This week will literally go down as one of the craziest weeks of my time in SF. I got the order to shelter in place today, so now I am sitting home trying to not get too bored. Thankfully, I have a fully stocked fridge and a lot of cooking to do. This recipe was one I wrote before all these shenanigans happened, so I will try to write down as many substitutions as possible. I love this recipe for ground pork lettuce wraps because it is so so simple, and it reminds me so much of Southeast Asia. It has major Thailand vibes. If I can’t travel now, at least my tastebuds can.
The major note of these ingredients is that you don’t need all of them. It is better with all of them, but as long as you have sweet, salty, and sour flavors, you should be good to go.
- Ground pork – Ground pork is one of my favorite meats to use because it has a sweet flavor. If you can’t find ground pork, you can also do this recipe with ground beef.
- Seasonings (salt, pepper, sugar) – It is so important to season your meat, so they don’t taste bland. Salt and pepper is essential, but you can omit sugar.
- Garlic – Adds amazing flavor to the pork and helps tone down the gross meaty flavor of pork.
- Green onions & red onions – I liked to have both onions because they add different flavors to the dish. Red onions are slightly sweet which balances out all the salty flavors in the dish. You can use only 1 of these two if you can only one at the store.
- Cilantro – Adds freshness to the dish.
- Thai basil – Adds freshness and a slight liquorice flavor to the dish.
- Red chili pepper – Adds a bit of a kick to the dish. This can be omitted if you don’t like spicy foods. If you can’t find red chili peppers at the store, I would use 1/2 teaspoon of chili peppers.
- Lime juice – Lime juice adds brightness to the dish. It also helps mask the meaty flavor of the ground pork. Lemon juice works for this recipe too.
- Fish sauce – Adds fishy and salty flavors to the dish.
- Iceberg lettuce – I would recommend using iceberg lettuce since they are in the shape of a small bowl so its easier to pick up the filling. You can use any type of lettuce however.
Making my ground pork lettuce wraps
These lettuce wraps are some of the easiest things you will ever make. First season the ground pork with salt, pepper, and sugar. Make sure to incorporate the seasoning into the pork. Set aside. Add some oil to a pan and cook the garlic for 20-30 seconds. Add in the ground pork and cook until brown (~5 minutes). Remove the heat and put into a big mixing bowl. Add in green onions, red onions, cilantro, Thai basil, red chili pepper, lime juice, and fish sauce. Mix everything together. Spoon a few spoonfuls of the pork into the lettuce and serve!
Tips on how to make the perfect ground pork lettuce wraps
- Use oil spray instead of liquid oil – I like to use oil spray when I brown meat because it allows me to control the amount of oil I use. It also prevents the meat from becoming too greasy.
- Use iceberg lettuce when possible – I would recommend using iceberg lettuce for lettuce wraps if you can find them because their leaves are in the shape of a cup. This makes it easier for you to pick up the filling. Butter lettuce is a good alternative if you can’t find iceberg lettuce.
- What do I do with extra filling? – You probably won’t have extra filling, but if you do, you can eat it with some rice or bread. Bonus idea: throw it over some comforting congee!
Did you make these Ground Pork Lettuce Wraps?
If you made this dish, I would love to see!
Ground Pork Lettuce Wraps
- Season ground pork with salt, pepper, and sugar.
- Cook garlic over medium heat. Add in the ground pork and cook until brown (~5 minutes). Remove from the heat and add to a mixing bowl.
- Add green onions, cilantro, Vietnamese mint, red chili peppers, lime juice, and fish sauce to the mixing bowl. Mix together.
- Spoon into lettuce wraps and serve.