I am addicted to really fresh and vibrant Asian flavours like the ones in this dish. People have mixed feelings about coriander, but I am a complete convert; it really enhances the taste of a dish like this. Don't worry too much about having all the ingredients, and feel free to chop and change as you wish. Make sure to slice your beef as thinly as you can to make all the difference to every mouthful! Don’t panic about having all the right veggies – if you can get the steak and the dressing sorted, the rest can vary. Vegetarian Option: Rather than using beef, serve on top of cooked thin rice noodles, they will soak up all that delicious dressing.
I want to introduce you to what is easily one of my favourite little dinner-party treats. This dish tastes amazing and I hope it will become one of your staple entertaining recipes. The meat mix is full of really light and aromatic flavours and is served in baby gem lettuce leaves, making it perfect finger food. Vegetarian option: use Quorn mince which works quite well here.
1 tbsp sunflower oil
250g (9oz) lean pork mince
3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
1 tbsp fish sauce (nam pla)
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp caster sugar
5 spring onions, finely chopped
8 fresh mint leaves, roughly torn
A small handful of coriander, roughly torn
To serve 2 baby gem lettuces, separated into leaves
Thai sweet chilli sauce
Juice of 1 lime
Heat the sunflower oil in a large frying pan over a high heat, add the pork mince and fry for 2–3 minutes or until the mince is tender, breaking the mince up with a spoon as it cooks.
Add the garlic and chilli and fry for a further minute.
Add the fish sauce, soy sauce and sugar and stir through, frying for another minute until you have a good colour on the meat.
Finally add half the spring onions, coriander, mint and the lime juice and fry for 1–2 minutes until the spring onions are just tender. Remove from the heat and allow to cool until just warm.
Place 1 heaped tablespoon of the aromatic pork in each baby gem lettuce leaf, top with a drizzle of Thai sweet chilli sauce and a garnish with the remaining spring onions, coriander and mint.