- 2 tablespoons long-grain rice (optional)
- 1 pound hot or sweet Italian sausages, or Thai sausages
- 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce (nam pla)
- 1 bird chile, minced
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1 large shallot, thinly sliced crosswise and separated into rings
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped mint
- Light the grill or preheat the broiler. In a small skillet, toast the rice over moderately high heat, shaking the skillet, until the rice is golden brown, about 3 minutes. Transfer the rice to a plate to cool completely. Grind the rice to a fine powder in a spice mill.
- Grill or broil the sausages about 5 inches from the heat for about 4 minutes per side, or until browned and cooked through. Let cool, then slice the sausages crosswise 1/3 inch thick.
- In a small bowl, combine the lime juice, fish sauce and chile. Season the dressing with pepper. In a shallow bowl, toss the sausage slices with the shallot rings, cilantro and mint. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well. Just before serving, sprinkle the salad with 1 to 2 tablespoons of the roasted rice powder.
The clean, fruity notes of a classic ale will cool the salad's spices yet blend with its citrus accents.