In a strange twist of events when I recently finished my diploma in Professional Cookery and started working full-time as a Chef, I have had less and less time to actually cook for myself at home. So one day last week I had a bit of time free in the afternoon and I threw together this quick, hands on dish for my and my sister.
It is really quick and packed with big flavours and fragrant spice. It’s also a great sharing plate if you are having some mates round for a movie and want to show off a little.
Once you have the basics like the mince and lettuce together you can really pimp it in whatever way you want. I had green beans and bean sprouts in the fridge but it would work equally well with noodles, or fried rice, even sautéed peppers.
400g Beef Mince (or half pork to half beef)
2 cloves of garlic
1 thumb sized piece of Ginger
1 medium red chilli
2 spring onions
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp fish sauce
4 heads of Baby Gem Lettuce
-Get a large, heavy based frying pan on to a high heat with a tablespoon of groundnut oil.
-Add the beef to the pan and start to break it up with a spoon.
-The goal here is to get the mince as crunchy and crispy as possible. You want to keep breaking up the mince in the pan and allowing it to get a lot of colour. A lot more colour than you would usually give mince. I promise It’ll be worth it.
-When the mince is dark, and crunchy and gnarly remove it from the pan and into a colander lined with kitchen paper.
-This will remove any excess fat and ensure the mince stays crispy.
-Next zest your limes, finely chop the garlic, thinly slice the chilli and spring onions and grate the ginger as fine as you can.
-Get your pan back onto a medium heat with another spoon of the groundnut oil.
-Add the garlic, chilli, spring onion, ginger and lime zest to the pan and lightly fry to about two minutes.
-In a bowl, mix the lime juice, soy sauce and the fish sauce.
-After the two minutes in the pan, add the liquid mixture and allow to bubble for about 30 seconds.
-Turn off the heat and add the mince back into the pan.
-Dress and toss the mince in the reduced liquid until all the beef is coated and seasoned.
-Click the outer leaves off the four heads of lettuce and arrange them on a large serving plate.
-Serve a spoon of the piping hot mince into eat lettuce cup and top with a little salad, noodles or whatever you fancy. A little Sweet Chilli Sauce here is a treat aswel.