Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Thai Style Pork Lettuce Wraps

I bought a pound of pork that I ended up not needing. Normally what would have happened is I would have left said pork in the fridge, totally forgetting about it, until one day I open the fridge and something grabs me by the face and pulls me to a horrifically green, meaty demise.

Not wanting to meet (no pun intended) this grisly fate, I went in search of something to make with a pound of ground pork. I found a recipe for Thai Pork Stir Fry on The Whole Kitchen and thought it sounded tasty. But since I am trying to eat a little healthier these days (a LITTLE) I decided to adapt it to make lettuce wraps instead of stir fry, so I chopped all the vegetables a lot smaller. This turned out really great! It had lots of flavor, a good amount of spice and a really satisfying crunch. My only complaint would be that it was a touch oily, but I think that could easily be helped by draining off the meat.

1 lb lean ground pork
1/2 red onion, diced
1 large carrot, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
2 tsp olive oil, divided
1 shallot, diced
1 jalepeno, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp fish sauce, divided
1 Tbsp fresh ginger, grated, divided
2 Tbsp cooking sherry
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp hoisin sauce
2 Tbsp chili garlic sauce
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
Lettuce for wraps

As always, make your life easier by prepping the ingredients. This is where prep bowls really come in handy. Start by chopping the red onion, carrot and pepper and putting them in a bowl. Chop the jalapeno (seed it if you are not a spice fan) and shallot and put them in a bowl. In a bigger bowl put in the ground pork and add one tablespoon of fish sauce and half of the ginger. Mix it around using your hands (this is much more pleasant if the pork is not straight from the fridge). Set this aside, and in your last prep bowl mix up the sauce. The remaining fish sauce, ginger, sherry, honey, hoisin and chili garlic sauce goes here. This may seem like a lot of chili garlic sauce, but it really melded nicely with the other flavors and although the end result was spicy, it certainly wasn’t overly so. Mix them well and set aside. Now, you are ready to cook.

With a teaspoon of oil, sauté the carrot, pepper and onion over medium high heat for about 4 minutes and then put it back in the bowl. Next sauté the jalapeno and shallot with another teaspoon of oil over medium low heat for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and stir for about 30 seconds before adding the meat mixture. Bring the heat back to medium and brown the meat. Make sure it’s fully cooked and then carefully pour off some of the oil. Add the vegetables back in, followed by the sauce. We decided to keep the mixture on the heat for a little bit longer, another 3-5 minutes to let the sauce thicken further. Finally, add in the cilantro and take the mixture off the heat. Serve spooned into lettuce cups. My husband liked it so much he wants me to make even if I don’t accidentally find myself with an extra pound of ground pork. 

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