This flavorful salad from the northern country is popular throughout Thailand. If raw beef does not suit your taste, you may used cooked minced beef, chicken or pork. The beef makes a tasty summer salad stuffed into hollowed-out cucumber cups or eaten with lettuce leaves. Accompany with rice and an icy beverage.

ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons long-grain white rice
  • 2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound finely chopped, very fresh lean beef round
  • 4 shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, tender heart section only, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground dried red chili pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves and stems
  • 2 English (hothouse) cucumbers
  • Fresh mint leaves, cilantro leaves or basil leaves for garnish

directions

Heat a dry wok over medium-high heat. Add the rice and toast, stirring frequently, until golden brown, 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool. Place in a spice grinder or in a mortar, and grind or pulverize with a pestle to the consistency of coarse sand; set aside.

In a bowl, stir together the fish sauce, lime juice, sugar and salt. Add the beef and mix thoroughly. Mix in the toasted rice, shallots, green onions, lemongrass, ground chili, chopped mint and chopped cilantro. Taste and adjust the seasonings, if necessary. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, about 2 hours.

Peel the cucumbers and cut crosswise into 1-inch sections. Using a melon baller, scoop out the seeds to form each cucumber section into a cup. Spoon the beef mixture into the cups and arrange on a platter. Alternatively, slice the peeled cucumbers crosswise 1/4 inch thick. Shape the beef mixture into a mound on a serving plate and surround with the cucumber slices. Garnish the filled cups with the mint or cilantro leaves or arrange the basil leaves over the mound of beef.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Owen. All rights reserved.

RecID 2161

nutrition information per serving

191 calories; 7g total fat; 31mg cholesterol; 708mg sodium; 13g carbohydrates; 1g fiber; 18g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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