These simple ingredients make for a surprisingly interesting combination of flavours and textures. Combine with Neil's other dishes this week to create a delicious Asian banquet
This dish serves four, or six to eight if included as part of an Asian banquet.
For the salad
1 large wedge iceberg lettuce, washed and dried
2 tablespoons peanut oil
200 g (7 oz) assorted mushrooms, such as enoki, shiitake, shimeji and oyster, torn into even-sized pieces
1 red onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 handful combined mint and coriander leaves
1 spring onion, julienned
2 French shallots, peeled, finely sliced and deep-fried until golden
1 teaspoon ground roast rice (see note)
For the dressing
1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
3 coriander roots, scraped and chopped
2 small wild green (bird's eye) chillies, roughly chopped
pinch of sea salt
pinch of caster (superfine) sugar, 3 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons fish sauce
For the dressing, pound the garlic and coriander roots in a mortar with a pestle until quite fine, then add the chillies and pound a little further. Add the salt and sugar to form a paste. Add the lime juice and fish sauce and taste to balance, adjusting if necessary.
Shred the iceberg lettuce and place on a plate.
Heat a wok over high heat until smoking. Add the oil and, when hot, stir-fry the mushrooms and onion for 30-60 seconds or until just starting to soften. Remove from the heat. Add the dressing, herbs and spring onion and toss together. Spoon the mixture over the lettuce. Sprinkle the salad with the fried brown shallots and ground roast rice to serve.
Note: To make ground roast rice, place a thin layer of uncooked jasmine rice in a frying pan over low heat or in a 150C (300F/Gas 2) oven and toast until it becomes opaque but not coloured. When cool, grind finely in a mortar with a pestle.
Photo: Lettuce and mushroom salad is easy to prepare, healthy and delicious