Spicy Chicken Lettuce Wraps (Larb Gai)
- 1/4 cup jasmine rice
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 1 1/2 pounds ground chicken (both white and dark meat)
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 shallots, sliced
- One 1-inch piece galangal, peeled and finely grated
- 1 stalk lemongrass, green top discarded and lower pale yellow stalk finely minced
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1/2 cup cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup mint leaves, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions
- 2 to 4 Thai bird chiles, minced
- Suggested accompaniments: Butter lettuce leaves, red or green cabbage leaves, halved and thinly sliced English cucumbers, bean sprouts, sticky rice and lime wedges
Cook's Note: Galangal can be found at Asian markets; however, you may substitute an equal amount of fresh ginger if you cannot find it fresh.
Toast the jasmine rice until light golden brown in a small saute pan over medium heat, for 6 to 8 minutes. Cool completely and grind in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle until finely ground. Set aside.
Heat the chicken stock in a wok or large saute pan over medium heat. Once the stock is steaming but just below a simmer, add the chicken. Sprinkle with the kosher salt and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until the chicken is just cooked through and no longer pink, about 8 minutes. The chicken will appear pale even when cooked through. Turn off the heat, add the garlic, shallots, galangal and lemongrass and stir to combine.
Combine the lime juice, fish sauce, cilantro, mint, scallions and chiles in a large bowl. Add the chicken mixture and toasted rice and stir to combine. Serve with any or all of the suggested accompaniments.