Lettuce wraps are an easy yet satisfying large-format meal to prepare, since everyone can assemble their own dish to their liking. This lemongrass-scented marinade works for any protein—feel free to substitute thinly sliced pork tenderloin or firm tofu for the chicken.
- In a saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the curry paste and stir-fry until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the shrimp paste and continue to stir-fry until a shade darker, about 1 minute. Add the peanuts and stir for about 8 minutes, until one or two shades darker. Add the sugar and continue to stir-fry until slightly caramelized, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the coconut milk, chicken stock, tamarind, and hoisin, and stir well. Reduce heat to low and simmer until slightly thickened, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in the basil or cilantro, and cool to serve. Refrigerate for up to one week.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the fish sauce, palm sugar, and oil until fully combined. Stir in lemongrass and garlic. Add the chicken (or protein of choice) and toss to coat well. If using tofu, brush the marinade on both sides, being careful not to break the pieces.
- On a large serving platter, keeping each ingredient separate, pile the lettuce, carrots, cucumber, vermicelli, and mint leaves.
- In a grill pan (or on a grill) set over medium to high heat, add the protein and grill until browned on both sides.
- Serve the grilled meat with the table salad and spicy peanut sauce to complete the meal. To assemble, take a lettuce leaf, add a small amount of rice vermicelli, and top with some carrot, cucumber, and one or two mint leaves. Add some of your protein of choice and drizzle with a delicate amount of peanut sauce. Enjoy!