Our favourite Isan (North East Thailand) meal, which we have occasionally made since returning home from our travels there, is minced chicken salad, or Laap Gai. Like other typical Isan cuisine, it is spicy and rich in flavour. Traditionally it is made with ground, roasted sticky rice in it, though I usually skip this step for simplicity without noticing the difference. I enjoy eating this dish, as the Thai people do, with handfuls of sticky rice, or wrapped in lettuce leaves like a wrap.
1 1/2 cups chicken breast or turkey breast, minced or ground. Ground chicken is usually available at grocery stores.
4 shallots, thinly sliced
3 tbsp fish sauce – yes, it smells vile, but it’s an integral ingredient in Thai dishes
2 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp chilli powder
2 tbsp finely chopped red onion (optional)
1 tbsp cilantro, chopped (optional)
1 green onion, chopped
1 tbsp mint leaves, chopped
1. Place the ground chicken, shallots, red onion, fish sauce, lime juice and chilli powder into a medium bowl and mix together.
2. Heat a wok and on medium heat and cook the chicken mixture for about 6 minutes until the chicken is cooked. During the last minute, add the mint, cilantro and green onion.
3. Serve with sticky or glutinous rice or in lettuce leaves, similar to lettuce wraps.