Thai Pork Lettuce Wraps


Photographing meat is one of my biggest challenges. It always seems to look grayish, and none too appetizing.

Hubs took over cooking duties last night, and made this yummy dish. Pregnancy hormones got the better of me, and I was in no mood to cook. He was totally stoked about using the meat grinder attachment for our stand mixer. Freshly ground meat is soooo much tastier than the pre-packaged kind.The flavors from the fish sauce, green onion, mint, and cilantro reminded me of yum nua, a beef salad that is one of my favorite things to order at Thai restaurants. Although the original Cooks Illustrated recipe calls for pork tenderloin, we couldn’t find one small enough at the store, and couldn’t justify buying three times the called for amount. The country style ribs worked just fine – hubs trimmed a little excess fat, and we found the meat very flavorful. He also added some cucumber (on my request) for a little crunch, and to up the veggie content.

We also decided to eat these in the style of bulgogi – with cooked rice packed into the lettuce along with the meat.

Thai Pork Lettuce Wraps
adapted from Cooks Illustrated
September and October 2009

1 lb boneless pork country style ribs
2 1/2 Tbs fish sauce
1 Tbs white rice
1/4 c low sodium chicken broth
1/2 c chopped green onions
3 Tbs fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 a medium cucumber, peeled and chopped
3 Tbs roughly chopped mint leaves
3 Tbs roughly chopped cilantro leaves
1 head iceberg lettuce, leaves separated and whole

Cooked rice (optional)

Cut pork into large chunks. Place in a single layer on a large plate. Freeze meat until firm and starting to harden, but still pliable, about 20 minutes.

Grind pork in a meat grinder or a food processor. Stir 1 Tbs fish sauce into the meat and marinate in the refridgerator for 15 minutes.

Heat rice in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until rice turns a deep golden brown. Transfer to a small bowl and let cool for 5 minutes. Grind with a mini-processor, or mortar and pestle until it resembles a fine meal.

Bring broth to a simmer in the skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork and cook, stirring
frequently, until about half the pork is no longer pink. Sprinkle 1 tsp of rice powder over the
pork; continue to cook, stirring constantly, until remaining pork is no longer pink. Transfer
pork to a large bowl; let cool for 10 minutes.

Add remaining 1 1/2 Tbs fish sauce, remaining rice powder, green onions, lime juice, red
pepper flakes, cucumber, mint, and cilantro. Toss to combine. Serve with lettuce leaves and cooked rice.

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Sweet Comments:

  1. Yummm! These look sooo good!!!

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