Yield: 6 – 8 portions

    • Ingredients
    • Sticky rice, raw
      4 Tbsp.
    • Rice powder, roasted
      ¼ cup
    • Chicken, coarsely ground or chopped
      12 oz.
    • Pinto beans, cooked
      12 oz.
    • Olive oil, or ¼ cup chicken stock
      2 Tbsp.
    • Chili powder or chili flakes, hot (preferably Thai)
      ½ tsp.
    • Lime, juice of
      5 tsp.
    • Fish sauce
      4 tsp.
    • Sugar
      a few pinches
    • Red onions, slivered
      ¼ cup
    • Scallions, sliced
      2 Tbsp.
    • Cilantro, coarsely chopped
      2 Tbsp.
    • Mint leaves, whole, plus more for serving
      10 ea.


    • Ingredients
    • Lettuce cups or cabbage leaves
    • Green beans, cooked
    • Cherry tomatoes, halved
    • Cucumber spears
    • Cilantro, mint, and basil leaves


    1. Place the rice into a dry sauté pan over medium heat and toast it, stirring constantly, until it turns a pale golden color, about 10 minutes. Remove the rice from the pan, allow to cool, and grind in a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder until you have a slightly coarse powder; a little finer than cornmeal. Reserve.
    2. In a pan, warm the pinto beans for about 2 minutes and reserve.
    3. Sauté the chicken in olive oil over a high heat. (For a low fat version, use the chicken stock instead of the olive oil and let simmer.) In either case, cook until the meat is fully cooked and firm, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and add the reserved, cooked beans. Add the chili powder, lime juice, fish sauce, and sugar. You are looking for an assertive, but balanced flavor that is at salty, savory, sweet, sour, and spicy.
    4. Next, add the onions, scallions, and cilantro and combine. Add the torn mint leaves, taking the care not to bruise them. Adjust the seasonings to taste.
    5. To serve, mound the chicken and bean mixture on a shallow platter.

    For garnish:

    1. Decorate the plate with your own selection of cooked and raw vegetables. My favorites include cabbage wedges or lettuce cups, cherry tomatoes, green beans or cucumbers, and fresh basil, cilantro, and mint leaves.