Vietnamese lettuce cups
This is great sharing food and a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. Guests assemble the cups themselves, so its fun as well as being delicious. It's hard to go wrong - I love heaps of mint, coriander and lime, but build the flavours to suit your taste.
- 1 iceberg lettuce
- 150 g chicken mince
- 150 g pork mince
- 2 cm piece ginger, peeled and grated
- 1 garlic clove, grated
- 2 eschalots (French shallots), grated
- 60 ml (1/4 cup) fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons peanut oil, plus 1 extra teaspoon handful roasted, unsalted peanuts
- 100 g rice vermicelli noodles
- 2 large round rice paper wrappers (banh trang)
- 100 g enoki mushrooms, separated
- 180 g (2 cups) bean sprouts
- 1 small Lebanese cucumber, cut into batons
- 1 carrot, peeled and julienned handful Vietnamese mint or mint, torn handful coriander leaves, roughly chopped
- 3 long red chillies, thinly sliced
- lime cheeks to serve
Peel individual leaves off the lettuce, trying not to tear them. Rinse them thoroughly to remove any grit.
In a large bowl combine the chicken mince, pork mince, ginger, garlic, eschalots and fish sauce. Season with salt and pepper then combine together thoroughly with clean hands.
Place a wok over the highest heat possible. When it is smoking add half the peanut oil. Add half of the mince mixture and stir-fry constantly until crumbly and golden brown.
Transfer the mixture to a sieve over a bowl and strain out any remaining liquid. Discard the liquid. Repeat the process with the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and mince.
Reduce the heat to medium, add the peanuts to the wok and fry until lightly coloured, about 1-2 minutes.
Meanwhile, put the noodles in a bowl and cover with boiling water. After 2 minutes, or when the noodles are tender, drain well.
In a frying pan over high heat, fry the dry rice paper wrappers in the extra teaspoon of oil, one at a time, until toasted, about 1-2 minutes. Once cooked, break them up into pieces to fit into the lettuce cups.On a platter, make a stack of your rice paper pieces, then a stack of lettuce cups, the individual salad items (mushrooms, bean sprouts, cucumber and carrot), a bowl of the mince mixture, the toasted peanuts, the mint and coriander, the chilli, the lime and the noodles.
Recipe taken from Brent’s book, Dig In!