I’d gone without a chilli hit for three straight days, the result of having a spice-hating guest to stay, combined with a lack of enthusiasm on my part for cooking multiple meals on the same evening, just to satisfy my craving for heat.
Now, with my obligations as a host fulfilled, it was time to give my mouth and all digestive systems due South thereof a good, old fashioned, capsaicin based workout once again.
Oh, that was just what the doctor ordered, and no mistake.
A pot of jasmine tea and a simple plate of steamed asparagus on the side was all it took to bring my poor, tired, and somewhat bored taste-buds back to life.
Balance restored. Job done.
Thai Lamb With Herbs
- 500g minced / ground lamb
- 4 red birds-eye chillies, finely chopped
- 4 spring onions (scallions), whites and greens separated
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 3 tbsp Thai red curry powder
- 2 tsp dried mint
- 2 tsp dried coriander
- 5 kaffir lime leaves
- 2 stalks lemon grass, cut into thirds, and lightly bruised
- juice of 2 limes
- 2 tbsp fish sauce – see notes
- 2 tsp coconut sugar
- 1 dl chopped fresh chives
- 2 dl fresh Thai basil leaves
- coconut oil
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Place the Thai red curry powder, dried mint, and dried coriander and salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste in a small bowl. Add just enough water to produce a thin paste. Stir well, and set aside.
- In a small bowl combine the fish sauce, lime juice, and coconut sugar. Stir well until the sugar has dissolved. Set aside.
- Thinly slice the spring onion whites. Heat 4 tbsp of coconut oil over medium heat in a large, lidded non-stick pan. Stir fry the spring onions and chillies for 3 minutes.
- Add the garlic, and continue to stir fry for a further 2 minutes. Add the water and spice mixture, the lemon grass, and the kaffir lime leaves. Stir fry for a further 2 minutes.
- Add the minced / ground lamb. Stir well to coat with the spices. Stir fry until the mince has lost its raw colour, about 5 minutes or so.
- Add the lime juice and fish sauce mixture. Stir well, and cover the pan with its lid. Cook the meat on a low simmer for 20 minutes, stirring from time to time. After 20 minutes, remove the lid, and add the chopped chives and the Thai basil leaves. Cook for about another 5 minutes or so. Once the meat is cooked, remove from the heat and set aside.
- Garnish with the spring onion greens, thinly sliced. Serve.
To make the dish truly Paleo, get hold of fish sauce that contains fish, water, and salt. You’re probably best looking in an Asian store for genuine Thai fish sauce, although if you’re in Britain Tesco’s own fish sauce fits the bill. I currently use Thanh Ha Phu Quoc.