This easy to prepare Thai dish is a favourite of our family. This is a great party food as everyone rolls their own and eats out of hand. Be sure and serve plenty of napkins if guests forget to fold up the bottom of the lettuce leaf - it can be messy.
Thai Grilled Chicken in Lettuce Cups
1 pound chciken breast, sliced thinly and pounded
2 -3 teaspoons Fish Sauce (nam pla)
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3/4 cup small julienned peeled cucumber
8 cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup thinly sliced shallot
2 tablespoon chopped Thai Basil (bai horapha)
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro*
1 teaspoon date palm sugar (or light brown sugar)
1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon Thai chiles (phrik kee nu or phrik chee fa)** or crushed red pepper flakes
1 head Boston Bibb lettuce leaves separated, washed, and spun dry
*If available add 1 teaspoon of fresh cilantro roots pounded to a paste
** Serrano chiles are a great substitute for Thai chiles
Serve with Nam Pla Phrik so everyone can adjust the heat and saltiness to their taste.
Optional side dish: Som Tam (Papaya Salad)
Prep the cucumber, tomatoes, Thai Basil, and shallots set aside. For dressing mix the sugar, soy sauce, lime juice and chiles in a small bowl - set aside.
Preheat grill to medium-high.
Sprinkle chicken with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Oil the grill rack. I use a chunk of frozen back fat to oil the grill. I keep this in the freezer for easy oiling of the grill.
Grill the chicken for 6 to 7 minutes per side for medium rare. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes. Cut across the grain into thin slices.
Toss the sliced chicken, cucumber, tomatoes, shallot, basil and cilantro in a large bowl. Drizzle the dressing over the steak mixture; toss well to coat.
To serve, spoon a portion of the steak mixture into a lettuce leaf, fold up the bottom and roll for easy out of hand eating.
We like serving a side salad of Som Tom as garnish to be added to each lettuce leaf or as a side dish. Also steamed Jasmine Thai Hom Mali (new crop Thai rice) is a great addition to the rolls or as a side dish.