Donal Skehan: Thai chicken salad (larb gai)

Serves: 2
Course: Salads
Cooking Time: 0 hr 30 mins
  • Serves 2
  • 50g Thai sticky rice (or whichever rice you have to hand)
  • 60ml chicken stock
  • 2 large, skinless chicken breasts (about 150g each), cut into large chunks
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • Thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled
  • 1 tbsp sunfower oil
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce (nam pla)
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 5 spring onions, finely chopped
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime
  • Generous handful of fresh mint & coriander leaves, roughly chopped
  • 2 Baby gem lettuces, leaves separated

This simple chicken dish is full of fresh flavour from the mint leaves and lime juice. It can be made with any minced meat, or vegetarian mince, as an alternative.

Toast the rice in a large dry frying pan over a medium-high heat until golden. Transfer to a pestle and mortar and pound the rice – you are looking for a rough texture rather than a fine powder. Set aside.

Place the garlic, chilli and ginger in a food processor and whizz. Add the chicken and pulse until minced.

Heat the chicken stock in a large wok over a high heat, add the minced chicken and fry for 5 minutes, breaking the chicken up with a spatula as it cooks. Continue to cook until the chicken has soaked up the stock and is cooked all the way through. It should be in small pieces resembling mince at this point.

Add the fish sauce, lime juice and sugar and stir through, frying for another minute. Remove from the heat, add the spring onions, the mint and coriander, toasted rice and lime zest and fry for 1-2 minutes, until the spring onions are just tender.

Arrange the baby gem leaves on two plates and top with the chicken mixture. Garnish with extra mint and coriander leaves. Serve warm.

Styling by Erica Ryan, photography by Donal Skehan