SERVES 4 AS AN APPETIZER This traditional Thai dish served at Luang Say Residence in Luang Prabang, Laos, calls for rice powder, which is easily made by roasting 1/8 cup raw sticky rice in a preheated skillet over medium-low heat until golden brown while stirring constantly, about 12 minutes, then grinding it into a powder with a mortar and a pestle or a clean coffee grinder. Skip the powder and you’ve still got a tasty dish. FYI, you can be fancy and garnish with cherry tomatoes, mint, and cilantro, as shown here, or just go straight to eating!
1 tablespoon peanut or canola oil
1/2 pound ground pork
2 teaspoons minced lemongrass, tender inner stalk only
1 tablespoon sliced shallot
2 kaffir lime leaves, center rib removed, then sliced very thin
3 tablespoons minced green onion
1 tablespoon roasted ground rice (see recipe intro for details)
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon gluten-free fish sauce
8 small lettuce cups
Heat the oil in a large skillet or wok over high heat until just smoking. Add the pork and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring, until the meat is cooked through, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat. Add the lemongrass, shallot, lime leaf, green onion, and ground rice and toss to combine. Stir in the lime juice, fish sauce and serve with lettuce leaves.
Photo: Rodolphe Gay