This fresh-tasting salad is unbelievably good. The lettuce and herbs can be picked over ahead of time, washed and dried and kept crisp in an unsealed plastic bag lined with paper towels in the refrigerator.
Small knob grated ginger
2 large medium-hot red chillies, deseeded and sliced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
3 Tbsp palm sugar or 2½ Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp fish sauce
4 Tbsp lime juice
2 Tbsp light oil
3 Tbsp dry white wine
Half a buttercrunch lettuce or tender green lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces
1 cup each small mint leaves, coriander sprigs and Asian basil leaves
½ telegraph cucumber (long, tender-skinned cucumber), peeled and thinly sliced
1 cup fresh bean sprouts
2 spring onions scallions), finely sliced
1 In a small bowl squeeze juice from grated ginger. Add rest of dressing ingredients, mix well and let stand for 15 minutes.
2 Prepare all lettuce leaves, herbs and vegetables and arrange on a platter.
3 Rewhisk dressing and taste; add more lime juice to make it sharper, sugar to sweeten it or fish sauce to season it. Pour dressing over salad, toss lightly and serve immediately.
Photography Aaron McLean http://www.aaronmclean.com