Thai Chicken Larb on Butter Lettuce
Excellent with Le Cuvier 2009 Viognier
Larb is considered the national dish of Laos. It is a salad comprised of minced meats (typically beef, chicken or pork but sometimes made with fish, & seasoned with Asian ingredients such as fish sauce, lime, mint & chilis. Peanuts may be used in instead of cashews in this recipe.
½ cup cashews, roasted & salted
1 Tbsp butter
chili powder (to sprinkle over toasted cashews)
3 large chicken breasts
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 Tbsp ginger, grated
2 Tbsp spicy mustard
4 Tbsp lime juice
3 Tbsp olive oil
½ onion, finely chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, finely chopped
1½ Tbsp tamarind paste
½ cup cilantro, chopped
1 tsp fish sauce (optional)
dash of cayenne (optional)
1 head butter lettuce leaves
To prepare cashews: melt butter in a small pan & sauté cashews until brown over medium heat. Sprinkle with chili powder. Drain on paper towel. (Nuts will crisp up as they cool.) Chop finely when cooled & set aside.
To prepare larb: Grind chicken breasts in food processor. Add salt, pepper, ginger, mustard & lime juice to chicken & pulse until blended. Sauté onion & jalapeño in olive oil in a heavy skillet. Add chicken mixture, stirring constantly until chicken is cooked. Remove from heat & cool chicken mixture. When cooled, add tamarind paste, chopped spicy cashews, fish sauce, cilantro & dash of cayenne. Scoop a few spoonfuls onto butter lettuce leaves & wrap.