Spicy Lamb Salad
Many of the food items on the menu at CK’s in Hailey, Idaho are locally sourced, while many of the flavors are globally inspired. Chef/owner Chris Kastner’s eclectic and seasonal menu might feature squash blossoms from his own garden to trout and figs grown in nearby Hagerman, to locally raised lamb from Lava Lake, as showcased in his version of the traditional Loatian dish, larb.
Ground meat contains a higher percentage of fat than lean cuts like chops and shanks. Since fat carries the majority of lamb’s gamy flavor, this dish has a robust flavor that stands up to the spicy flavors.
Recipe: Spicy Lamb Salad
Summary: Serve as an appetizer. Courtesy of Chris Kastner, chef/owner, CK’s Real Food, Hailey, ID
- 2 pounds ground lamb
- 2 tablespoons toasted rice powder*
- ¼ cup finely diced shallots
- ½ cup chopped cilantro
- 1 tablespoon garlic, chopped fine
- 3 Tablespoons fish sauce
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce
- 12 butter lettuce leaves
- 1 cup cilantro leaves
- 1 cup fresh mint leaves
- 1 cup sweet onion fine julienne
- 1 cup cucumber thin sliced
- Put the ground lamb in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat and cook until browned, stirring occasionally. Remove the browned lamb and drain off all but 1 tablespoon of the rendered fat.
- Put the shallots and garlic in the pan with the reserved fat and sauté until they lighten in color and become aromatic, about 2 minutes.
- Add the lamb back to the pan.
- Add the rice powder. Mix well.
- Combine the fish sauce with the other liquid ingredients and pour into the lamb mixture.\
- Adjust the seasoning
- Add the chopped cilantro just before ready to serve.
- To serve, put a couple of spoonfuls of the lamb into a lettuce cup and garnish with some of the fresh herbs, onion, and cucumber.
- Top with more Sriracha sauce and/or nuoc cham.
- *To make the toasted rice flour, put 2 tablespoons of white rice in a dry pan over medium-high heat and cook until rice turns golden brown, shaking and stirring the rice occasionally to make it nicely toasted. Add ½ teaspoon red chili flakes after the heat is off, toss, cool, and grind into a fine powder.
Number of servings (yield): 6