, for 5 mins, or until the quinoa is golden and toasted. Remove from the pan and spread out on a tray to cool.
Wipe the wok clean and place over a medium-high heat. Add the coconut oil and mince, and stir-fry for 2-3 mins, or until the chicken is cooked and crumbly. Stir in the lime juice, fish sauce, garlic, chilli and onion, then remove from the heat and allow to cool.
When you are ready to serve, add the herbs, spring onions, cucumber, green beans and toasted quinoa to the chicken and mix well to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Spoon the salad into red cabbage leaves and serve.