I’ve had the chicken version of this many times in Thai restaurants. But what inspired me to make it this time was a very dry pork roast that was left over from Thanksgiving. The new result was much better than the original! According to some of my research, this is the “national dish of Laos.”
A couple pounds of leftover pork roast (You can substitute cooked chicken breast, raw ground pork, or raw ground beef. See instructions below.)
1/4 C white rice, uncooked
1 T oil
1/2 C scallions, chopped
1 T garlic, chopped
1 C cilantro leaves and stems, chopped
1/2 C parsley leaves and stems, chopped
1/2 C mint leaves and stems, chopped
2 T fish sauce
1 T brown sugar
Juice of 1 lime
Chili pepper flakes and/or hot sauce
Salt to taste
Large lettuce leaves
Cut the pork roast (or chicken) into cubes. Use a food processor or meat grinder to grind it coarsely. If you don’t happen to have a chunk of dry and tasteless meat lying around, cook up a couple of pounds of ground pork or beef. However, be sure to drain off all the fat afterwards.
In a dry skillet, toast the rice carefully until it’s golden. Remove from the heat and grind it until it’s the size of coarse-ground pepper. You can use a spice grinder or a mortar and pestle. Set it aside.
Heat the oil in a large skillet or wok and toss in the scallions. Cook for a couple of minutes, then add the garlic, herbs, fish sauce, sugar, lime juice, and chili.
Stir in the cooked meat and a couple tablespoons of water. Add salt to taste. Adjust the fish sauce, sugar, and lime to taste.
Serve room temperature or cold with large lettuce leaves. You can make lettuce wraps with this.