The manliest salad you’ll eat this summer
1 tbsp vegetable or canola oil
450g ground beef chucks
1 medium shallot, finely minced
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp fresh ginger, minced
1 lemongrass stalk, tough outer portion peeled off, tender bottom finely minced (about 1 tbsp)
1 fresh birds eye chilli, seeded and finely minced
1 to 2 tbsp cayenne pepper (or to taste) or 1 tbsp chilli powder
1/2 cup green beans, in 2.5cm pieces
1 1/2 cups roughly chopped basil, mint, and/or coriander
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp lime juice
Whole baby romaine leaves
1 Heat the oil in a 12-inch pan over high heat until it’s lightly smoking. Add the beef and cook, stirring occasionally, until it’s no longer pink. Drain the fat and return the meat to the pan.
2 Add the shallot, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, minced chilli, and half the cayenne or chilli powder. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 minute. Add the green beans and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the herbs, fish sauce, and lime juice; toss to combine. Taste for heat and add the remaining cayenne or chilli powder if desired.
3 Place the romaine leaves (cupped side up) on a platter. Spoon the laab into the lettuce, draining off some of the liquid, and serve.
Makes 4 servings