In a large skillet on medium high, toast 1/4 cup of sticky rice until a rich golden brown. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool while you cook the meat.
Return skillet to the heat. Add ground meat and cook for about 8 minutes, breaking up large pieces, until done. Remove from heat.
Grind toasted rice into a coarse meal and add to the meat. Combine thoroughly.
Stir in fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, and chili flakes.
Just before serving, add the fresh herbs, onions, and shallots. Toss together. Taste and adjust flavours. It should have a pleasant, slightly sour and salty flavour with a bit of a kick. Add more lime juice to temper the fish sauce, if you find it too strong or add more fish sauce if it needs more salt. You can amp up the heat to your liking with chili flakes. Serve with cucumber slices on lettuce leaves and or in a rice bowl. Garnish with lime slices and herbs.