Lamb Laap Salad with Mint and Rocket


This week I have been experimenting with fresh mint leaves. I didn't want to do the usual mint and choc combo (although I am a big fan) and remembered a popular dish I saw in Laos when I was travelling. 

According to Wikipedia, laap is regarded as the national dish of Laos. Laap is a minced meat salad with chilli and mint that is quite light and refreshing to eat but still filling!

 I made mine with minced lamb but its usually made with pork or chicken (they were out of minced pork at the supermarket!). I got this recipe from a cooking class I took in Luang Prabang but I didn't have certain ingredients such as kaffir lime leaves and rice flour so I have adapted it a little!


Makes 1 portion:
200g minced lamb
2tbs water
1/2 tsp chicken stock granules
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 small bunch of fresh mint leaves (add as much or as little as you want), finely chopped
*1 tbs fried garlic
*1 tbs fried shallots
zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 tsp fish sauce
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1 handful of rocket leaves

*Fried garlic and shallots may be bought from asian food stores (so the cook book says!) but I found it easier to deep fry a few finely chopped shallots and garlic in a pan until golden brown.

Put the hot water and chicken stock into a wok on low heat. Add half the juice of a lemon and stir. When the stock has dissolved place the minced lamb in the wok and cook until entirely brown. Take the wok off the heat and sieve the meat to drain the juices. Put the meat into a large bowl for mixing.

Add the chopped shallots, garlic and mint leaves and mix well. Next, put in the fried garlic, fried shallots and lemon zest and mix again. Juice half a lemon and add to the mixture, along with the fish sauce, salt and chilli powder.

When everything thing is mixed together, try a spoonful of the meat and adjust the taste to your preference with any extra ingredients. You may wish to add more seasoning such as, salt, fish sauce or more mint leaves.

Grab a handful of rocket leaves and place it on a plate or bowl. Using a large spoon, carefully pile the meat mixture on top of the salad leaves. Finish with a mint leaf garnish.